A Guide To Fleet Risk Management & Fleet Insurance Considerations.
When considering and comparing new vehicles to add to your fleet, risk management and insurance implications should always be at the forefront of your mind.
We spoke to Kevan Haughton again from our friends and insurance brokers Bricks & Motor in Bury to give us the key considerations for fleet risk management and fleet insurance.
What to consider…and why
It’s important to think about the specifications and features of each vehicle as this will have a significant impact on what you can safely use them for and the associated expenses for each.
User Safety and Security
Driver safety, load stability and security features should be the first points to check off during the shortlisting process.
Even if the vehicle being used is personally owned by a worker, their employer must ensure that it’s safe and suitable.
There are issues like fuel efficiency and emissions to think about. Understanding these can help understand likely running costs and impact on insurance.
Once a vehicle becomes part of a fleet or starts being used for commercial activities there are several responsibilities that should be shared between both managers and their drivers.
This includes ensuring appropriate reports and records are made.
These responsibilities are vital to ensure that each vehicle is safe for its intended use.
Taking Action to Minimise On-Going Cost
There are actions which can be taken on an on-going basis which will help reduce additional expense. These could include;
- Repairing any defects as soon as they occur and carrying out any maintenance and safety inspections in a timely and effective manner.
- Limiting the variety of vehicles within your fleet- this helps to maintain a good understanding of the standard and performance ability of each one. This will in turn make it easier to decide which vehicles can be used for certain tasks and to keep track of what each driver can or cannot operate.
- Ensuring all vehicles are insured for commercial use, appropriately maintained and have a valid MOT certificate (if necessary).
This is the minimum you should be doing to fulfil your responsibilities. Drivers and managers must understand the insurance cover each vehicle has and the conditions on the policies (e.g. maximum load height).
Making the Right Choice of Vehicles
When deciding which vehicles to purchase for your fleet- think about what restrictions you might want to have in place, such as engine size and type.
The performance of drivers can be enhanced by avoiding higher performance and/or prestige vehicles.
This can also help to keep insurance costs down.
It is also important to check that each driver has the right training and experience for the vehicle they’re assigned to and conduct regular driving licence checks.
Driver selection is just as, if not more, important than your vehicle purchase choices. It also reduces the chances of accidents and insurance claims which again can in turn reduce costs.
Vehicle Height / Weight Limits
Consider what the maximum height of vehicles (including car transporters and HGVs) that you purchase should be.
This is particularly important if its likely your drivers will have to take routes with potential obstacles like low bridges.
Editor : If you need more information about the dimensions and weight limits on the 2021 van models, you can now visit our super-easy-to-use Van Dimensions Guide.
Alongside this consideration it may also be worth exploring how additional technology could help, e.g. proximity warning devices and in-vehicle CCTV.
Regular Vehicle Checks
Work out how often each vehicle should be inspected. This will depend on what the vehicle is used for (e.g. towing) and mileage.
Some aspects should be checked on a weekly basis alongside the additional bespoke checks carried out as and when.
These checks include:
- Brake and power steering fluid levels
- Engine coolant and oil levels
- Windscreen washer fluid levels (including anti-freeze in winter)
- Ensuring the horn, lights, bulbs and reflectors are working
- Checking there is no damage to mirrors, wipers and windscreen
- Ensuring seat belts are in full working order with no damage
- Inspecting tyres, including the spare to check they have the correct pressure, tread depth and no sign of damage.
- Keeping windscreen and windows clean so that the driver’s field of vision isn’t restricted.
- Inspecting cabs and making sure they are kept tidy to minimise the risk of objects causing obstructions around the pedals and other controls.
There are also additional benefits for your business
Although these checks all ensure the safety of your fleet, you should also consider that a clean and well-maintained fleet will also make a good impression to your customer and be a shining representation of your business while out on the road!
A responsible business seen to care about reducing risks may also attract a higher quality of driver and help with staff retention as well building a great reputation as a responsible business when out on the road.
In our current climate it is important to consider your environmental impact so customers and insurance companies will reward those who consider factors such as reducing emissions and maximising fuel efficiency.
Equally, by playing your part to help minimise accidents it shows you care about increasing the safety of our roads for the wider public.
If you would like to find out more about your commercial fleet risk assessment and insurance options, visit the Bricks & Motors website using the button below.