With fuel prices squeezing the budgets of hauliers everywhere, it is increasingly necessary to find areas where hauliers can cut costs. One such area is insurance – while insurance is essential for all hauliers, many are paying more than they need by not exploring their options and taking advantage of the savings available from a specialist truck insurance provider.
Just how badly are fuel price rises affecting the industry? From April 2010 to April 2011, the cost of diesel to commercial vehicle fleets rose by a staggering 15.6 percent. However, competition and customer demand means that these increases have not been offset by a rise in rates charged to customers. According to the Freight Transport Association, vehicle operating costs rose by a total of 6.8%, far in excess of the 3.4% increase in domestic haulage rates, and still well ahead of the 5.4% rise in international haulage rates.
If hauliers wish to survive in this climate then it is imperative that they find ways to cut overheads such as insurance. In addition to taking out a policy from a specialist provider, there are a few other ways that hauliers can ensure they are not paying more than they need to for insurance.
- Take advantage of a history of no claims bonuses to reap savings. Investing in driver training and vehicle maintenance can help to cut accidents and hence increase the no claims bonus.
- Increase the excess. While this can leave the policyholder out of pocket if an accident occurs it can be a good way to make savings on premium costs. Make sure you fully weigh the risks and benefits of this approach and that you have the funds available to pay the excess if necessary.
- Consider named drivers. Insurance companies will often offer discounts to hauliers who have specific named drivers for their trucks. The best deals are for those with a single named driver per vehicle, but anything is cheaper than an ‘any driver’ policy. You may be able to find a flexible policy that allows drivers to be added and removed at short notice.
- Train your drivers. In addition to helping cut accidents and increase a no claims bonus, many insurance companies offer discounts to hauliers who regularly train their drivers and improve their skills.
- Increase your security. Reducing the risk of theft helps to keep your vehicle safer and makes it less likely you will make a claim. Accordingly, insurance companies often offer reduced rate policies to hauliers who have effective security provisions in place. While tracking devices are often already a requirement under many policies, additional security provisions can include alarm systems, immobilisers, and a secure storage facility with CCTV cameras.
- Make sure you aren’t paying for extras you don’t need. It is always worth your while to go through your insurance policy to see exactly what is and is not covered. You may find that your policy includes clauses that you do not need. Removing this cover can help you to cut your costs.