Dec 7, 2022
How to Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs: The Importance of Safety in Truck Insurance
Running a trucking business is expensive, and fleet owners often feel that most of the expenses are out of their control. The transportation industry is highly subject to supply and demand, so carriers cannot control driver pay, fuel costs, or equipment prices. These are just a few of the many factors that transportation companies cannot change.
But there is one cost that carriers can control, and that is insurance. The best way to control insurance costs is by establishing a solid safety and compliance program.
According to Robert Kaferle, vice president of safety at Reliance Partners, "insurance, at the end of the day, is the transfer of risk. Less risk, less cost of insurance. Insurance companies identify the carrier's risk through their safety measurement system (SMS) scores, previous accidents, and policies and procedures."
By implementing a solid safety and compliance program, carriers can minimize the risk that insurance companies assume when insuring them. This results in paying a lower insurance premium than another company of the same size that operates in the same way but without such a program.
Reliance Partners, a truck insurance agency based in Tennessee, helps transportation companies control what they can by matching them with the best insurer for their business. What sets them apart, however, is their consulting program to help carriers implement a safety program that puts them in a less risky position in the long term.
Kaferle explains that "we want to minimize the frequency and severity of crashes and incidents through training, awareness, policies and procedures, and making sure that carriers are in the best possible position in terms of risks."
Reliance Partners provides carriers with training resources, answers their questions, and guides them as they build their own internal safety program. They offer clients a driver training platform and a database with safety compliance resources for topics such as cargo transport, storage, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and human resources.
Establishing a safety and compliance program doesn't have to be expensive. In addition to the lower premiums that companies often enjoy with safe practices, Reliance Partners helps companies save money upfront with their safety resources at no additional cost.
But at the end of the day, no safety program will succeed without the support of the drivers. Before carriers can educate drivers on how to improve safety compliance, they must understand why SMS scores are essential to their business and how it affects their productivity and ability to earn money.
"When you're building a safety program, when you're investing in your safety program, your drivers are the key," said Kaferle. "Increase awareness, gain the commitment" (Note: The original text seems to be cut off. To complete the thought, it would likely end with something like "of your drivers and make safety a core value of your company.")
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