Fleet News

Call for driver training to offset insurance hike

FLEET bosses could face rocketing car insurance costs within a year if predictions that premiums are to rise by 25% become a reality - increasing demands for fleets to invest in driver training to cut accidents.

The latest report, compiled by independent market researcher Mintel, says the cost of insurance will have to rise if insurers and underwriters are to cover the increasing costs of personal injury claims payouts and garage call-out charges.

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers suggested that fleets take a closer look at their risk management regimes if they wanted to combat insurance increases.

He said: 'All fleet operators will know that insurance premiums have been rising over the last 12 months and I think they all will expect them to rise again. But they can combat their increases in premiums by first making sure they have a good claims experience - that really is the key.

'They could increase the amount of driver training they organise for their staff. I know that some firms are good in making sure their drivers have the right training, whereas there are others which do nothing at all. Insurance companies can also help arrange driving courses for company car drivers and it can make a big difference to the experience of the fleet.

The spokesman also suggests that fleet bosses should look at who they are letting sit behind the wheel: 'They may have young drivers in their fleet, or allow the sons or daughters of company car drivers to drive the vehicle as well. These should also be taken into consideration if they are looking to reduce their premiums.'

However, despite agreeing that a rise is inevitable, he felt that Mintel's prediction was unrealistically high: 'The figure of 25% strikes me as being on the high side and I think somewhere in the region of 10% would be a bit more realistic.'

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