Fleet Insurance is insurance coverage that a company buys to cover all of its vehicles. It can be a large number of vehicles, or it can be a small number (six or less is a mini fleet). This commercial type of automotive insurance covers cars as well as trucks and vans (and any other type of motor vehicle where a license is required). Fleet insurance offers different options and costs for coverage, so it pays to shop around when deciding to obtain coverage.
Fleet insurance, a type of commercial insurance, gives insurance coverage for a company's motor vehicles. You can choose to have all vehicles covered with the same types of coverage or a variety, all depending on your needs. The most complete coverage is comprehensive and basic liability insurance. This will cover repairs and medical for accidents that may occur involving your vehicles and your drivers (comprehensive) as well as the other injured party (liability). You can even include coverage that temporarily replaces a vehicle when one of yours is out of use. You will find that premiums will cost more on this type of policy, but depending on how the vehicles are used, it may be worth it in the long run.
You can elect to purchase insurance coverage on your fleet that covers just the other party in an accident (liability only). You can opt for this limited type of coverage if you own the vehicles free and clear. (If you owe a lender for the vehicle, the lender will require full coverage on the vehicle to protect its financial interest in the event the vehicle is in a devastating accident). Liability insurance covers the other party's medical needs for injuries and repairs on his vehicle if an accident happens and it is determined that your driver is at fault. Your driver and vehicle will have no coverage under this limited type of coverage. Your premium cost will be much lower in this type of policy.
Roadside Assistance insurance coverage is a good idea to have, no matter what type of coverage you have on your vehicles. This coverage offers emergency assistance to your driver in the event he is stuck on the roadside, unable to move. Vehicles get abandoned, leaving them to the dangers of vandalism without roadside assistance coverage. It will cover towing as well as mechanical help to the driver and vehicle when needed, keeping your vehicles and drivers moving and producing.
Insurance companies will not cover claims for coverage of incidents for drivers that do not meet the licensing requirements of the insurer. You must be certain your drivers are licensed for the type of vehicle you have hired them to drive. It is advisable to run a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) report on all of your drivers. (Look for accidents where the prospective driver was at fault, as well as speeding citations). It makes sense to require your drivers to attend drivers education classes, as this will be taken into consideration by the insurer and can help to keep your insurance costs down. You will find that premium costs will be higher for young (inexperienced) drivers as well as drivers who are elderly. It might make sense to have an electronic immobilising theft system for your newer vehicles. This system is not an alarm system, but uses a certain type of key that is recognised by the system. The use of any method (other than the coded key) to start the vehicle causes the engine to shut down. Insurance companies give deep discounts on coverage for vehicles that have these.
Having a protected area for vehicles when not in use (shop area or fenced and secured storage lot) is another way to cut premium costs.
Choosing a Fleet Insurance Policy
When choosing an insurance company for your fleet policy, it is best to use one where someone you know has had good experience. Compare rates and coverages by shopping via the Internet, as well as your local insurance providers via yellow pages. Look for fleet insurance providers that specialise in the type of vehicles you use in your business. Talk with each agent about your company's specific needs and vehicle usage honestly. Good communication will insure that your needs will be met, and at competitive rates.