By leveraging ELD data, CarrierHQ allows fleets to pay how they drive
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While dust settles around a tight and tense election and the just-in-time COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is deep in the development stage, the often-overlooked small fleet owners are keeping their wheels turning in the rush of peak retail season.
Regardless of circumstance, small fleets remain frustrated by their spiking insurance premiums and are searching for ways to save significant money and increase cash flow.
Many of those fleets, which make up 97% of America’s transportation industry, are seeing insurance rates that have doubled over the last three years excluding any additional fees for financing their premium payments with high interest rates. Due to many factors like the 300% spike in nuclear verdicts, insurance is now the second-highest fixed expense — after equipment payments — for small fleets, even for drivers with safe driving records. Insurance is a considerable cost for startup fleets with a brand-new authority that limits new entrants to the market.
The traditional insurance model needed to change. Small fleets need the ability to control insurance costs through a modern solution tied closer to their actual performances. That’s precisely why in late 2019 CarrierHQ launched the Small Fleet Advantage program, the industry’s first monthly adjustable rate program for trucking insurance. By zeroing in on one of the biggest frustrations for existing or brand-new small fleets of one to 20 Class 7 or 8 trucks, the Small Fleet Advantage program gives fleets the ability to lower costs and improve cash flow through safe driving, thereby enabling those fleets to thrive and grow their businesses.
To make this solution easy and entirely online, CarrierHQ partnered exclusively with leading global professional services firm Aon, which provides a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, to launch the Small Fleet Advantage program.
“Small fleet insurance rates are typically two to three times that of what a large fleet would be,” said Mark Epperson, executive director at Aon. “We want to give those small fleets an advantage that they didn’t have previously and help them cash in off of their better driving experience, much like a larger carrier will take retentions or use other tools that smaller carriers don’t have at their disposal. Giving them the information they need to operate more efficiently and effectively will help with their cash flow, profitability and Unlike the back-and-forth waiting game carriers often endure to secure a policy, the Small Fleet Advantage program requires only a few minutes to sign up, enter information about your authority, equipment, drivers and electronic logging device to get a competitive initial rate and quote that’s good for 45 days. Flexible payment options including a zero down payment option for fleets factoring through CarrierHQ eliminates premium financing and aligns payments to a fleet’s operation. Existing users can also easily add or remove units and renew their plans online. The program is now offered in 32 states and will be in every state except Alaska, Hawaii and New York by the end of the year.
The Small Fleet Advantage program provides an annual scheduled auto liability policy — and includes the expected coverage option features such as hired auto, trailer interchange, comprehensive and collision (physical damage), etc. Eligible fleets are able to add cargo coverage as well.
Should a company need to cancel a service, CarrierHQ provides flexible month-to-month cancellation policies without penalties. If needed, insurance policies have a 35-day notice cancellation window through the Small Fleet Advantage program.
Drive safe and save up to 30% monthly
“The only way to lower those costs is by getting access to ELD data as the basis of rerating each month,” said Scott Prince, chief executive officer of CarrierHQ. “We currently connect to many different ELD vendors that meet the program’s data flow and accuracy requirements. Each month your driving data is evaluated, and your rate goes down or up based on the fleet’s actual driving data which enables a fleet to save up to 30% off of its monthly premium. Tying a significant financial incentive like saving up to 30% on insurance each month to safe driving gets fleets to pay attention and actually drive safer — which helps them save and helps keep everyone safer.
This creates a significant financial incentive to slowing down and driving safely — what Prince says should be considered a no-brainer for fleets. The program also provides small fleets access to those actionable insights, so they’ll know, in real time, when they’re in the red or green on each truck in the program. Small fleets can establish and grow their operations beyond 20 trucks, transforming insurance from a high fixed cost to a variable cost within their control.
California-based McGirt Transportation, for example, maximized its capacity this year and is looking to expand its fleet to 10 trucks. Owner Wilfred McGirt knew that due to the expense of insurance, he had to lower costs in order to add equipment. He responded to a CarrierHQ email for a free quick quote and liked the rates so much he signed up for an auto liability and cargo policy. After driving safely, McGirt’s monthly rate went down.
“I’m saving money and increasing my profit sooner than I thought,” said McGirt. “CarrierHQ’s Small Fleet Advantage rates were good, their pay-as-you-go helps my cash flow and I really like their new concept of giving me control of rates within the initial year. Once I got my Geotab device hooked up, everything has been smooth sailing. I love the driving stats and reports I get every week.”
Cynthia Kuykendall, owner of Tennessee-based Safe Haul Logistics, said she’s achieved a 30% rate reduction in her monthly policy premium. Through the program’s safety reports and the alerts sent to her mobile phone, she can tailor driver safety training to target the issues her drivers face. The ELD data provided through the mobile dashboard helps her with route and load planning too — so she can be in two places at once.
Pair insurance with factoring to open up cash flow
Factoring through CarrierHQ also operates month-to-month, and if small fleets factor, they’re offered a no-money-down option for their insurance, and weekly insurance payments are handled through weekly factoring activity. While fleets are not required to factor through CarrierHQ, this unique service bundle opens up additional cash flow benefits like no long-term contract or monthly minimums.
CarrierHQ studied the factoring market and built in the best features of competitive non-recourse rates, zero application fees, free credit checking of shippers, same-day funding as low as $1 and free next-day ACH. While fleets can use either factoring or insurance services, the most unique benefit is attained when the services are combined and a fleet can elect to utilize the no money down option on insurance.
By rewarding small fleets for driving safely through lowered premiums, it changes their relationship with insurance and turns their second-highest fixed cost into a controllable variable expense.