The insurance industry is based on a balance between premiums coming in and settlements going out. The commercial auto insurance industry had been operating at a loss since at least 2011, and the time is coming when commercial auto carriers are going to start raising their rates to make up for those losses.
One of the primary causes of the increase in commercial auto insurance is the increase in the frequency and value of claims. Insurance companies are paying out millions of dollars in settlements to people involved in accidents with truckers and commercial fleet vehicles. This unexpected increase in the money going out in settlements means that the natural balance must be restored by raising premiums.
When we talk with our customers about commercial auto insurance, we always make recommendations that will help to keep their rates as low as possible. Now that insurers have given the indication that severe price increases are coming, the advice we offer seems to be more valuable than ever.
Monitor Your Drivers
It is critically important that fleet owners and trucking companies hire drivers with excellent driving records to keep premiums as low as possible. Companies also need to implement regular driver reviews to keep tabs on drivers that are racking up tickets and other infractions to either offer training to stop the damage from being done, or release problematic drivers.
It is now more important than ever that companies implement a driver safety program at least once each year for every driver they employ. Insurance companies want to see fleet owners being diligent about safety, and a recurring safety program that is updated to include current information is a valuable tool for companies to use.
Invest in Safe Technology
For commercial auto owners, investing in the latest safety gadgets can get expensive. Prior to the announced insurance premium hikes, it was cost prohibitive to invest in new vehicles that offered the latest safety features. But now an investment in those types of vehicles could pay for itself by knocking money of future commercial auto insurance premiums.
It is not necessary to invest in all of the latest safety technology to keep your premiums down. We always recommend that our customers meet with our business experts at least twice a year to discuss the safety technology that is available and develop a realistic plan for investing in vehicles that will keep insurance premiums down.
Remember to Take Us to Task As Well
We learn a lot from our clients, and sometimes even we learn about new ways to get lower insurance premiums on commercial auto insurance. It never hurts to request a quarterly review of your commercial auto insurance policies and to ask specific questions when your carrier submits a claim on your company’s behalf.
We always encourage our customers to be active in their commercial auto insurance claims, but a depressingly low amount of customers actually take us up on it. We want you to question each claim and ask about the companies that we use so that you are more informed on where your commercial auto insurance rates come from.
Any company that utilizes commercial auto insurance needs to be prepared to pay more for their premiums. The best approach is to get proactive about your commercial auto insurance and learn practical ways to keep your costs under control.