Many companies rely on a fleet of commercial vehicles to complete daily business operations. Taxi services, car rental companies, delivery services and construction companies are just a few examples of industries that may maintain a fleet of vehicles. A commercial fleet insurance policy can be more affordable than insuring the vehicles individually.
2012 U.S. Fleet Statistics
- There are currently more than 5.4 million fleet cars in service in the U.S.
- Of these fleet cars, about 1.7 million are rental cars; 1.2 million are government vehicles; and 834,000 are commercial or utility vehicles
- The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs operating in the country exceeds 11.7 million
- Of these fleet trucks, about 3 million are commercial or utility vehicles; 2.7 million are government vehicles; and 2.1 are rental vehicles
What Is Commercial Fleet Insurance?
You can purchase fleet insurance to cover liability risks for all of your company’s vehicles. These can include cars, buses, vans, SUVs and trucks from construction vehicles to tractor-trailers. Vehicles insured under a fleet insurance plan do not need to be used for the same purpose. For example, you can insure your construction vehicles and commercial cars under the same policy.
If you have a smaller business, you may be wondering how many vehicles constitute a fleet. The answer to this question can vary according to different insurance providers. While some may require a company to have more than five vehicles to purchase fleet insurance, some will allow this insurance for businesses with as few as two cars. In many cases, however, fleet insurance is most cost-effective when you have at least three vehicles on the policy.
What Does Fleet Insurance Cover?
Fleet insurance will provide liability insurance coverage for all of your company’s vehicles in one policy. Often, these policies provide provisions to allow employees of your company to drive any vehicle in your fleet and be covered if they cause an accident.
At a minimum, this commercial vehicle insurance will provide enough collision and liability coverage to meet your state’s insurance requirements for commercial vehicles. You can then add on other options such as increased liability limits, roadside assistance, uninsured motorists coverage and comprehensive coverage (known as "other than collision") to protect against theft, vandalism and other vehicular damage.
Is Fleet Insurance Expensive?
The price range for fleet insurance polies varies greatly according to a number of factors. Naturally, the more vehicles you have on your policy, the more it will cost. Some other factors that can influence cost are as follows:
- The age and value of your vehicles: Purchasing used vehicles can save you money on insurance as they are less expensive to repair than custom or new vehicles.
- The intended use of your vehicles: Those who do service-oriented work, such as plumbers and lock-smiths, typically pay the least for insurance. Vehicles used for retail purposes, such as pizza-delivery cars and floral delivery vans, are in the mid-range for policy costs. Those who transport people or to deliver goods to other businesses pay the most.
- The type of vehicle: Passenger cars are less expensive to insure than vans and SUVs. Likewise, trucks have a range of policy costs depending on the class they fall into. The three classes of trucks are light, medium and heavy duty trucks. Light duty trucks are generally under 10,000 pounds and include full-sized vans, flatbed trucks and pick-up trucks. Medium trucks weigh between 10,000 and 20,000 pounds and include box-trucks and mid-sized refrigerated trucks. Heavy duty trucks exceed 20,000 pounds and include beverage trucks, tractor-trailers and most construction vehicles.
- Your chosen policy options: The more comprehensive your policy, the more it will cost. However, more comprehensive policies may save you from a major loss in the event of a serious accident.
How Can I Save Money on Vehicle Fleet Insurance?
To ensure that you are not overpaying for your policy, compare a minimum of three quotes from different companies. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you to gather multiple quotes, as they have access to several reputable insurers. Additionally, there are ways to reduce the cost of your fleet insurance policy without giving up or reducing your coverage. Often these come in the form of discounts. For example, if your drivers all have excellent driving records, you may be eligible for discounted rates.
Another way to save money is to raise your deductible amount. This means you will pay less in premiums, but will pay a higher deductible amount when you file a claim. While increasing your deductible can make your commercial fleet insurance more affordable up front, make sure your business can afford to pay the deductible at the time of loss.
You can also save on your commercial fleet insurance is by combining policies. If you need various commercial insurance policies besides your fleet insurance, purchasing them through the same insurance provider can potentially reduce your premiums overall. A member agent in the Trusted Choice network can shop for these values for you.
You can save money on your policy by maintaining effective safety standards, having safety and anti-theft equipment, and remaining claims-free. When shopping for insurance, be sure to ask each provider what deals and discounts you could be eligible for.
Tips for Maintaining a Safe Fleet of Vehicles
Accidents happen, even to the best drivers. However, because many accidents are the result of mechanical failures or driver inexperience and inattention, taking a few simple precautions can reduce your risk of liability in a commercial fleet collision and may even earn you discounts on your fleet insurance. Here are some tips to consider:
- Be aware of and stay compliant with all state and federal fleet safety regulations
- Choose qualified drivers and be sure to review their motor vehicle records annually
- Provide your drivers with adequate training and periodic reviews of safety procedure protocols
- Train drivers to conduct quick routine vehicle inspections prior to driving them
- Reward safe drivers with awards and incentives; research has shown that this is an effective way to reduce accidents, injuries and workers compensation claims
- Pay attention to what your drivers are doing when on the road; conduct periodic checks to ensure that they are using the company vehicles safely
- Keep your vehicles well-maintained, being sure to retain records of all maintenance work you have done