For some fleet managers, comparing fleet insurance options is very much a question of looking largely at the price.
That’s not surprising. The harsh reality of business life is that every fleet manager needs to keep a watchful eye on cost containment and the amount they’re paying for vehicle or fleet insurance will be a significant part of that.
However, as experienced fleet managers know, cost is only one component of fleet insurance. An exclusive focus on it alone can bring problems downstream because the unwary are prone to forget that the cost of a policy will be instantly irrelevant to all concerned in the context of needing to make a claim.
Should that happen, your focus will switch to other things and they are elements you must consider at the time you first select your policy.
Comparing fleet cover
Here are a few things you may wish to examine closely when you’re trying to compare fleet insurance (not in priority sequence):
- Having warned against the dangers of looking at it alone, of course it’s an important factor. Be clear though that you know how an apparently attractive price pans out in terms of the cover you’re getting for the money. What’s ‘cheap’ for another fleet manager might not end up being cheap for you;
- Just how much will you need to pay as the first part of any claim? Typically the higher the excess, the lower your premium may be but be certain the ‘balance’ between the two is right for your company;
- All fleet policies are likely to have some stipulations relating to driver qualifications and ages. Some policies though may be more restrictive than others. Be clear that whatever the policy states in this respect, its conditions are ones you’re happy or able to comply with in terms of your existing personnel;
- mileage/kilometrage. This is particularly important with some seemingly cheap policies. If the quotation’s annual mileage allowance is set too low for the nature of your business, then typically you can ask for higher thresholds to be used but if you do, you may see the premium rocket. So, look for an initial price that is based upon a sensible annual mileage allowance;
- new for old replacement. This is a complicated area where there can be huge variations between policies. Some insurers might only offer this if the vehicle involved in the claim was, itself, almost brand new. Others may be more flexible and offer it for older vehicles;
- courtesy vehicle use. This might be exceptionally important if you have a vehicle off the road following an accident and you or your colleagues need to get somewhere;
- European cover. Some policies only cover UK use with trips across the water into Europe not being included or only covered on a case-by-case basis with extra premiums payable. That might be fine if you never leave the UK but if you do, you might be better served with European cover included as standard.
There are a very significant number of factors to be considered before you commit to any specific fleet insurance policy.
It’s worth taking the time to think about the above issues and also perhaps taking some advice from a specialist fleet insurance broker. It might help you to find a more suitable policy and at an attractive price.