Insurance premiums could increase as much as 20 to 25 percent in 2020, thanks in large part to the extremely high awards being determined by juries against carriers and fleets. With insurance rates on the rise, what can you do?
Preparing for Insurance Rate Increases
Insurance companies that service the trucking industry have been running at a loss for the past seven to eight years, at around 120 percent loss ratios. Something has to give, and it’s going to be fleets paying higher premiums, even if you have a stellar record with your insurer. To afford new insurance rates, you may need to raise your deductible and lower liability coverage per incident – which typically isn’t recommended.
The other option will be to offset these rising costs with greater efficiencies and productivity. If you can spend less money in other areas and earn more business, you may not feel the pain quite as much.
New Proposed HOS Rules
One potential change that could allow for more productivity for fleets and carriers is the new proposed HOS rules. They could be adopted as early as January 2020. These rules allow for greater flexibility while still maintaining safety.
- Extend the radius of short haul exemptions from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
- Extend maximum on-duty limit of short haul fleets from 12 hours to 14 hours.
- Extend the maximum 14 hour on-duty period by two hours due to adverse conditions (bad weather) so drivers would be allowed 13 hours of drive time and 16 hours on-duty.
- Split up the 10 hour off duty rest period to allow a driver to take seven to eight hours in the sleeper berth with two to three hours in off-duty status, without having it count towards their 14-hour window.
- Allow drivers to satisfy 30 minute breaks by using off-duty status. Drivers would be able to extend their break for up to three hours without counting it as on-duty status.
If these changes go into effect, be prepared to use tools and technology to monitor adverse conditions and personal conveyance use closely. There may be little leeway and forgiveness for potential abuse of these two exceptions.
Use Your ELD to Its Fullest Capabilities
With greater flexibility for breaks, short hauls, and hours on-duty, your drivers can take on more hauls, get more miles, and help the company grow — earning everyone more money. But the technology you’re already using can increase efficiencies and lower expenses, too.
Your ELD can help plan the best routes. It can also help you monitor driver behavior so your drivers can reduce idle time, hard braking, and speeding. This lowers your fuel costs. The eDVIR built into the Gorilla Safety Fleet Management System also allows for better monitoring of repairs and service needs and helps keep your drivers and trucks free from unnecessary and expensive violations.
You can’t change how much an insurance company will charge for coverage, but you can increase profit margins by growing your business and decreasing expenses. Gorilla Safety can be a tool in your arsenal to make this easier than ever. Contact us today to learn more!