For companies that operate fleets, the cost of accidents is significantly higher than insurance coverage. Data suggest that for every $1 firms receive from insurance companies, uninsured losses can be as high as $53. Each accident comes with multiple hidden costs for businesses that conventional underwriting doesn’t account for. That’s in addition to the basic health and property damage estimated at $74,000 for a non-fatal accident, and up to $500,000 for a fatal one.
But what are these hidden costs that aren’t accounted for in standard insurance policies? Let’s take a look.
Companies operating fleets prone to accidents are likely to experience high employee turnover. Once a major injury occurs, workers take that into consideration when evaluating their job. If the risk of bodily injury goes up but there is no rise in compensation, then it increases the incentive to leave.
Such behavior dramatically worsens the current labor shortage and makes it even harder for fleet managers to operate all their vehicles on schedule. During times of high turnover, it also places significant strain on existing drivers who often have to work harder.
Higher Future Premiums
While insurers will cover the immediate costs of an accident, they will then change your firm’s risk profile and charge higher premiums. Over time, these can really add up, adding perhaps 10 percent or more to your monthly fees for a single accident-prone driver.
Loss Of Business
Accidents can also have a chilling effect on business. Companies that rely on your services may switch to more reliable, less accident-prone rivals who can always deliver goods and services on time.
According to Fleet News, each driver involved in an accident would need to make approximately $25,500 more in revenue to cover their costs.
Reduction In Vehicle Value
Even if insurance covers all of your vehicle repair costs, it won’t compensate you for the loss of value associated with a vehicle involved in an accident. According to data collected by industry leaders, vehicles involved in accidents lose around 33 percent of their value. Therefore, if you want to resell a truck worth $60,000 that’s been involved in an accident, you may only get $40,000 for it.
Insurance companies do not cover your administration costs, either. And after an accident, these can be significant.
For instance, firms must file all the necessary legal paperwork following an accident. For no-injury crashes, this is extensive, but for those involving serious bodily harm or death, it can be catastrophic.
Firms must also coordinate and redeploy drivers during a crisis. They still need to meet their delivery obligations. Redeploying staff and reorganizing timetables can be expensive, particularly if it requires paying overtime or asking drivers to return during annual leave. (In many cases, it is simply not possible for small firms to find the staff they need to meet deadlines, leading to client complaints and account losses).
Lastly, firms have to liaise with clients and explain why their deliveries are running late. Admitting to an accident can lead to immediate loss of business. But even if fleet-operating firms don’t confess, delays can cause clients to walk away.
Lastly, fleet accidents can result in a worsening reputation for your brand. If customers find out that there has been an accident, they will immediately ask what went wrong. And, unfortunately, they will usually blame poor driving or irresponsible management practices.
If the accident is serious, local media may also report it. Journalists may start asking questions and want to know what happened.
Reputational issues can also damage your relationship with your customers. If an accident occurs and you damage the cargo, the client (and others) won’t want to use you again in the future, particularly if you ship bespoke items that are difficult to replace.
How To Reduce The Hidden Costs Of Fleet Accidents
The easiest way to reduce the hidden costs of fleet accidents is to avoid crashes in the first place. But how?
At Vestige, we offer a technical solution: fleet dash cams and GPS tracking. Dash cams record exactly what is going on in the cabin at any given time, providing a 360-degree view. This way, you can record exactly what is going on and incentivize drivers to give their jobs their full attention.
GPS lets you geo-fence your drivers and check where they are at any given time. You can then contact drivers immediately if they take an unscheduled route.
To learn more, contact us today.