What is Fleet Insurance?
You’ve worked hard to build your commercial vehicle fleet. Now, you have a fleet of pristine commercial vehicles capable of hauling freight where it needs to go.
There’s just one more item to cross off your list: commercial vehicle insurance.
While you could insure each vehicle individually, this approach can send your premiums through the roof of your cab. Why not simplify the process by choosing fleet insurance?
In short, fleet insurance refers to the policy package that covers all of the vehicles in your fleet. If you’re curious about fleet insurance, read on to learn how it works and how it can save you money no matter where your next route takes you.
How Does Fleet Insurance Work?
Like all motor vehicle liability insurance, fleet insurance provides coverage for your vehicles in case of an accident.
But where regular or commercial fleet insurance differs from a regular car insurance auto policy is its scope. Instead of covering only one vehicle, fleet insurance covers your entire fleet—from your grandest semis to your smallest work vehicles.
In other words, all your auto policies are bundled into one package. This can make the commercial fleet insurance process as simple as rolling down your windows and hitting the open road.
Why Does Fleet Insurance Matter?
Vehicle insurance can be expensive. On average, insuring just one vehicle costs $1,652 per year. And that’s just small vehicles. Insuring semis and other large vehicles can result in much higher premiums. These costs can sometimes exceed $30,000 per year.
Even if your fleet consists of only two rigs, this means you could be paying upwards of $60,000 per year—if you take out individual insurance policies.
Fortunately, fleet insurance combines all of your policies into one, allowing you to save in the following ways:
- Time – If time is money, you could save big by choosing fleet insurance. That’s because fleet insurance entails doing the paperwork for one comprehensive insurance policy. If you take out multiple insurance policies, you’ll likely have to restart the process. And more paperwork is the last thing you want to think about as you head down the interstate.
- Money – Lower premiums aren’t the only savings you can expect with fleet insurance. You can also save money by not having to worry about multiple payments and associated fees. With fleet insurance, you’ll only need to make one payment per month (or year).
- Energy – Keeping track of your drivers, vehicles, maintenance schedules, and routes can make you reach for another cup of fuel station coffee. If you also have to keep track of multiple insurance policies, you might as well buy a roastery. With fleet insurance, you don’t have to expend as much energy managing your insurance.
- Stress – Let’s face it: accidents can be stressful—especially when you have multiple vehicles. Fleet insurance can help minimize your stress by streamlining the insurance claims process. Rather than figuring out which policy covers which vehicle, you can rely on your single fleet insurance policy.
How Much is Fleet Insurance?
Asking yourself, “what is fleet insurance?” often involves considering its cost. On average, fleet owners can expect to pay $1,000 per year for small fleet vehicles and $1,500 per year for large fleet vehicles.
However, fleet insurance costs can vary widely. That’s because insurance companies take many factors into account when determining fleet policy insurance rates, including:
- The condition of your vehicles
- The value of your vehicles
- The specifics of your policy
- The fleet’s typical freight
- The fleet’s location
Luckily, you’ll likely spend less on fleet insurance than you would on individual insurance, even if your policy is priced at $2,000 per vehicle.
What’s more, some fuel cards allow you to spend on insurance-related expenses. That way, your savings aren’t just limited to the pump.
What Does Fleet Insurance Cover?
So, what does fleet insurance cover? If you have an auto insurance policy, you’re probably already familiar with fleet insurance coverage. Fleet insurance coverage offers many of the same protections as standard auto coverage:
- Comprehensive – Comprehensive coverage means your vehicles and any third-party vehicles are covered in the case of an accident, which means is most likely includes collision coverage. Additionally, comprehensive coverage extends to all drivers and passengers.
- Third-party plus fire and theft – Third-party plus fire and theft coverage protects third parties from accident-related expenses. This coverage also protects your vehicles, drivers, and passengers from expenses related to fire and theft.
- Third-party only – Third-party only coverage covers third party accident-related expenses. This coverage can also protect your passengers from accident-related expenses.
Although fleet coverage is similar to standard auto coverage, specific fleet insurance packages differ. We’ll cover these different types of fleet insurance later.
Who is Eligible for Fleet Insurance?
What is a fleet insurance policy, and are you eligible? To be eligible for a fleet insurance policy, your business needs to own or lease at least two vehicles.
Fortunately, these vehicles don’t have to be state-of-the-art semis with fold-out beds. They can encompass a large variety of automobiles, like:
- Pickup trucks
Just be aware that some vehicle types require more specific fleet insurance. A taxi fleet, for example, requires "taxi fleet insurance."
The Different Types of Fleet Insurance
Just as you can see several interesting sights as you haul freight, so too can you choose between several types of fleet insurance. That’s because not all fleets are created the same.
While some fleets may consist of five small sedans, others may consist of 20 large semis or different types of construction trucks. As a result, the sedan fleet isn’t going to need the same insurance coverage as the semi fleet.
To better serve your specific fleet’s needs, many insurance companies offer the following fleet insurance packages:
- Haulage and courier
- Car and van
- Hazardous goods
- Public hire
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Haulage and Courier
Haulage and courier insurance covers large vehicles capable of hauling heavy freight. These vehicles typically include semis, but they can also include vans and larger commercial vehicles.
In addition to fire and theft, many haulage and courier insurance policies cover the following:
- Cargo storage
- Windscreen cover
Given the size and value of many hauling vehicles, haulage and courier fleet insurance is essential.
If you’ve ever seen a row of yellow school buses dotting a school parking lot, you’ve seen a minibus fleet. In short, minibus fleets consist of vehicles capable of transporting many passengers to and from destinations. While schools are notable for their minibus fleets, airports, nursing homes, and public transit services can also maintain these fleets.
Several requirements determine whether your fleet qualifies as a minibus fleet. To qualify, your fleet must have:
- At least three vehicles
- Between 8-17 seats per vehicle
- A PCV license (for for-profit businesses)
If you meet these conditions, your fleet can qualify for minibus fleet insurance.
Car and Van
Fleet insurance for car and van fleets is typically designed for car rental companies. These companies can sometimes have thousands of vehicles in their fleets.
That said, car rental companies aren’t the only businesses that can benefit from car and van fleet coverage. Any company that transports light goods or uses company vehicles for business purposes is also protected.
As long as you have two or more vehicles in your fleet weighing under 7.5 tons, you may be able to qualify.
Fleets that primarily transport hazardous goods or manage the delivery of construction materials may need a special type of fleet insurance: hazardous goods fleet insurance. That’s because hazardous goods can pose extra risks to people, property, and the environment.
Common types of hazardous goods include:
- Radioactive waste
- Medical waste
- Toxic chemicals
In some cases, hazardous goods fleet insurance may not be its own fleet insurance category. Instead, it may be an additional coverage option you can add to your general coverage.
General fleet insurance can be beneficial for businesses that always assign the same driver to each vehicle. However, if your business has multiple vehicles driven by a rotating list of drivers, you’ll need public hire fleet insurance.
In short, public hire fleet insurance allows up to three drivers to be insured on any one vehicle. This is important because under standard fleet insurance, only the driver on a file is protected by the policy.
With public hire fleet insurance, one driver can operate a vehicle in the morning while another driver can operate the vehicle at night—and both drivers are covered.
AtoB: Unlock Fleet Insurance, Unlock Possibility
Fleet insurance offers a simple, cost-effective way to maintain your fleet. What’s more, fleet insurance is easy to pay for—especially if you have a fuel card that allows you to pay for insurance-related expenses. Like an AtoB fuel card.
In addition to no hidden fees, our fuel card is accepted everywhere. That means you can save at a pump in Des Moines before covering repairs in Detroit. Talk about an easy haul.
Whether your fleet’s journey is long or short, AtoB is with you at every mile.
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