Truck insurance is expensive, especially for a large fleet. As a fleet manager, you want to make sure your fleet has the best possible coverage at a rate you can afford. Fortunately, there are ways you can lower insurance premium rates without sacrificing the coverage you need.
Insurance premiums are based on risk assessments. Insurers determine the probability of a fleet filing a claim, then base the price off this data. This means if you can demonstrate that your fleet is safe on the road and less likely to be involved in an accident, you can save on fleet insurance premiums. Read on to learn how.
Equip All Vehicles with GPS Tracking and Dashcams
The first step you need to take is to ensure all of your vehicles are equipped with the latest in safety technology. This should include GPS tracking devices to show you where vehicles are in the case of vehicle theft. You’ll also want to install dual-facing dashcams that give you the full picture of what’s happening both inside and outside your vehicle in the event of an accident. Of course, these technologies can benefit your fleet, even outside of theft, accidents, or other incidents.
Today’s GPS trackers offer much more than a pin on a map. They can track dangerous behaviors like speeding and hard braking, showing you which drivers may need a defensive driving refresher. They can also provide actionable insights to help you save money in other areas and optimize fleet efficiency.
Dashcams too have come a long way since the days of simply being basic recording devices. Today’s professional dashcams are AI-powered, giving you alerts when drivers are drowsy or distracted. And they’re the best way to combat cash-for-crash insurance fraud schemes that often target commercial fleets.
With all of these safety features, it’s no surprise that many insurers will give you a discount for simply installing dashcams and GPS tracking devices in each vehicle. But the savings don’t stop there.
Build a Culture of Safety
What is the company culture of your fleet? Is it a hard-driving, go-go-go attitude aimed at boosting efficiency? Or is it a safety-first focus, ensuring that drivers have enough time in their daily schedules to maintain safe driving practices while still getting the job done effectively? The answer could literally mean the difference between life and death for commercial drivers and others who share the road with them.
Building a culture of safety is surprisingly easy, but it does require intention and action. This focus generally won’t come naturally as many drivers don’t think about safe driving practices while they go about their day-to-day work. As a fleet manager, it is your responsibility to inspire drivers toward safe practices, ensuring everyone’s protection on the road.
Programs like Driver Safety Rewards as a Service from Azuga can make a big difference in fleet safety. Each driver is given a score based on their driving behaviors over time. They can see their own score as well as the scores of others in the fleet. At the end of the week, month, or whatever time frame you choose, the top driver in the fleet gets a bonus in the form of a gift card of their choice. This creates a friendly competition between drivers to be the safest truck on the road, keeping safety at the forefront of their minds and inspiring them to work toward a better safety score with each shift.
Offer In-Cab Coaching
Pointing out bad driving behaviors after the fact can be helpful, but real-time in-cab coaching is far more effective. If you confront drivers at the end of a shift or even days after an incident occurs, they may not even remember or be aware of what they did wrong. Instead of a “gotcha” moment brought up later when the driver is no longer even on the road, offer helpful in-cab coaching that points out behaviors as they occur, allowing for immediate corrective action.
How can you do this when you can’t be physically present in the cab with each driver? Fortunately, technology can solve this problem too. AI-powered dash cameras can keep an eye on your drivers for you, then alert them to keep their eyes on the road and avoid distractions, all without any input from the fleet manager. Telematics devices can offer similar alerts when a driver is speeding or otherwise exhibiting unsafe driving habits.
Keep Up with Maintenance
A poorly maintained vehicle is a liability you can’t afford if you’re trying to decrease insurance premiums. Insurers don’t want to pay out claims because a truck blew a tire and caused an accident. Similarly, commercial vehicle breakdowns create unsafe conditions on the road that can result in insurance claims. If you want the best possible insurance rates, be sure to keep up with fleet maintenance and stay ahead of these problems.
A good fleet management software allows you to get ahead of maintenance needs by scheduling routine maintenance tasks like replacing brakes and filters, rotating or replacing tires, and changing oil. The best software options will consider hours and miles driven, rather than just assigning an arbitrary date for this maintenance to be done. Be sure that your software takes into account the age of your vehicle and the real-world conditions it routinely endures.
Preventative maintenance is also incredibly important for any fleet looking to boost safety and save on insurance premiums. Telematics devices that connect directly with each vehicle’s onboard computer can pinpoint problems before they even become noticeable to drivers. You can then make repairs before they lead to breakdowns and mechanical failures.
All of these procedures, from installing dash cams to predictive maintenance, lead to lower fleet costs and a greater safety record for your fleet. And of course, that means lower insurance premiums.
Take Advantage of Insurance Telematics
Finally, insurance telematics is a great way of showing your insurer that your fleet has a focus on safety that makes a real difference on the road. Insurance telematics allows insurers to directly access telematics data generated by your fleet. They can see reports about safe driving behaviors, fleet maintenance details, and everything else that could impact your fleet’s risk assessment. Armed with this information, your insurer can make a more informed decision about your premium rates, often leading to substantial savings for fleets who follow best practices.
Call your insurer to discuss telematics and if they offer such a program, be sure to give them access to all of your fleet telematics data. Real-world data will usually work in your favor, especially if your fleet works to improve safety on the roads.
Ready to get started on boosting fleet safety and saving on truck insurance costs? Contact the experts at Azuga and learn about all the ways we can help keep your fleet safe on the road.