If you’re responsible for the commercial vehicles at your Georgia business, it’s critical to know how your commercial auto insurance rates are calculated. With this information, you and your auto insurance agent can work together to find the most affordable rates to meet the demands of your fleet or individual vehicle. That’s important whether your commercial vehicles are a key profit center or merely an incidental tool of business.
Here are 7 important factors that will determine what you pay and strategies to earn the cheapest commercial auto insurance rates your company deserves.
1. How are the Vehicles Used?
Are your commercial vehicles used full-time as an integral part of your business? That might be the case if you own a taxi operation, rideshare, or a parcel delivery service. Or does your “fleet” consist of a single vehicle only used to run the occasional errand?
This is one of the first questions your insurance agent might ask. That’s because the more you use your vehicles, the more likely they are to sustain damage or to be involved in an accident at some point. Conversely, little use equals a reduced risk of racking up claims costs for your insurer.
2. What Routes Do Your Commercials Vehicles Usually Take?
Your insurance agent will look closely at your driving routes to determine the rates you pay for your commercial vehicles. If most of your mileage is on congested traffic areas in big cities where accidents are common, you’ll pay more than if your car or fleet mostly runs at low speeds on quiet residential streets.
3. How Do Your Employees Drive?
This is where your insurer begins to look at the employees behind the wheel of your commercial vehicles. Their driving records will determine the rates you pay — or if you’re even able to get any kind of commercial coverage for your fleet except for high-risk policies.
Your best strategy for offsetting that threat (and lowering the rates you pay) is to only hire drivers with clean driving records. Your current drivers might have the occasional moving violation and maybe even a past accident or two. You should ask your insurance agent what driving factors create a drag on the rates you’ll pay.
It’s worth having the conversation before acquiring commercial auto insurance in Georgia. Then, be sure to check the driving records of new job candidates before you make the hiring decision.
4. Does Your Company Have a Claims History?
If you’ve owned virtually any type of insurance, you likely know that the less your insurance company pays in claims, the lower your premiums will be.
It’s no different with your commercial auto insurance in Georgia. To keep claims low, consider what you can do to minimize any threat. Hiring drivers with excellent records, demanding strict adherence to good driving practices, and paying for minor incidents out of pocket are a few ways you can reduce the need to file an insurance claim, keeping your rates as low as possible.
5. Where Do You Park Your Commercial Vehicles?
The starting point here is the location of your company. If you’re located in a high-crime area, you’ll likely have to pay more for commercial coverage than if your company is based in a much safer one.
Beyond location, consider whether your commercial vehicles can be housed behind walls or secure fences. If so, you’re likely to pay less than if the vehicles are left out in an unsecured parking lot — especially if that lot is in a questionable neighborhood.
If your vehicles are left out in the open, you might be able to save considerably on your insurance rates if you can move them to a rented garage or hire an overnight security service to safeguard your fleet. If it’s just a single vehicle or two, consider taking them home at the end of the workday or to another residential address in a safe neighborhood. It could make a noticeable difference in the rates you must pay.
6. Have You Invested in Safety Technology?
Adopting state-of-the-art safety technology can be a leading, proactive step to reducing the rates you pay for commercial auto insurance in Georgia.
Alarm and GPS systems can deter the risk of theft, lowering coverage costs. Devices that increase the safety of your drivers can also reduce rates significantly. This includes automatic seatbelts, side airbags, crash-resistant doors, anti-lock brakes, and electronic safety controls for safer handling on wet or icy roads.
Ask your insurance agent what the installation of certain technologies will do in terms of reducing your commercial auto insurance rates in Georgia. You could end up making a few very smart investments.
7. Work with an Independent Commercial Auto Insurance Agent
If your insurance agent works for XYZ insurance company, the agent can only sell you products from that insurer. That means you may (or may not) get the best insurance product that is out there.
Working with an independent insurance agent changes all of that because they have contractual relationships with numerous insurance companies and access to all of the products those companies have to offer. That means they can help you find the best policy based on your specific expectations and demands, focusing on insurance products and coverage options offered by all insurance companies listed in their portfolio.
Once you’ve found an independent insurance agent you trust, you can work to find the most affordable commercial auto insurance policy in Georgia that meets your commercial needs.