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Do a search on Google for telematics insurance and you will find most of the large insurers and price comparison sites also refer to it as black box insurance. These insurance policies are aimed at individual car drivers aiming to save money on their insurance premiums by having their driving monitored.

Telematics_insuranceCarry out some more research and you will find that telematics covers much more than that and includes a range of clever devices combined with vehicle and driver management to help company fleet operators manage their fleets more efficiently, safely and profitably.

Working with your insurance provider or insurance broker you can implement a strategy for your business that will keep your vehicles on the road, provide a better service to your clients and reduce your insurance claims and costs.

Telematics devices
A computer (black box) is installed in your fleet vehicles to monitor everything from vehicle location, speed, braking, engine idling and fuel consumption. Using this information allows fleet owners to build up a picture of driver behaviour. By monitoring all the information from the black box, improvements can be made to increase efficiency.

The device includes a GPS (global positioning system) that tracks your vehicle. This helps with route planning, vehicle availability and communication of arrival times. This is particularly useful if your vehicles must be at destinations at specific times. The construction sector is a typical example, where movement of materials is crucial to keep sites supplied. Disruptions can be monitored, breakdown assistance quickly dealt with and clients kept informed.

A complete record of the vehicle trip history is stored, helping fleet owners to manage maintenance and keep the vehicle working at maximum efficiency.

Developing better driving habits
Monitoring driver habits can be useful to identify areas of training needed to improve driver behaviour and safety.

Driver assessment and risk management can then be carried out providing feedback on how they are driving and carrying out their other duties compared to colleagues and industry best practice including any regulatory requirements.

Vehicle security
Telematics can be used to locate a vehicle if it is stolen or being used for unauthorised purposes outside normal working hours.

The device will also provide information if one of your vehicles is involved in a road accident and it can be integrated with CCTV cameras to provide footage of the incident and identify who was at fault.

Vehicle cameras
CCTV cameras provide additional information to fleet owners to support the information being provided by the telematics system.

Showing drivers footage of their driving from inside and outside the cab can be an effective training tool, helping to reduce accidents and improve driving efficiency.

The other benefit of having 360-degree coverage with cameras is the ability to record actions of other road users. Insurance claims can be dealt with quickly because it is easier to establish who is responsible, getting your vehicle back on the road faster. Fraudulent claims against your drivers can be robustly defended using the video footage, for example, if a driver is claiming whiplash injury after a collision with one of your vehicles and it subsequently comes to light that your vehicle was travelling at less than 5 mph.

Using telematics, haulage companies have found they can substantially reduce the number of accidents and claims across their fleet by monitoring and improving driver habits.

If you would like to discuss how our telematics cover which encompasses driver assessment, fleet management, mobile data, risk management and vehicle tracking can help your business fleet, please call 0121 321 4600.
Fork_lift_loading_haulage_truckHaulage companies and owners of HGV fleets understand the importance of risk management planning to improve health and safety for drivers, customers, other road users and their own financial security.

The time and effort taken to put in place proper procedures and training will provide long term benefits including:
  • Safer loading and unloading
  • Safer driving leading to a reduction in accidents and vehicle maintenance
  • Fewer prosecutions and related costs
  • Meet legal requirements
  • Lower insurance premiums
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), almost all deaths arise from just four kinds of accident, most often during loading and unloading or maintenance of vehicles:
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle
  • Falling loads
  • Falls from vehicles
  • Collapsing or overturning vehicles
Information is taken from the HSE publication “Health and safety in road haulage”.

Over the past five years, accident reports sent to HSE and local authorities show that nearly 60 employees were killed and 5,000 were seriously injured in the haulage industry.

Employees in haulage companies, warehousing, wholesale and retail distribution are vulnerable to a variety of injuries such as simple slips, trips and falls to being struck by moving or falling objects.

HSE’s leaflet aims to help all employers in road haulage and distribution to improve their employees’ health and safety.

Although it draws on information from the haulage and distribution industry, almost everything here will apply to every operator of commercial vehicles.

Risk management
Insurers pick up the cost of accidents, damage to vehicles, legal liability and a range of other insured losses. By identifying areas of risk and implementing a framework to minimise or prevent the impact of an insured event, haulage companies can improve safety and increase profits.

Controlling risks with an emphasis on practical control and improvements to eliminate or reduce hazards are the recommendations that are put forward in the HSE’s publication.

Areas where improvements can be made include:
  • Employee training for drivers, maintenance and distribution staff
  • Telematics to help your drivers
  • Vehicle tracking, route planning and fuel management
  • Driver assessment
  • Safety devices such as cameras and autonomous emergency breaking
We can help you protect your contracting business. Simply call us on 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.
 
 
 
At a glance
  • The use of telematics is now well established, with clear evidence that it can reduce fleet risk and generate cost savings
  • While private motorists and large fleets are increasingly exploring these benefits, the uptake of telematics remains limited in the wider commercial fleet market
  • We look at how to overcome perceived barriers to telematics use and begin realising its potential
Telematics-1Telematics has become a hot topic in fleet risk management over recent years, with insurers, individuals and businesses increasingly exploring its potential.

With telematics technologies now well established on our roads, and mounting evidence for their benefits, some are even urging the government to make their use mandatory for high-risk drivers.

However, while telematics continues to gain traction with private motorists and businesses with large fleet risks, such as hauliers, its uptake remains limited across the wider commercial fleet market.

We look at the reasons for this limited uptake, and consider how you can help customers overcome any perceived barriers and start benefiting from telematics technology.

Cost of technology
When telematics was first utilised by the risk management community, many solutions were prohibitively expensive for the majority of customers, often requiring costly retrofits or annual service contracts. This made it difficult to justify to the wider commercial fleet market.

However, with telematics now a widespread, mass-market technology, the range of solutions has grown exponentially alongside significant reductions in cost.

Private motorists and commercial risk managers now have access to a variety of simple, cost-effective solutions to meet their needs. For example, free smartphone apps can be installed on drivers’ personal devices, giving employers the ability to remotely monitor and analyse the data captured.
Cost is therefore no longer a barrier to customers exploring the potential benefits of telematics for their organisation.

Lack of driver incentive
One of the biggest barriers to commercial fleets generating benefits from telematics, is the different incentives provided for private motorists and fleet drivers.

A private motorist knows that their telematics device could ultimately save them money via fuel savings, a reduction in collision risk and lower motor insurance premiums.

But a fleet driver does not have the same direct monetary incentive. An improvement in their driving behaviour may benefit their employer, but it is unlikely to result in a direct benefit to them.
In commercial situations, telematics must therefore be accompanied by something else to fill that void and incentivise better driver behaviour. There are a variety of methods to achieve this, from regular meetings with drivers to discuss the data captured, to offering financial incentives that reward good behaviours.

The key, however, is to have an element of line manager control where telematics data is regularly monitored and acted upon to drive improvements in behaviour.

Too difficult to manage
The importance of line manager control is in itself a perceived barrier to telematics. Many organisations will consider the task overly complex or fear that it will require too many resources.

However, unlike older telematics solutions – which may have required risk managers to analyse raw data themselves and identify trends – the latest applications typically make it very easy to understand and act upon the information captured.

Most applications will now allow managers to set certain parameters and receive notifications if drivers stray beyond them – for example, a push notification if a driver exceeds a posted speed limit or corners too fast.

Some applications will now even help incentivise drivers via ‘gamification’ of the data – for example, through leader boards, where employees are rewarded for positive behaviours and penalised for negative ones.

How we can help
Fleets that use telematics effectively often experience year-on-year improvements in their collision and claims rates, as well as lower fuel consumption.

However, while most organisations appreciate the benefits that telematics could generate, the barriers to effective implementation and use are frequently perceived as being too great.

We are happy to offer assistance to help overcome any perceived barriers and enable more organisations to start benefiting from telematics solutions.

For more information on telematics and a range of other fleet risk management tools, please contact one of our Account Managers.