Whether you’re well experienced in the courier industry or a complete newbie, it should come as no surprise that insurance can be one of the biggest costs in the business.
Happily, it’s also one of the easiest to save on. While of course you’d never want to go cheap and leave yourself or any employees unprotected, there are plenty of tips that can help lower your premiums. And in doing so, you save, insurers are less likely to have to pay out and drivers are safer.
Read on to find out how to secure these benefits for your firm.
Focus on Data
Before taking any action, you should find out which areas are most in need of improvement.
Firstly, make sure you have adequate, accurate information on each job type, vehicle and courier driver that you deal with. You can then check this information to identify areas of poor practice or high risk.
Secondly, cooperate with insurers to analyse your claims history. This should show up which issues are costing your firm more in premiums and causing headaches for insurers. Set this data against your own reports to best understand the issues you’re facing.
Having this information is crucial to each of the following tips. Without it, you’re just travelling blind when trying to work out the best course of action.
Hire and Train
One of the simplest ways to lower your premiums is to ensure you have a good workforce. This is important at all levels – you should make sure you’re using quality mechanics, for instance – but it’s easiest to focus on the drivers you employ.
Demographics are your friend in the hiring process: under-25s tend to carry much higher risks than more experienced drivers, for instance. Also, you should use background checks to identify any red flags in a prospective courier’s record.
Once you’ve built up a good team, make sure you keep them trained up with a programme that’s designed (around the data above) to meet your firm’s needs. Some insurers offer discounts for training and regular safety updates. But even if you don’t get an automatic reduction, better training will bring a host of benefits, with fewer collisions, fewer claims and, yes, lower rates.
Make training a long-term, continuous investment and you’ll see improvements across the board.
A courier business is usually very tech-focused, especially when it comes to providing data to firms and insurers. GPS tracking, for instance, is crucial in logistics – especially in the event that a vehicle is stolen. Telematics, meanwhile, provides accurate information on what your drivers are doing on the road, which can protect you from fraudulent claims and help settle disputes much more quickly and fairly.
Put Drivers First
One of your biggest responsibilities as a fleet manager is looking after your team. As well as being hugely costly, injuries can be traumatic and can make your firm a far less harmonious place to work.
Avoid this by being conscious of putting your workers first. Never skimp on safety, and stress that telematics, for instance, are to protect your team, not to spy on them. Sure, you want your fleet to think twice about driving unsafely when they know they’re being monitored, but you also want to avoid putting them at any risk.
Finally, savvy managers should always compare rates and ask insurers for better deals. Read contracts carefully and push back on any items you’re unsure of. But above all, work with each individual courier you employ to devise a data-driven, training-focused, tech-smart approach to fleet safety.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs for courier drivers in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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