24 February 2020

How to keep bulk fleet insurance costs under control

Running a bulk logistics fleet, however large or small, is a costly business. There are seemingly endless lists of items to budget for, and the finest margins can make the difference between profit and loss.

Fleet insurance for bulk logistics, or courier business insurance, enables a bulk logistics business to cover all of its vehicles on a single policy, with one renewal date and one expenditure to manage. It’s obviously a compulsory expense, but this can mean it’s a cost that fleet managers don’t really think about or look to limit, until there’s a sharp hike in their premium.

The key to keeping bulk fleet insurance as low as possible is to look at your business in the same  way as an underwriter does. Here are several ways to ensure your bulk logistics operation mitigates the risks associated with high fleet insurance costs.

Invest in trade association membership

Meeting the criteria required for official trade association membership, such as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) or the Road Haulage Association (RHA), signals to insurers that your business operates to industry standards.

Secure your fleet at base  

It’s not only while they’re in the field that your vehicles, and their cargo, could be a target for thieves. Ensuring that your base of operations includes a secure garage or locked car park for vehicles kept there at night can help to lower your insurance premium. Install immobilisers and alarms on your vehicles – these can be used by your drivers in between drops as well as at night – and think about installing CCTV cameras and/or an integrated access control system to cover your vehicle lockup.    

Limit driver turnover

Your drivers are the most crucial factor when it comes to the road safety of your fleet. In an ideal world, a bulk haulage insurer will look for a roster of regular drivers who have been driving for your operation for several years, with limited turnover. Rightly or wrongly, high numbers of drivers leaving your firm, or not staying for very long, can undermine your credibility as an employer in the eyes of insurers. The ages of your drivers are also a consideration. A team of experienced drivers – generally seen as those over 25 and under 65, and with clean records – will be the most cost-effective to insure. That said, it’s not always possible to restrict your workforce in this way, especially with rising numbers of drivers reaching retirement age. If your business does employ drivers under 25, having them drive exclusively during the day and limiting the mileage they cover can help to keep insurance costs low.

Prove responsible driving through vehicle telematics

These days, on-board vehicle tracking and sensor-enabled technology can actually prove that your drivers operate their vehicles to a certain standard. Bulk logistics firm that fit cab-mounted video systems and/or telematics systems can reap the rewards of more affordable fleet insurance, as long as the solutions capture evidence of responsible driving and nothing potentially dangerous, such as speeding.

Telematics systems can be used as a training tool in themselves to help ensure good results across a fleet. Any poor driving habits are recorded and transmitted back to a central data repository and can be used to raise awareness with drivers and educate them to refine their behaviour.

Reduce all kinds of fleet management costs with bulk logistics optimisation software

Bulk logistics operators are also more likely to receive the best possible fleet insurance rates by communicating closely with their insurance brokers and keeping them informed of changes as they happen. However, on an operational basis, there’s much that a specialist bulk logistics management system can help a fleet manager achieve in terms of reducing costs. Take a look at our blog for more ways to cut fleet expenses, or contact us to find out more.

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