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Fleet_insuranceThe insurance policy for your fleet of heavy goods vehicles is due for renewal and for a variety of reasons, not necessarily down to you, insurance claims have been significantly higher this year compared to last year. An increase in night time driving, more foreign road trips, driver absence/replacement or just plain bad luck have all contributed to more claims and a subsequent increase in your insurance premium or difficulty finding suitable fleet insurance.

Though all your claims have been covered by your fleet insurance policy, as a fleet manager or owner, there is a limit to what you can do in the way of planning for these events.

The increase in fleet insurance premiums following a particularly bad year could have a major impact on your future profitability.

The question is, how can you reduce the risk of some of these incidents from happening in the first place? You could stop night driving and overseas trips and only use drivers that are employed by you that have a good safety record. However, this may result in less work and limit your ability to meet your clients’ requirements.

Another way is to find out whether fleet insurance with telematics would work for your business.

1.Fleet insurance with telematics (“black box” insurance)
Telematics is the use of technology to assist drivers, fleet managers and owners to minimise the risk of incidents that could lead to an insurance claim.

Telematics offers a variety of options to keep your drivers safe and mitigate some of the risks by collecting information to help manage your fleet, manage risks, assess your drivers and track your vehicles.

This is not always popular with drivers because they do not directly gain the benefits of fuel reductions, lower insurance premiums and fewer insurance claims. However, with proper communication and incentives, installation of a black box to reduce your truck insurance premiums can benefit drivers and owners.

2.On-board CCTV cameras
Camera systems are another way of supporting drivers in the event of an accident or criminal damage to vehicles. They provide a visual deterrent and can aid the police and insurance providers to quickly assess what has happened and deal with any claims, keeping disruption to a minimum.

3.Vehicle emergency brake assist
New and innovative active brake assist or emergency brake assist systems are becoming more popular as truck manufacturers incorporate them into new vehicles. These can operate to increase braking force in an emergency or monitor the distance between the vehicle in front and apply the brakes automatically. Providing assistance to drivers will help reduce accidents and truck insurance claims.

Fleet insurance brokers
Specialist insurance brokers can advise you on what has worked for other businesses like yours and can provide a guide to achievable savings.

CLA (Risk Solutions) provide individual advice on what is best for your business and may be able to offer financial support to help with the installation of these devices depending on your individual circumstances.

Talk to one of our fleet insurance specialists for more information 0121 321 4600.
CCTV cameras are becoming more widely used by fleet operators as the systems improve and justification for use becomes more viable.

Criminal gangs running crash for cash scams and companies chasing no win no fee claims for motor injuries can cost businesses dearly in lost time, increased insurance premiums and injuries to employees. These incidents are on the increase and providing your driver is not to blame, installing CCTV cameras could save fleet operators thousands each year. Motor vehicle fleet operators (private and public-sector) are considered a good target for criminal gangs because they are required to have insurance cover for all their vehicles.

A recent case brought to court by transport company Abellio involved a couple who were claiming for serious injuries sustained in a crash with one of the company’s busses.

Subsequent CCTV footage found that the bus was only travelling at 5mph and the court ruled against the claimants. Abellio reclaimed all their costs in a high court action that saw the couple fined and given prison sentences.

An on-board CCTV system will also guard against theft or attempted theft and criminal damage by using the cameras as a visual deterrent and providing evidence for the police and insurance companies.

CCTV systems
There are a huge variety of systems on the market and the choice you make will depend on your priorities.

At a basic level, a single dashcam with an SD card to store the footage will be enough to record a front view; however, two cameras to cover the front and rear are a better option. Dual cameras are also available to cover interior and exterior of the vehicle, if needed.

The quality of camera and size of memory card are important factors. Most units provide continuous recording and will automatically overwrite old files as new footage is recorded so you don’t have to keep reformatting the memory card. A minimum size of 128GB of storage is recommended depending on the quality of the camera, how many cameras are installed and number of driving hours per day. However, there can be problems with on-board storage and memory cards such as tampering and losing or forgetting to install the memory card.

A better option is remote connectivity using 3G/4G live streaming. This option delivers high quality, real time viewing to a PC or mobile phone. Setting up a multi-camera system to give front, back and side views will provide the maximum protection.

Fleet_motor_insuranceMotor fleet insurance
Vehicle fleets include all types of vehicle from company cars and vans, HGVs, public transport and emergency services, waste disposal vehicles and taxis.

Fleet insurance policies are designed to cover all vehicles in the fleet under one policy. Cover includes the usual added benefits of courtesy cars, legal assistance and breakdown cover.

Fleet GAP insurance can be added to policies to cover any shortfall between the insurer’s market valuation and the vehicles replacement value; essential if your vehicles are leased.

Your insurance can cover any of your drivers to drive the insured vehicles in your fleet and you should include public liability insurance for any claims made against your drivers for negligence.

Fleet insurance is complex. To get the right cover and keep your insurance premiums to a minimum, you will need an experienced insurance broker such as CLA to guide you through the maze of options and policies available and find you the most cost-effective insurer. For example, if you have a CCTV system installed, some insurers may be able to offer a discount. We can offer advice on CCTV systems to help protect your drivers and vehicles, through one of our business partners.

Call 0121 321 4600 or go to the motor fleet insurance page on our website and use our “Fleet Calculator” to get an estimate for your fleet insurance.
 
 
 
Do you fund your fleet through vehicle financing?

The Finance & Leasing Association has recorded an increase in vehicle funding to record levels of more than 80% of businesses now funding vehicles on a form of leasing arrangement. The figures also show an increase in the number of used vehicles that are now leased as the automotive sector seeks to maintain market share.

When a total loss happens, it is worth considering the protection the Consumer Credit Act gives to a Limited Company.

Fleet_gap_insuranceBelow is a summary of whom the Consumer Credit Act protects:
  • Private individuals
  • Sole traders     
  • Partnerships of up to three partners

Who the Consumer Credit does not protect:
  • Limited companies
  • Local authorities
  • Charities
  • Partnerships of four or more partners
An early termination of a lease agreement following a total loss can result in lenders applying punitive terms, leaving you with a financial short fall. A liability which can be protected by arranging Fleet GAP insurance.

Fleet GAP is a simple annually renewable policy that in the event of a total loss pays the difference between the motor insurer's total loss settlement and the greater of the outstanding finance, the early termination charge or 25% of the motor insurer's settlement, whichever is the greater.

For example: Your vehicle is involved in an accident and is not viable for repair. The insurance will pay out £30,000. However, the amount owing to the leasing company is £35,000, leaving a shortfall of £5,000.

By taking out Fleet GAP insurance, the top up payment would be £7,500 (25% of £30,000). The calculation is based on either:

The difference between the insurer's total loss settlement and the amount owed on finance/lease
OR
25% of the total loss settlement from the insurer.
Whichever is the greater calculation.

Available for cars, vans, trucks and agricultural vehicles, Fleet GAP is easy to arrange backed by A rated security. As a BIBA endorsed scheme it is a valuable protection for any business operating vehicles.
Motor-Fleet-InsuranceBusiness vehicle fleets come in all shapes and sizes and so do the sectors covered. These can include government agencies, public transport and emergency services as well as commercial fleets.

One thing all of these organisations have in common is the need to manage their fleets as effectively as possible to minimise costs and improve driver safety for their employees.

Let’s look at some ways of achieving these efficiencies:

1. New technology
Insurance premiums can be reduced by using telematics to monitor and improve driver behaviour. This can help to reduce accidents and lower fuel consumption. Cameras in cabs can reduce fraudulent insurance claims. They can also provide evidence in accident investigations, to help speed up the claims process.

2. Driver training
Some insurers will give discounts if your drivers have been through an approved driver training course. Even without this reduction, you may still benefit from fewer accidents and a better claims record.

3. Vehicle security
Tracking devices can help reduce theft and improve recovery rates. You may also be able to get a lower insurance premium because they have been installed.

Are your vehicles fully covered?
You are confident that you have the right fleet insurance in place to cover your fleet and drivers and you are minimising your costs by using some of the above methods. However, as more businesses turn to long term leasing to finance their fleet, there is potentially a shortfall in insurance cover if one of your vehicles is written off in an accident or is stolen and it is impossible to recover.

There could be a gap between your insurer’s market valuation and what it would cost you to replace the vehicle.

This is where GAP insurance can top up the difference so you are not left out of pocket. GAP insurance would pay your finance or leasing company any shortfall in the amount owing.

Having trouble finding fleet insurance?
There is now a new and innovative insurance policy specifically aimed at businesses struggling to find suitable fleet insurance; for example, new businesses that have not yet built up a claims record or poor credit ratings and would benefit from a flexible method of paying their premium without any finance charges or credit checks.

This policy guarantees an annual premium/rate per vehicle for the entire 12 month period of insurance to help with budgeting for your fleet. You will not need a finance agreement and there is no charge for finance on the premium (subject to a £1000 minimum monthly premium). You can cancel the policy pro rata at any time during the year, if required.

Professional advice
Fleet insurance can be an expensive cost for businesses. However, with careful planning and professional advice from an experienced insurance broker you will be able to ensure you are not paying more than you need to for your fleet cover.