Fleet managers, whether responsible for commercial or private vehicles, are almost always under pressure to manage their costs downwards.
As part of that, it’s inevitable that some attention will be directed towards fleet insurance and its associated premiums.
While in the overall scheme of your operational costs fleet insurance may be a relatively small ticket item, it’s nevertheless something you’ll be under pressure to consider. That can lead to the danger of simply feeling you have to go out and find the cheapest policy, as opposed to the one that’s going to meet your requirements.
The result there, as some fleet managers have discovered to their cost, can be problematic. All those pressures from your colleagues to take that bargain basement policy to get costs down might be forgotten the very instant it proves to be inadequate!
However, there’s no need to give up. It is possible, typically, to save money on fleet insurance by taking one or more of the following steps:
- discuss with a specialist fleet insurance provider as to whether or not they can reduce their quotation if you agree to take a higher voluntary excess on your policy. If they can offer this, it may reduce your premium;
- consider the profile of your fleet. Some prestigious marques are simply more expensive to insure than others even when almost everything else is near identical. Vehicle selection is a complex process and insurance cost is only one component of it but don’t forget to take it into account. True, changing your fleet profile isn’t going to happen overnight but it may be something worth bearing in mind in future;
- look at any high-risk components in your current premium. Typically things such as younger drivers or drivers with major motoring convictions can push your insurance costs up significantly;
- at the other end of the scale, look into adopting good practice in order to take advantage of potential discounts. Examples might include garaging or otherwise securing your fleet overnight, using enhanced vehicle and site alarms plus fitting approved anti-theft devices;
- check what you’re paying for. It’s not unusual to find fleet insurance that’s providing great cover – but against risks that don’t actually exist in the context of a particular fleet operation. A good example is continental driving cover, which may be fine but less so if your vehicles never have and never will leave the UK. In other words, be clear you’re not paying for cover that’s irrelevant;
- if you manage a private vehicle fleet of the company car variety, you may wish to look at options for reducing private mileages or seeking a contribution from employees towards them in not only fuel but also insurance terms. That’s because the higher the annual mileage band on a vehicle, the higher the insurance premium is likely to be.
This involves moving away from the fully expensed company car option and therefore will involve HR procedures and some additional administration in terms of mileage recording. It can be controversial initially and there might be HMRC adjustments required too but once implemented, the insurance savings in reduced mileages (or the recovery of employee contributions) may be non-trivial.
An experienced broker or provider of fleet insurance may have plenty of other recommendations that will be specific to your individual situation. It’s worth a discussion at the earliest possibility.