10 steps to reducing your accident management costs
1. Employ a professional accident management company
Accident management is a complex issue. Choosing the right company should save you time and money, regardless of the size of your fleet, due to the experienced control of claims and repair costs.
2. Make sure your repair network is PAS 125 approved
PAS 125 is the BSI standard for vehicle body repairs which ensures a safe and technically sound repair and gives you peace of mind. Sub-standard repairs can cost you money, be dangerous and affect resell value.
3. Consider and track the ‘hidden’ costs of vehicle accidents
Calculate how many days your vehicles are off-the-road and how much time is spent on claims and administration. Both of these offer real opportunity for large savings if managed properly.
4. Insist on detailed management reporting
This will allow you to manage budgets accurately, keep track of every repair, identify problem areas and analyse trends. Compare reports from various providers to find out which suits your requirements.
5. Check repair coverage
Make sure your accident management company’s approved network of repairers covers the whole country. Some smaller repair chains offer limited coverage, inconsistent reporting, different standards and guarantees.
6. Consider mobile repairs
Triage repairs to identify the most efficient repair method. A professional mobile service can reduce off-the-road time, but make sure it is part of a fixed-site chain so that they can easily refer severe repairs to a bodyshop.
7. Reduce your claims with ‘less than excess’ repairs
Pay for low-value repairs rather than claiming, but agree contractual terms with a body repair group that allow you to know your likely costs. Often you can secure fixed price repairs via a matrix approach to pricing.
8. Make sure that repair quotes are ‘engineered’
‘Engineering’ means checking a vehicle repair quote against industry accepted costings. A professional accident repair company will ‘engineer’ each quotation. Ask to see the engineered quotations for every repair.
9. Claims handling
An important area that can minimise claims exposure and costs and allows you to recoup significant costs that your insurance policy may not cover. Check that your accident management provider offers this service.
10. Provide driver training – prevention is better than cure
Driver error remains the single biggest reason for accidents. Preven¬tion is better than cure, so provide advanced driver training for fleet drivers, starting with the ones who have had accidents historically.