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Managing a motor fleet of coaches or minibuses is exhausting work. Whether your business’ fleet consists of five or 500 vehicles, gathering them all together and managing their collective risk can feel like an endless exercise in futility. While addressing one specific risk, more different risks can pop up, demanding your attention. Instead of addressing risks as they develop and playing catch up, invest in motor fleet risk management strategies to stop problems before they appear.
Risk management is a pre-emptive strategy aimed at analysing risks and implementing processes to reduce or eliminate them. A concerted risk management effort comes with many benefits, such as reducing business disruption and protecting your employees.
Although the process will vary slightly according to your needs, the five basic steps for analysing your business’ risks, listed below, should be the bedrock of any organisation’s risk management programme:
Following these steps can help you isolate and eliminate your business’ biggest risks.
If you purchase a motor fleet insurance policy for your business, be aware that your premiums will be highly dependent on your business’ past claims experience. But an unfavourable claims history does not necessarily preclude a favourable and affordable motor fleet insurance policy—good risk management can translate to vastly improved policy terms.
As part of an effective motor fleet risk management strategy, investigating your business’ past accidents can slash claims costs. Start by analysing the conditions that led to your business’ past accidents and any preventive measures taken to reduce them. Did they work? If not, consider new accident-reduction programmes.
Rely on your insurer to supply the past accident data that will serve as the foundation of your analysis. A typical claims and accident analysis should include the following information:
Surveying Your Fleet
Some motor fleet insurers employ specialist fleet surveyors tasked with performing a more in-depth analysis that identifies significant problem areas and provides recommendations.
Insurers will sometimes provide surveys for free under the condition that the insured complies with the survey’s findings. Any resources the insurer expends on free surveys are expected to be recouped via the insured’s survey-compliant improvements and subsequent reduction in claim costs.
Because fleet surveys are more extensive and detailed, business owner and manager investment is central to success. Unless owners and managers are ready to support improvement initiatives spurred by the survey’s findings, the fleet survey will probably not achieve all of its objectives and will likely leave some risks unexamined.
Controlling Your Risks
Use the results from your internal analysis or external fleet survey to streamline processes and promote a positive health and safety culture. Apply the recommendations to your business’ management controls such as managerial structure, general processes and drivers’ handbook.
Typical management controls that dictate how your coach or minibus fleet runs include the following:
Reining in Your Risk
Reining in your business’ motor fleet and driver risks can feel like trying to hold water in the palm of your hand—no matter what you do, some risks slip through the cracks. Contact the insurance professionals at Willis IRM to help you create an effective motor fleet risk management strategy and find you the perfect policy that comprehensively covers all your needs.