How sustainability directly affects your fleet insurance
By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 11:39
You might not be getting the best out of your fleet
In the latest article from Bluedrop Services, Mark McKenna looks at how sustainability could directly affect your fleet
Fleet management plays an essential part in reducing the cost of fleet insurance for a fleet of vehicles, and sustainability and driver safety currently come top within a fleet manager’s priorities.
You are likely to be feeling the pressure of reducing your carbon emissions and there are a number of factors that have given rise to the importance of sustainability including businesses becoming more environmentally aware, climate change, government tax regimes, the rising cost of fuel, and customer pressure.
Lower emissions allow fleet managers to pay less to the tax man and as government continues to focus on setting new benchmarks for emissions it is more important to align fleet policies with these targets and the rising costs of carbon. Not only will focusing on going green save the business money in tax and fuel costs, but it will also in turn help to save on your fleet insurance.
Most cost-saving strategies for fleet management are directly linked to sustainability as CO2 output relates to the amount of fuel that is burnt, therefore businesses that implement carbon limits and targets are more likely to save significant costs. Fleet car insurance costs can be reduced when sustainability and driver safety practices are implemented on a daily basis. Steady improvements to these practices over time is the best way to manage your fleet and ensure that drivers buy in to the green targets and understand the reasons for taking this route.
6 ways to reduce your fleet insurance with sustainability policies:
- 1 – Capping business millage
Capping business millage is a common technique to reduce costs. Mileage directly affects your fleet insurance as well as fuel consumption. The more your vehicles are on the road, the more risk they incur. So whilst implementing sustainability by capping millage you reduce unnecessary journeys and keep your fleet insurance down.
- 2 – Better route planning
Route planning technology helps fleets and businesses be really clear about how to schedule vehicles. Access to the quickest routes and traffic information can save time on the road and reduce mileage and fleet insurance risk.
- 3 – Manage vehicle utilisation
A focus on managing your vehicle utilisation will identify underutilised vehicles as well as looking at opportunities such as sending your closet vehicle to a new assignment. Optimal fleet utilisation will lower fleet costs, which, in turn, will lead to a greener fleet and reduced fleet insurance premiums.
- 4 – Investing in driver training and technology
Technology can be implemented in-vehicle to measure MPG, distance travelled, fuel consumption, idling time, harsh braking, over-revving, and CO2 emissions. Profiling of this data can then be used to offer fleets a way to drive down their fleet insurance costs.Training can include things like developing better anticipation on the road to aid braking and improving gear changes for better fuel consumption. Other methods include encouraging defensive driving techniques such as reducing vehicle speed, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, concentration techniques and hazard perception.Investing in driver training and technology to measure performance can eliminate bad driving habits reducing CO2 emissions, wasted fuel costs, and fleet insurance costs. Cameras can also be fitted to provide evidence of accident fault, helping with fleet insurance claims. It’s a win-win situation.
- 5 – Consider new fuel additives
There has been a recent surge of new fuel additives into the market with promises to save fleets incredible amounts on the price of fuel. With claims they can save up to 20% on fuel bills, reduce repair costs and carbon emissions it is no wonder they are receiving a great amount of press and interest from fleet managers.
- 6 – Careful choice of vehicle
Take advantage of technical improvements and manufacturer enhancements of vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Fleet selection is aiding companies to go green and means they can reinforce company policies and priorities by moving towards hybrids, diesels or smaller cars for their fleet selection.
For haulage fleets double-deck or long-tail articulated lorries can also save on journeys and fuel consumption due to increased load. There are many incentives to take advantage of for buying greener vehicles or alternative fuels which can impact upon your fleet insurance. Be careful to investigate fleet insurance costs whilst looking at your fleet selection.
As you can see companies have an obligation to take care of their employees and unsafe driving and fuel emissions can cost a business untold sums in terms of tax, employee injuries, fines, vehicle or stock damage, loss in productivity and increased fleet insurance costs! Don’t be caught out falling behind the competition and start gradually introducing your fleet to sustainable measures to reduce your fleet costs now.
Mark McKenna is a Commercial Insurance Specialist for Bluedrop Services, specialist insurance brokers with in-depth knowledge and expertise in the motor fleet industry.