Managing the insurance needs of company vehicles can be time consuming and confusing. Just keeping track of policy renewal dates, negotiating pricing and juggling excesses can be a drain on administrative resources. That’s why businesses with three or more vehicles might consider fleet insurance as a catch-all to cover their vehicle insurance needs.

Fleet insurance

Fleet insurance eliminates the need to insure each vehicle individually. This type of insurance is suitable for small-to-medium-sized businesses with a range of vehicle types from small trucks to utes, vans and cars.

It is priced around group rates and, while driver experience is a factor used to determine the premium, individual drivers’ histories are softened based on the entire fleet’s claims experience.

Typically, businesses need at least three or more vehicles to be eligible for mini-fleet insurance or about 15 for more medium-sized fleets.

Getting the right cover

The hassle and disruption associated with having a vehicle off the road can cost your business time, money and reputation. That’s why it is important to have adequate insurance cover in place, including replacement vehicles as part of the policy.

Each vehicle performs a different function in the business – so it is worth seeing an experienced insurance broker like JMD Ross to assess and cover risks that are unique to your business.

Policies differ, depending on the size, type and applications of the vehicles, and your unique requirements.

Managing a fleet of vehicles

Managing a fleet of work vehicles means more than just handing out the keys. Someone has to take responsibility for monitoring driver behaviour, maintenance and the safety of road users.

The duty on an employer to provide a safe working environment for employees extends to when they are on the road, away from the business premises. For example, driver fatigue is a significant risk for businesses with vehicle fleets.

A new initiative on the market to help manage risk is driver telematics to measure driving safety issues, such as speed, braking, cornering, location and journey time. That data can help manage risk and bring down premiums.

Better driving can prevent accidents and save up to 15% in fuel costs.

Some businesses choose to outsource fleet arrangements to companies whose sole business it is to ensure cost and safety efficiencies across the full cycle of ownership.

Who pays when drivers misbehave?

There are strict government rules about making drivers more accountable in fleet vehicles, and companies should be clear with employees about who is responsible for fines and penalties.

Copping a speeding ticket or parking fine in a large fleet, weeks after the infringement, means keeping careful records of who is using which vehicle. This is particularly important in a large fleet, as hundreds of cars can accumulate thousands of dollars in infringement notices over a few years.

Fleet management is a complicated business. But understanding where and when your vehicles are being used is important in managing your company’s fleet.

If you’d like to know more about fleet insurance, please contact JMD Ross.

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