Many businesses including trades like plumbers, builders, engineers and taxi services, rely on a fleet of commercial vehicles to help with the running of day-to-day operations. When looking at protecting your business assets, a commercial fleet insurance policy can be more affordable and practical than insuring the vehicles individually.
How many vehicles count as a fleet?
Depending on the insurance company you decide to go with, the minimum number of vehicles can differ. Some require you to have more than five to purchase fleet insurance, others will allow as little as two cars. The most cost-effective way of taking out this insurance is if you have at least three vehicles on the policy.
A variety of businesses can be covered using fleet insurance such as haulage, private hire, courier and other transportation purposes. Most insurers allow you to cover a mixture of vehicles under one policy, but if they have an “any vehicle” policy, check what specifics are covered.
Maintain your fleet to maximize mileage
One of the best types of insurance to protect your fleet from mechanical failure and/or accidents due to damaged chassis parts is to ensure regular maintenance. Even regular washing/waxing will prevent rust damage.
Here are some recommendations of things you can do to maintain your fleet:
- Regular washing of the exterior, underside, and interior of the vehicle (note that maintaining the interior will also improve resale value when the time comes).
- Wax the exterior of the vehicle once monthly to protect the clear coat (shine) of the vehicle.
- Hire a fleet mechanic or service to change all fluids at recommended intervals.
- As above, have a professional on hand to inspect all vehicles at pre-determined intervals to diagnose needed and soon-to-be-needed repairs (particularly critical items like tires, brakes, and chassis components).
- Have employees do a circle check of the vehicle before they drive it every day (this should include the entire lighting system, tire pressure, oil and transmission fluid levels, power steering fluid, dashboard fan, and noting any warning lights displayed on the dash for later inspection or to prevent a compromised vehicle being allowed on the road.)
What types of insurance are available to protect a fleet of vehicles?
In terms of cover, the options available are similar to standard car insurance. Third party is the legal minimum amount of cover for any vehicle in the UK. This policy protects other people if there is an accident which was yours or one of your driver’s fault. With third party however, the damage to your own vehicles or any injuries you may suffer aren’t covered, this is where you will need comprehensive cover.
With one single renewal date and the potential of a bigger discount if you’re adding multiple vehicles onto the policy, save admin time and money and get fleet insurance for your vehicles. Are you covered if someone writes your company car or van off? Why not look into gap insurance from a specialist provider like ALA. Gap insurance is designed to protect you against financial loss if any of the vehicles covered are written off.
As comprehensive insurance companies will only cover the current value of your vehicle, they may not pay out enough to cover a like-for-like replacement or clear the finance settlements. Don’t leave your business exposed to having to pay out the difference in money and get yourself a gap insurance policy today.
Maintaining a business fleet takes a lot of monitoring, maintenance, and ensuring you have the proper insurance coverage to protect you and your employees from costly injury and downtime in the event of breakdowns or accidents — regardless if you or your employees are at fault or another party causes that accident. Following the tips above are essentials, not to be taken as an afterthought when problems occur.