For a business owner, forking out for insurance is just one of life’s inevitabilities. But this expense can get pretty hefty – especially if you run a business fleet. After all, insuring your business’ vehicles and drivers isn’t just a good idea – it’s a legal requirement.
The good news? You’ve got more control over your fleet insurance costs than you think. That’s right – by adopting certain technologies, policies and practices, you can slash the cost of your commercial fleet insurance premium.
Sound good? Let’s explore what you can do to push those prices down…
What is fleet insurance?
Commercial fleet insurance is basically what it says on the tin – it’s insurance that covers all your vehicles and drivers on a single policy. Ultimately, it’s much more manageable – and usually cheaper – than insuring each vehicle individually.
The amount of cover you go for will depend primarily on your business’ needs, but also on your budget. The bare minimum you can get is third party only fleet insurance (TPO) – which covers other people and their property in an accident, but not your vehicles or drivers.
Meanwhile, third party, fire and theft fleet insurance (TPFT) and comprehensive fleet insurance offer more extensive cover, but come with a higher price tag.
How to reduce commercial fleet insurance
Generally speaking, if you want cheaper commercial fleet insurance premiums, you’ll need to:
- Show your insurer that your vehicle security is airtight – your vehicles are unlikely to be vandalised or stolen
- Show your insurer that your drivers are safe and reliable, and unlikely to get into accidents
- Look over your policy with an eagle eye, and make changes to reduce your costs
But what does this mean in practice? Well, with the above in mind, we bring you 13 pieces of actionable advice to apply to your fleet operations. These actions have been proven to get results – that is, reduced commercial fleet insurance premiums.
For ease, we’ve split these 13 actions into three sections:
So, are you ready to cut some costs? Let’s drive on…
How to reduce commercial fleet insurance while building or growing your fleet
1. Use the newest vehicles you can
Newer vehicles cost less to insure than older ones. Why? There are plenty of reasons:
- The newer the vehicle, the more up-to-date its security system, and so the more difficult it is to steal
- Safety features are always improving, reducing the risk that drivers will need to make personal injury claims
- Newer vehicles meet more stringent CO2 emissions standards, and are more fuel efficient
If you already have a fleet of older vehicles, replacing them with new models will certainly be expensive. Whether it’s a worthwhile cost is up to you, though it’ll almost definitely pay dividends later.
2. Install a vehicle tracking system
It’s our recommendation that all fleet managers install a vehicle tracking system, to keep 24/7 tabs on their vehicles and monitor crucial data, including fuel usage and driver behaviour.
A vehicle tracking system typically uses GPS to show where each vehicle is, in real-time, on a digital map. So, if a vehicle is stolen, you’ll see where it’s gone straight away. Plus, many systems enable geofencing – that is, putting a virtual border around your approved routes. If a vehicle crosses that border, you’ll be alerted.
With this security – plus the ability to monitor driver behaviour – in mind, plenty of insurers offer lower premiums to businesses that use vehicle tracking systems.
Would you like some help finding the right vehicle tracking system for you? Tell us about your fleet using the form at the top of this page, and you’ll receive custom quotes from the trusted vehicle tracking providers that can cater to your unique needs!
3. Install alarms and immobilisers
This one’s pretty obvious – the more security measures you shower on your vehicles, the lower your insurance quote will become.
Making sure they’re fitted with alarms and immobilisers – electronic devices that do not allow an engine to run unless the appropriate key is used – makes your vehicles that much harder to steal, translating to less risk to the insurer.
4. Install dash cams
‘Crash for cash’ schemes – in which fraudsters deliberately crash their vehicles into others and submit claims for their so-called accidents – currently cost the motor insurance industry £350 million every year.
When an incident happens, a dash cam will act as an impartial witness, recording exactly what happened and who’s at fault. This evidence is invaluable when it comes to defending or settling claims, and means the process can be dealt with much faster.
As an incentive, insurers often give discounts to businesses whose fleets are kitted out with dash cams. Yep, installing them does involve a decent cost, but many fleet managers will find the long-term benefits of having them worthwhile.
▶ Read more: The best dash cams for business
5. Only employ drivers with clean licenses
It goes without saying that you want your fleet to be made up of the safest drivers possible – and that starts with your recruitment process. Always ask to see a candidate’s driving record before employing them.
If any of your drivers have points or convictions on their licenses, your insurance provider has grounds to charge you more. In particular, insurers will look out for:
- Drink driving convictions
- Personal car insurance claims
How to reduce commercial fleet insurance while managing your business
6. Act on dangerous driving
A vehicle tracking system can monitor your drivers’ behaviour, alerting you to any unsafe or aggressive habits – such as speeding, tailgating or harsh braking. It’s your job to train your drivers up in safer driving, otherwise you may find your renewal quote soaring through the roof.
Many insurers provide driver training programmes through partners, and will offer you a lower premium if your drivers have successfully taken part in one. Just be sure to choose a course that your insurer recognises and values.
7. Conduct regular risk assessments and risk management
Your insurance company will carry out a risk assessment of your business. Working closely with your insurer on this is a great way to see your business through an insurer’s eyes, and target any points for improvement it uncovers.
Of course, you should also carry out your own risk assessments and management regularly, to make sure your high safety and security standards don’t slip.
8. Keep your vehicles in a secure spot
Insurers want to know the chances of vandalism and theft are as slim as possible. When your vehicles aren’t in use, ensure they’re parked in a secure location – whether that means investing in fencing, locks and lighting for your communal parking area, or helping drivers to boost their home parking arrangements with extra security measures.
Different insurers may have different ideas about what makes for a safe spot. For example, some don’t like garages, thanks to the risk of objects falling on and damaging vehicles. Check with yours to see what their preference would be.
9. Make claims quickly
If one of your drivers does have an accident, make your claim immediately and do all you can to smooth the investigation and settling process along quickly. If your insurer sees you as efficient and cooperative, they may give you a smaller quote when renewal time comes around.
How to reduce commercial fleet insurance when organising your cover
10. See if you can combine your policies
You might be able to save money by combining your other insurance policies with fleet insurance. Of course, this will depend on whether or not your insurer will allow it.
Some insurance companies can combine public liability insurance and employee liability cover with fleet insurance – meaning you pay less for this ‘bundle’ than you would for three separate insurance policies. We’d say that’s definitely worth asking for!
11. Only pay for what you need
Delve a little deeper into your fleet insurance policy, and you might find it includes a few supplementary extras that could be a waste of your money.
For example, you might be paying for windscreen cover, even though third party repair companies can often repair and replace windscreens at a smaller cost. Or maybe you’re paying a lot for your insurer’s breakdown cover, but another company offers it for less.
Basically, it’s up to you to make sure that you’re only paying for what you really need from your insurer. Investigate your policy to see if you can get anything for less elsewhere, and save some money on your premium by dropping things that are unnecessarily costly.
12. Ask to increase your excess
Now, this one’s a bit of a risk. As with your personal car insurance, if you increase your fleet insurance excess (that is, the amount you’ll need to pay towards an insurance claim), your premium will be cheaper.
The downside? You’ll need to pay more in the event of a claim. So, if you claim fairly regularly, increasing your excess could actually cost you more in the long run. If you claim very rarely, though, boosting your excess might well save you a lot of cash. Only you can decide whether it’s something you should do.
13. Find the insurer that’s right for you
If your current insurance provider is still too expensive, don’t be afraid to shop around for alternative options – believe us, there are plenty out there. Just be sure to compare as many providers as possible, both in terms of price, and what they offer in return. This isn’t a decision to rush into!
Of course, if you’ve been a loyal client, it’s likely your insurer will want to keep you onside. Try asking whether there’s any way your premiums could be made cheaper, and the company might just make you an offer you can’t refuse.
Commercial fleet insurance is a huge expense for any business. But, as we’ve explored, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your premiums and renewal quotes as low as possible. These range from heaping security measures on your vehicles and training up your drivers, to taking a closer look at your policy and making some tweaks.
Introducing a vehicle tracking system is a great place to start – and we can help you to find the right one for your business’ unique needs. Simply tell us about your fleet using our quick form, and you’ll receive custom quotes from suppliers that can cater to your requirements. It’s free and fast – why not give it a go?