Every little helps when it comes to controlling your overheads, reducing your operating expenses and thereby increasing the profitability of your haulage business.
Haulage insurance is likely to be one of your major ongoing costs, so saving money on it may prove to help the financial health of your business more than a little – so, here are a few tips which may help you to do just that:
Third party or comprehensive cover?
- the very minimum amount of cover you are legally required to have, of course, is third party insurance;
- the entirely reasonable perceived wisdom is that as the scope and nature of your cover increases, so too do the premiums you need to pay. Paradoxically, however, the reverse is often the case – the security of comprehensive insurance may in fact cost you less than either basic third party or still limited third party, fire and theft cover;
- this point is made by cheaper fuel lobbyists, Petrol Prices, who suggest that insurers are trying to discourage road users from arranging third party cover only and, so, mark up prices beyond those of fully comprehensive insurance;
- one of the classic ways of saving money on the cost of insurance premiums is to agree to an excess over and above any that may be compulsory. A further voluntary excess may earn you significant reductions in the ongoing cost of your insurance – but is going to leave you with a heftier bill to pay in the event of a claim;
- naming all the drivers who are going to be at the wheel of the vehicle is another conventional way of lowering the cost of your insurance premiums;
- clearly, this is possible only if you employ a particular team of drivers on a more or less regular basis;
- if you are hiring on a seasonal or casual basis, the selection and appointment of drivers may take greater care, particularly with respect to individual’s part driving records;
- checking this has become potentially more difficult for employers since the abolition in June of 2015 of the paper counterpart to the driving licence – which carried the record of past motoring convictions if not insurance claims actually made;
- a recent posting on the website of HGV UK, refers to guidance from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and describes the steps which either drivers or their employers must now take to access driving records through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) website;
- for the busy haulage contractor, negotiating your way through the increasingly complex world of HGV insurance may become something of a nightmare – making it all the more difficult to decide not only what cover you might really need, but also the range of insurance products that may be on the market and, most critically, those that offer the best value for money;
- this complicated matrix of objectives is something likely to call for the experience and expertise of a specialist provider of insurance for haulage contractors – the specialist knowledge of such providers helps to match the needs of the individual business owners with the haulage insurance products available, at competitive market rates;
Tachographs and telematics
- tachographs have long been your best tool for ensuring drivers’ compliance with domestic and European working hours directives;
- increasingly, however, the role of the simple and really quite basic tachograph is being overtaken by far more sophisticated telematics;
- these on board devices – or “black boxes” as they are often known – provide a wealth of real time information on everything from engine performance, fuel consumption and driver’s habits and driving styles;
- telematics are fast becoming a vital tool for insurers, too, in assessing the risks associated with those vehicles in which they are installed, allowing insurance premiums to be tailored more closely to the risks presented and, so, offering operators who make use of telematics the opportunity for reducing premiums.
Thanks to the developments of modern technology and to the increased sophistication of insurance products for HGV operators, there are a number of methods by which you might save money on the cost of your insurance.