According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, vehicle collisions are the greatest potential source of loss for many businesses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States measures the average cost to employers for an employee accident at over $15,000, and, of course, if there is an injury, that number rises much higher.
That’s why fleet risk management is imperative to protect you and your business. Keep in mind, always, that your company could be held liable if one of your drivers is in an accident with your vehicle. A comprehensive fleet risk management program will result in fewer claims, less severe losses, and lower commercial auto insurance premiums.
Responsibilities of Employers
Either a company or an individual can own fleet vehicles, but either way there are lots of potential risks. For fleet owners, there is such a thing as “vicarious liability,” which means that the company or individual owner can be held responsible for negligent actions on the part of their employees.
Fleet risk management begins with comprehensive commercial auto insurance coverage. Across the country there are mandatory minimums in place for vehicles being used for business operations. Fleet vehicles must meet standards and pass inspections in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. In addition, meeting Transport Canada’s National Safety Code is mandatory for larger trucks, tractors, and trailers weighing more than 4,500 kilograms.
Best Practices for Fleet Risk Management
Simply put, fleet risk management should include regular vehicle maintenance, the judicious selection of drivers, plenty of training, performance monitoring, and the development of policies, including penalties for violations.
Some tips for fleet owners include:
- Requiring drivers produce their driving record for review before being hired
- Making driver training obligatory
- Scheduling regular reviews of skills and knowledge
- Requiring all employees be well aware of policies and procedures
- Regular vehicle inspections and maintenance, including comprehensive record keeping
For some, drug and alcohol testing may also be an option, especially for long-haul drivers of dangerous goods.
Usage-Based Insurance for Fleet Owners
A great way for fleet owners to take control of their fleet risk management is through the use of telematics, or usage-based insurance. Telematics technologies allow insurers to collect and analyze advanced data regarding vehicle usage from devices placed in fleet vehicle’s engines. Usage-based coverage leverages telematics to help insurance companies better assess the actual degree of risk your fleet poses to them. Telematics track your employees’ driving habits such as speed, cornering, braking force and frequency, and other key indicators of their approach to being behind the wheel. Good performance can lead to lower premiums. In addition, business owners have the advantage of detailed information on how their drivers are operating their vehicles, and may be able to stop problems before they start.
Ensure Your Fleet is Licenced Properly
Commercial (or fleet) vehicles in Alberta are defined as those that transport people or goods and are not used solely for personal use. The Government of Alberta requires that commercial vehicles be marked by one of three different types of licence plates:
- Class 1: These types of plates are for persons transporting their own or another’s goods for compensation, as well as for those transporting passengers, such as bus, taxi, and ride-sharing drivers.
- Class 2: These plates are for those transporting goods within a short distance of 10 kilometres as well as those carrying out industry services within the province.
- Class 3: Class 3 plates are for commercial vehicles owned and operated by governments, municipalities, hospitals and school boards.
The Premier Networks Program
An additional option available for fleet owners through us at Lane’s is the Premier Networks programs.
The Premier Networks program is built through partnerships with trusted local repair facilities. To qualify for our Premier Networks program, a repair shop must provide:
- Professional repair services performed by licenced and specially trained technicians
- National limited warranties on repair services
- Guaranteed dates for repair completion
- Vehicle pick-up and drop-off, if requested by the customer
- Full cleaning and detailing of the vehicle prior to its return
When you purchase your commercial auto insurance through Lane’s, we will also handle all repair bills on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about settling up before getting your business vehicles back on the road.
Trust Lane’s for all of Your Alberta Insurance Needs
Business insurance discounts are available from many providers, however sometimes companies are not as transparent as they could be about offering them. That is where we come in. As insurance brokers, we work for you, not the insurance companies, and know exactly how to get you the coverage you need at the right price. Contact us at our our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff or greater Alberta offices to see what we can do for you.