Business Insurance

What are the pros and cons of fleet insurance?

If your business operates multiple vehicles, you may be considering fleet insurance. As with any form of coverage, it’s worth considering the positives and negatives before signing up to a policy, allowing you to make an informed decision before committing to an agreement.

The value of each pro and con will vary from business to business. Many enjoy the convenience of a fleet policy, keeping all of their coverage under one, convenient insurance policy, whereas other companies (especially those with younger drivers on their books) might benefit from shopping around individually.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of a fleet insurance policy.

Pros

  • Simplified admin. Fleet insurance will allow you to keep all of your vehicles insured through one policy. This means no matter which vehicle is involved in an incident, you’ll know exactly who to contact and won’t have to worry about going through your insurance documentation to find out exactly which of your insurers you need to contact for that specific vehicle. Additionally, come renewal time, you’ll have one date to remember, instead of multiple throughout the year. Things can fall through the cracks at times, so having one date to keep in your calendar can make things significantly easier when it comes to re-insuring your vehicles.
  • Discounts. Fleet insurance companies offer quantity-based discounts when you insure with them. This means the more vehicles you add to your cover, the higher per vehicle discount you’re likely to receive. Especially for companies with 5+ vehicles on the books, fleet coverage can be an exceptionally cost-effective option.
  • Any driver option for high-turnover staff. Any driver fleet insurance can avoid the headache of working out who is and isn’t insured for each vehicle you own. It will allow any driver you employ who meets the criteria of the policy (may be limited by age, prior driving offences, etc.) to be covered behind the wheel of your vehicles. It’s especially convenient as employees come and go, as you won’t have to update a named driver policy by informing your insurer.
  • No claims discounts. No claims discounts can be spread across the fleet, helping you to save even more money (assuming you employ drivers who can stay out of trouble!)

Cons

  • Smaller fleets get smaller discounts. Fleet insurance might not make sense for some smaller fleets (2-5 vehicles). While you’ll still receive a per vehicle discount, it’ll probably be noticeably less than if you had, say, 10+ vehicles to cover. If this is the case for you, it’ll be worth comparing the costs of fleet cover versus insuring each vehicle independently. While it might give you a bit more paperwork to fill out, it could help save some money
  • Younger drivers drive up the cost. If you employ drivers under-21 or under-25, then the overall cost of your fleet insurance may go up disproportionately. This is because your any driver policy is unlikely to account for the age distribution of your staff, and would only account for whether or not under-21/under-25 year olds could ever be behind the wheel of one of your vehicles.
  • Younger drivers may need separate coverage. If you do employ staff under-21/under-25, you can still consider fleet insurance, but it might be worth keeping your younger staff on their own individual insurance so you can save money on your fleet cover. While it might require maintaining a few different policies, it’ll save you a significant amount of money on your fleet insurance.
  • Restrictions. Some fleet policies have certain exclusions, such as restricting the use of fleet insured vehicles for private/personal travel. This means if your vehicles are used by staff for both professional and personal purposes then you may risk voiding your coverage. Make sure to, as always, fully read the T&C’s of any policy you sign up to, and if you have any doubts ask your insurer.

When is fleet insurance better than individual insurance

Fleet insurance becomes more and more beneficial as you add more vehicles to the coverage. Insurers (naturally) want as much of your business as they can have, and so are incentivised to offer you lucrative discounts for choosing them to provide your cover.

Keeping your vehicles under one convenient policy means you’ll have one renewal date and one point of contact if you ever do need to make a claim. If you do own a large number of vehicles, this can avoid wasting time fumbling through insurance documents and emails to find exactly which insurer provides cover for the vehicle involved.

It’ll also make the claims process itself much easier. You’ll only have one insurer to discuss with, so you should be clear on exactly what information you need to provide, potentially reducing the stress of trying to rush evidence and documentation together that some of your separate insurers may or may not have required.

To summarize, fleet insurance can be a great option for anyone looking for a per vehicle discount on their insurance coverage, as well as any business owner who likes the idea of only having to deal with one insurer for renewals and claims.

Luke Masters

Prior to NimbleFins, Luke studied economics at Brunel University and worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development now help him write business insurance content to support SMEs. Read more on LinkedIn.

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