Leeds based bus and coach insurance specialist, Gauntlet, is advising bus and coach operators and fleet managers to take up game-changing strategies, to lower insurance premiums and make insuring a fleet affordable.
The Leeds-based insurance broker, which has assisted operators wanting the best deals, from the whole of the commercial insurance market since 1994, says it’s never been more important for passenger transport businesses to move the rope back in their favour when it comes to the insurance tug of war.
With insurers having to pull in one direction, because of across-the-board Ogden rate increases in premiums, as well as more expensive repairs following accidents due to inflation on spare parts, operators need to gain more power to their elbow, to tug back.
Gauntlet says that rather just fitting cameras or tracking devices, operators need to look at their insurance’s macro-environment and make sure such devices are just tactics within a holistic risk management strategy. Good practices can make for significantly lower premiums, as well as keeping staff, customers and the general public safer.
Managing director, Roger Gaunt, says: “Operators should visualise the time of their insurance renewal as a tug of war or strong man contest, in which both sides pick up the rope and start to inch it in their favour, according to how much power they have in their armoury.
“It’s easier for insurers to inch things their way, or metaphorically ‘park the bus’ and not budge, because they base their assessments on facts about the fleet business, past claims data and analyses of how that data might be expected to translate into future costs and claims against the motor fleet policy.
“To be able to tug back, or move the bus, operators need to alter the facts that the insurers consider. That means heading to the tug of war field, or bus-pull, with a better claims history, details of the risk management steps that have been taken within the business to improve safety and driver performance and examples of training and technology that is generating tangible improvements.
“It could also entail offering to take on board an element of self-insurance, which is a good motivation for better risk management, as the operator pays out for their own claims in this scenario, in exchange for big cost savings.
“Once all of this evidence is presented, the operators increased bargaining power will move things back in their favour. That means lower premiums not just this year, but for many years to come, which can mean saving a sum with several noughts within it, in the longer term.”
Operators benefiting from this approach are already working with Roger Gaunt and his bus and coach team managers, Angela McIver and Tom O’Connell, to gain more power to their elbow. Gauntlet’s in-house risk management team is also equipping operators with hi-tech tools and resources that take the strain of the rope pull and make life much easier.
“2018 is the year that we’re going to have many more operators picking up the rope and taking up the strong man, or woman, challenge,” says Roger Gaunt. “We’ve set stretching targets of how many we wish to help and are already empowering many operators who, thanks to our visual imagery, better understand why risk management isn’t a nice-to-have, but a truly essential component of the business.”