When you hear the term “fleet insurance,” you likely assume it’s a regular policy with several vehicles covered under one plan. However, fleet insurance isn’t quite the same as regular insurance. Typically, fleet insurance plans are there to help save companies money and make it safer for their vehicles to be out on the roads.
But what exactly is the difference between fleet insurance and regular insurance? And, how do you find the right insurance for your unique fleet? We’ll cover that and more below.
What Is Fleet Insurance?
While the differences may not be easy to spot, commercial fleet insurance and the kind of insurance regular motorists carry have key differences. The most notable is that fleet insurance is often much cheaper. When you use a regular insurance plan to cover multiple vehicles, you are essentially insuring each vehicle independently.
Fleet insurance allows you to purchase liability coverage for all of your vehicles, including assets such as tractor-trailers, ships, and even aircrafts, all of which can be further protected using GPS asset tracking as well. You do not have to use these assets in the same way to cover them all under one policy.
How Many Vehicles Are Needed to Be Considered a Fleet?
Most consider a small fleet to be at least five to 10 vehicles. However, some insurance companies may consider as few as three vehicles a fleet. In other words, the insurance companies will decide what is and isn’t a fleet.
What Does Fleet Insurance Cover?
The essentials of what fleet insurance offers sound pretty similar to standard insurance, with the notable exception of how many vehicles and assets are on the policy. However, there are a few other key differences to consider, like what the policy will cover.
With typical insurance, there is always a primary driver for a vehicle, even if there is more than one vehicle on the policy. Some policies may only cover the primary driver for their specified vehicle and won’t cover them if they drive any other vehicle.
Other policies cover the driver, no matter which vehicle they choose to drive. Fleet insurance, on the other hand, covers the vehicles no matter which employee is driving it. You could have thousands of drivers employed in your fleet, and it won’t matter which vehicle they choose to drive. Your assets are still covered in the event of an accident.
In terms of what a fleet insurance policy covers, that’s up to you. At the very least, the vehicles will receive the state’s basic coverage. You’re able to add on other features such as roadside assistance or uninsured motorist protection. It depends entirely on the fleet insurance company you choose and the policy features you wish to have or add on to your specific policy.
The Benefits of Fleet Insurance
Fleet drivers are on the road about 60 hours per week, meaning each of your fleet vehicles is as well. This greatly increases their risk of an accident. Employers pay an average of $75,000 per accident, and that’s not including a lawsuit due to injury, death, the loss of business due to delays, or even the loss of an employee to death. It also doesn’t factor in any impact these events could have on your insurance or Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) score. As such, costs for a single accident can reach into the millions. The obvious benefit of fleet auto insurance is to protect you from some of these costs. Without such insurance, your costs are much higher and have the potential to cripple your fleet-based business for good.
Other benefits include saving time and energy by updating one policy instead of multiple policies. In the event of a claim, the process is much smoother with fleet vehicle insurance. Some companies also provide insurance that covers the costs of the goods being transported, which can also be tracked using fleet GPS tracking to lower insurance premiums. Transported goods should be insured if they are essential to your business. This means choosing a policy that covers transported goods is even more efficient than traditional fleet insurance.
Coverage to Look for in Your Fleet Insurance Policy
Though many individual cars can get away with the basic state requirements for insurance coverage, many fleets cannot. This is because fleets are on the road more frequently and therefore have more advanced needs. Some of these unique needs require expansions or adjustments in coverage, such as:
- An increase in coverage for physical damage: Your assets are much more expensive than a typical sedan and are essential to your bottom line.
- A raise for liability coverage: Drivers are hard to manage, especially when there are a dozen or more of them. No matter the training, their extended time on the road often lends itself to distractions.
- Product insurance: Depending on your business, you may need coverage for your cargo.
- Roadside assistance: Your drivers may be spread across the state or even the country. As such, you may not be able to send help when they need it — that’s where roadside assistance comes in.
Lowering Your Premium by Leveraging Software, Telematics, and Other Assets
Many insurance companies that offer individual insurance plans also offer fleet insurance. Your best option, when selecting insurance, is to speak to a fleet insurance broker. They’ll help you find the best deals for your company. You can compare quotes to ensure you’re getting the best price. There are other things you can do to reduce insurance costs or receive a better quote, including:
- Improve insurance scores
- Seek insurance discounts
- Combine policies
- Improve driver safety and training
- Improve vehicle lifecycling
- Improve your CSA score
- Use a fleet GPS tracker
- Look for telematics insurance or pay-as-you-go insurance
- Implement telematics software
Leveraging technology, such as telematics systems, is a great and comprehensive way to lower insurance premiums. Telematics systems monitor vehicle diagnostics in real-time to provide data on hard driving behaviors, including idling, speeding, acceleration, maneuvering, and more. You’ll also receive alerts for vehicle issues long before the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) appear.
This data helps you modify driver training and behavior, engage in preventative maintenance more effectively, and even reduce insurance premiums. This is possible because telematics devices lower your risk of an accident. In essence, the device is seen as a safety measure much like a seatbelt, automatic braking, or an anti-theft alarm.
Learn more about how telematics devices can reduce costs for your fleet. The team at Azuga is here to help take your fleet to the next level by boosting productivity, improving safety, and providing real-time data. Request a demo today.