Help for Tow Truck Businesses: Claims, Fleet Management & Saving Money
“Insurance Claims: Issues & Answers for Towing Businesses” by Jimmie Robertson, Jr., President, IGO Insurance Agency, Inc.
As a business owner, there’s never too much you can do, and never a bad time to have, attention paid to workplace safety. In fact, if it also so happens that you’re experiencing an uptick in the number of insurance claims, it’s time for an aggressive approach to managing safety.
Here’s a starter checklist. Are you doing the following on a consistent basis?
• Evaluating driving habits:
What are your drivers’ driving habits? Speeding? Braking too late? Wearing their seatbelt? Taking the best possible driving route at all times? Are your expectations for good driving habits spelled out, distributed and communicated on a regular basis? If your drivers are not meeting your expectations for safe driving, what are you doing about it? Interested in learning more about customized employee handbooks? Click here for IGO HR Services
. Do you have diagnostic tools in place to measure their driving habits?
• Reviewing equipment safety:
Are your drivers wearing and using all of the proper safety equipment? Do they wear their reflective clothing, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, etc. at all times? Is what you expect them to wear & use clearly and consistently communicated?
• Reviewing hours of operations:
Is there a pattern to when the incidents occur? In the mornings? Later, when your drivers are on night runs in the dark? If there is a pattern, what measures can you take to improve safety during those hours?
• Evaluating procedures:
Safely loading and unloading—the cornerstone of your business. It can’t be communicated too often and shouldn’t wait until the next incident occurs.
What steps are you talking to ensure your drivers are doing as they’ve been trained to do, every time? If a problem occurs, is the incident reviewed and discussed with staff? Your expectations should be clearly and consistently communicated. Make it plain: Nothing haphazard is acceptable.
Got questions about insurance for towing & wrecker business? Contact IGO Insurance.
“Telematics: The Future Standard of Vehicle Fleet Management” by Jimmie Robertson, Jr., President, IGO Insurance Agency, Inc.
Recently, I attended an insurance carrier’s seminar where we learned about fleet management using fleet telematics. By definition, “Fleet telematics is a way of monitoring the location, movement, status and behavior of a vehicle within a fleet. This is achieved through a combination of a GPS receiver and an electronic GSM device that is installed in each vehicle, which then communicates with the user and web-based software.” (Fleetmatics Development Limited). As the owner of a fleet of vehicles, it’s something you’re likely to hear a lot more about.
In fact, I learned that there are insurance carriers starting to ask clients to participate in telematics to the point where I predict, one day it will become mandatory. From the carrier’s perspective, it’s understandable why they would want to mandate its use: One can get truer data about your drivers’ speed, braking, and driving routes. As a customer, while a mandate may seem intrusive, the upside is that you also have that same data and you can remove the guesswork from your company’s safety practices.
Over time, the mere presence
of the telematics device in the vehicle can eventually lead to 45% fewer accidents, 90% improvement in seatbelt usage, 80% reduction in aggressive driving and 75% reduction of speed just because your drivers know they are “being watched.”
The costs of telematics programs are starting to come down. Outside vendors are providing negotiated rates for carriers to provide the equipment and charge a fee of $10-$25 per vehicle. After about 30-60 days of running the program, they have measurable results, allowing one to see which drivers are and are not driving safely, and who is and who is not taking the most cost-effective routes.
The seminar made it clear that carriers are in the beginning stages of scoring each customer, which will determine pricing of accounts in the future. Needing to have a good score will be critical. The important takeaway for customers is this: Telematics will become the norm. Maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen. Accordingly, steps you take today to improve what a telematics device will measure tomorrow will help your standing with future insurance carriers’ scores.
Interested in learning more about telematics? Contact IGO Insurance.