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Understanding the Factors Which Affect Commercial Auto Insurance (Refresh)

Owning a business with a fleet of commercial vehicles means ensuring you have the right insurance in place. Several factors will affect the price you pay to insure your fleet. Understanding those factors will help you get a better rate and possibly improve your options when choosing a policy.

The Number of Miles Driven

The number of miles you put on your fleet each year will play a role in how much you pay to insure them. The more miles you drive, the higher your risk. You also have to factor in that the more miles you put on each vehicle, the faster they will depreciate or lose value. So even if you maintain them properly, higher miles will cost you in the long run.

Experienced Drivers

One of the biggest factors many fleet managers forget to consider is the experience of their drivers. Drivers with very little time behind the wheel may cause your insurance rates to spike. Hiring drivers with many years of experience and requiring each one to take a defensive driving class will help to keep your premiums low.

Fuel Prices

It may be hard to believe, but fuel prices also play a role in how your fleet insurance premiums are calculated. Lower fuel prices often mean that more miles may be put on the vehicles raising your premiums. While this isn’t always the case, it may be an issue for some companies depending on the types of vehicles they have in their fleet and how fuel-efficient they are.

Driving While Distracted

Fleet drivers must use their GPS and other tools while they are driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and can increase your fleet’s insurance premiums dramatically if an accident does occur. Work with your drivers to make sure their distractions are kept to a minimum.

Over-eager Attorneys

Another factor that many people overlook is that over-eager attorneys may also force rate increases. In the past, most companies would work out fair settlements on their own when the damage was minor. Now, attorneys are getting involved in settlement negotiations that involve even very small amounts. This can be quite costly, especially if your company does not have a legal team in-house.

Higher Medical Costs

The higher medical costs that are associated with accidents also factor into the cost of your premiums. While it is something you hope you never have to deal with, medical costs continue to go up every year. Therefore, being fully prepared is important, even if it does give your fleet insurance a boost every once in a while.

Tips to Lower Commercial Auto Insurance Costs

  1. Bundle Your Auto Insurance with Other Policies

    Bundling several policies together will help you get a better discount than buying them separately. Also, you will have to make a single payment for premium instead of paying separately for multiple policies.

  2. Keep Your Vehicle Secure

    Your vehicle’s security level impacts your auto insurance premiums. Parking it safely in a garage or private car park and adding security devices to minimize theft and vandalism can lower your insurance rates.

  3. Assess Your Coverage Needs

    It is essential to assess your needs and add endorsements accordingly. For example, some insurance providers may allow you to use a rental vehicle while your business vehicle is being repaired after an accident. You can add this coverage if you do not have a replacement/backup vehicle. You can also add hired and non-owned coverage if you want to protect vehicles that you do not own or your employees’ vehicles that are being used for business purposes.

  4. Hire Employees with Good Driving Record

    Employees with a bad driving record including, traffic violations, speeding, drag racing, and driving with a suspended license or under the influence, can increase your auto insurance premiums. Therefore, make sure your employees have a clean driving record.

  5. Keep a Good Credit Score

    A poor credit score may increase your auto insurance rates. Therefore, maintain a good credit score by paying your debts and bills on time.

  6. Consider Paying Your Premiums Annually

    Paying premiums annually rather than in monthly installments will help you save on your auto insurance costs.

When you have to consider insuring your fleet, it’s important to know what factors go into calculating the costs. Talk to our reputable agents of CF&P Insurance Brokers. We can go over your questions and make sure you have the answers you need to make an informed decision that will protect your company’s fleet.

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