It’s no secret, particularly if you are in the motor trade, that insurance rates are on the up. This is often no reflection on the individual or business at hand as they may have not experienced any claims and still present a good risk but claims seen across the board mean insurers have seen a significant reduction in profit and even losses in this sector. Some insurers – Equity Red Star – even pulling out of the market altogether.
So how can you set yourself above the rest and present a good risk. Unless you take risk management and security seriously it is likely that insurers will not be interested in offering discounts when quoting. We, as a broker, need to be in a position to portray your business in the best possible light. Here are some things you may wish to consider working on prior to your next renewal.
Act as if uninsured – If you remember this as an overriding principal then you wont go far wrong. Acting as if you are uninsured will mean that you will pay more attention to security, to health and safety, to cleanliness and legislation.Within this over-arching point there are several other things to consider.
1) Security – Taking into account the above, insurers will be more willing to offer good rates if you have good security. Not all cases require an alarm but those that do should consider at least some form of digital signaling and a police response. If trading from home then insurers will need you to have a significant key safe and decent door and window locks.
2) Health and Safety – This is not a scary concept and is fairly straight forward. Its mainly about applying common sense and writing it down. Two body repair businesses walk into an insurance brokerage, the first is clean and tidy risk the second is a clean and tidy risk with an accident book and a written health and safety policy – who do you think gets the better rate? You can download template Health and Safety policies from the HSE website and an accident book will cost you a couple of pounds.
3) Legislation – Depending on what your business is, what sort of property you occupy and how many people you employ there may be some legislation applicable to you. Insurers would expect you to be compliant with these things and if you are not you may find yourself putting your hand in your own pocket to pay for a claim. If for example there is some legislation stating that the electrical circuits must be inspected and they haven’t been which leads to an electrical fire you may well discover the insurance to be void. It doesn’t have to be a nauseating experience to find out what your obligations are. You can find most information on the HSE website or on industry sites. There are also professionals who will guide you through H&S and legislation issues.
4) Drivers and Training – Insurers are keen on training. Record any training you give to your employees no matter how small. Obtain licences and driving references for new drivers. Insurers like this area of the insurance to be well managed. Consider sending drivers on AA Drive-tech courses should they pick up claims or convictions. Stating that you have a set, clear plan for driver training means insurers will see you as a well managed business. It also means that insurers will be confident that, in the event of a claim you have systems in place to try and prevent that happening again.
5) More is Less – Flipping the old cliche around often we find that trying to scrimp on the insurance by only insuring Third Party or having a low vehicle limit means that you often restrict the insurers that will quote. Insuring liability, tools and / or premises etcetera often means that more insurers will be willing to quote which  in turn means you may benefit, not just from insuring your business more appropriately but also from more palatable premiums.
For more information on any of the above or to see if we can assist with your motor trade business please do not hesitate to give us a call.