It’s not your imagination, and it’s not just you. Commercial auto insurance rates are increasing across the board. In fact, the 2019 Insurance Marketplace Realities report from Willis Towers Watson shows that commercial auto rates are expected to increase by 6 to 12 percent in 2019.
Regardless of your industry, you may be facing rising commercial auto insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep your costs down.
Why Rates are Rising
Rates are increasing as a result of two trends:
- First, crashes have been up. According to the NHTSA, there were 34,247 fatal crashes in 2017 and 34,748 in 2016. Comparatively, in 2014, there were only 30,056 fatal crashes. While there has been a slight improvement recently, severe crashes have increased in recent years overall.
- At the same time, claim costs are also increasing. Advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring are supposed to make vehicles safer. However, the crash statistics show that accident rates remain high. While a reduction in crashes remains the goal, these high-tech features make repairs exceptionally pricey in the meantime. Increasing costs in the health care sector make injuries increasingly expensive, as well.
Five Steps to Keep Costs Down
Your commercial auto rates are impacted by national trends, but your claims history and safety measures also play a role. This means you can take steps to prevent crashes and bring your rates down.
- Stop distracted driving. Many people have blamed the increase in crashes on the rise of smartphones. The NHTSA says distracted driving was responsible for 3,166 deaths in 2017. Educate your drivers on the dangers of distracted driving and make sure your policies and work requirements don’t encourage it. Comply with the state laws in your area and update your cell phone usage policy. Be aware that even hands-free cell phone use can cause distracted driving. Consider using an app to prevent cell phone use while driving.
- Prevent drowsy driving. According to the CDC, drowsy driving could be responsible for 6,000 fatal crashes each year, and commercial drivers are in the high-risk group. Help your drivers stay alert and alive by training them on how to prevent drowsy driving and by avoiding work schedules that are likely to contribute to drowsy driving.
- Maintain your vehicles. Don’t cut corners on maintenance. Doing so may result in more expensive repair costs in the future. Even worse, mechanical failures can cause crashes, increasing costs further and putting lives at risk. Get your vehicles checked regularly, and make sure all tires have a good tread and the recommended tire pressure.
- Put technology to work. Telematics technology can help you spot and correct risky driving habits before they lead to an accident. It can also help fleets save on fuel and manage repairs.
- Ask us to review your insurance. When we review your coverage, we will check to see if we can create savings opportunities by bundling your commercial auto coverage with another line of insurance. By taking a holistic look at your total operation, and combining lines of coverage, we may get more interest and better rates from carriers. We’re happy to shop the market and identify the best opportunities for you. We have access to programs with many different insurers and different risk appetites.
Wilson, Washburn & Forster is a boutique independent insurance agency that has been in business since 1961. We are experienced in helping businesses and non-profits manage their commercial auto insurance exposures. You will find that our experience, claims handling, service, and community commitment is unrivaled. We can help you prevent accidents and take control of your commercial auto insurance costs.
Contact us today for a complimentary analysis of your current insurance program by an insurance specialist in this field at 786-454-8384.