Fleet insurance is much the same as single vehicle insurance with the exception that the former tends to involve more types, levels and restrictions of cover than the latter.
Choosing fleet insurance coverage is undoubtedly important to firms with a certain number of vehicles, not least because opting for the most appropriate insurance polcy with the most competitive insurer can save significant amounts of money in the vast majority of cases.
One of the first factors to consider when choosing fleet insurance coverage is size – not the size or scope of the policy, but the size of the motor fleet to be insured. Insurance companies tend to offer different packages and deals to different sizes of business; whereas some insurers tend to favour relatively small fleets, others offer savings to larger firms. Thus, a company with more than 100 vehicles might save money by purchasing a policy with an insurance company that specialises in larger fleets.
Another consideration of fleet insurance is the type of cover itself. As with private motor policies, the majority of insurers offer three main types of cover: fully comprehensive, third party only and third party, fire and theft. Additional fleet insurance options include windscreen and breakdown cover, legal expenses and courtesy vehicles. The type of cover chosen may determine some of the restrictions applied to the policies; however, such restrictions are likely to be imposed anyway and vary significantly between insurers.
Restrictions tend to be based on the purpose for which fleet vehicles are to be used. The most basic categories of use include social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) and SDP and business. Other categories include the carriage of waste or hazardous goods, private hire, public hire and haulage. Each category of use is likely to be subject to certain restrictions, so it is always necessary to examine the small print before accepting a policy.
Certain types of vehicle may be excluded or restricted under a fleet insurance group policy. Most insurers, however, welcome a range of vehicles, including a mix of cars, minicabs and lorries. Firms can make substantial savings by covering all vehicles under a single fleet insurance policy; in fact, fleet insurance coverage can be purchased by non-commercial users with several vehicles (usually five or more).
As with all types of motor insurance, the premium of a fleet policy is based in part on the people who are expected to drive the insured`s vehicles. Obviously, it is not always possible for a firm to nominate every driver, so insurers usually ask for details of drivers by age. Young drivers – particularly those aged between 20 and 25 – fall into the highest bracket of motor insurance, while older drivers are viewed more favourably by insurers. Most insurance companies place upper and lower age limits on the drivers covered under a fleet policy.
Fleet insurance premiums are also affected by the security of vehicles. Insurance tends to be significantly less costly when firms ensure that vehicles are fitted with the latest alarms, locks and tracking devices, which can also be used to monitor fuel consumption and vehicle routes. Premiums can be kept to a minimum when firms lock up vehicles in secure compounds or private garages.
In summary, just about any type of vehicle can be included in a fleet insurance polcy. Some insurance companies only deal with certain types of business or vehicle; for example, specialist insurers might concentrate on fleets comprising HGVs, taxis or coaches. Many insurers, however, allow a mixture of vehicles, so the manager`s Mercedes can be insured alongside the company minicab and haulage fleet. Firms investing in vehicle tracking and enhanced security to lower insurance premiums might consider using a loans calculator for the most competitive rates.