The top two factors affecting your commercial auto insurance premiums haven’t changed. The history of claims within a fleet and the driving records of individual drivers will impact commercial insurance carrier rates. However, employers can still stay in control by employing mature, experienced and responsible drivers.
Once you have selected solid workers, the next step is to enfornace safety standards and provide them with the adequate rest and the tools they need to drive safely. There are a number of new tools that employers can take advantage of. New technologies and advances in underwriting are making it possible for emploeyrs of drivers to take a more pro-active approach to risk management and claims reduction. The ultimate goal is to lower your premiums.
Here are some things you can do to keep your premiums down:
- Consider using a monitoring service, such as SAMBA, to automate your drivers’ monitoring program. Drivers don’t always self-report their tickets, accidents and DUI issues. Services like SAMBA’s driver record monitoring routinely checks for new violations, DUI convictions, license suspensions, revocations, and approaching license renewal dates. You get a report each month, and you can take action, if warranted.
- Add GPS tracking to your vehicles. Advances in GPS tracking and displays enable you not just to track your vehicles’ whereabouts, but also monitors it for speeding.
- Turn the public into your eyes and ears. You’ve seen thsoe signs ont he backs of commercial vehicles which state, “How Am I Driving? Dial 555-555-555?” Turns out, they work. But if you do get complaints, it’s important to follow up in writing.
- Do a pre-screen of all new hires. You can pull their abstract from the DMV. You want people with few points on their licenses.
- Incidents happen. But if a driver has two or more at fault accidents within the past three years, you probably don’t want him or her on the road. DUIs can be a deal-breaker, so probe this carefully.
- Raise your deductible. For best results, keep your deductible up to at least $1,000. This keeps fender-benders off the books. The deductible is usually trivial compared to the potential claim if your driver causes bodily injury to someone else. Take the savings and put them aside to pay the fender-bender issues, or buy more liability or umbrella coverage.
- Maintain an ongoing safe driver program. You can reward drivers for a certain number of miles of incident-free driving, for example, or bonus all of your drivers with a share in premium savings if their safe records help you save money.
- If your state allows, periodically pull your drivers’ DMV records and inspect their driving habits off the job. If your state allows, consider a safe-driving caluse in the employment agreement. Don’t spend more on vehicles than necessary. Expensive vehicles mean higher premiums.
- Consider whether you need collision coverage. If you have an aging fleet, or you can afford to replace the occasional vehicle, consider cancelling collision.
Auto insurance companies are constantly adjusting their underwriting, striving to compete with each other for their share of the market. If your drivers have a good record, of if you can point to a number of these countermeasures designed to control your claims experience with your carrier, it pays to let Gunn Mower know.