December 17, 2010

The thirteenth century Worcestershire poet Layamon suggests that King Arthur first had some Cornish bloke knock up a large but easily transportable round table to prevent his legendary knights from quarrelling over precedence.

No doubt Fleet News convened their recent panel discussion on fleet insurance premiums around a similarly configured table to discourage any potential discord between assembled luminaries from the world of fleet insurance.

With a well-judged nod to the specialist language of mycology, Fleet News conclude from their circular seminar that firms who fail to enforce “tight controls” on driver and vehicle safety can expect to pay higher insurance premiums as “claims costs continue to mushroom.”

Could it be we’ve finally entered the twilight of the golden age of ever-falling insurance premiums?

Heath Lambert claims man Mike Ellis is sternly emphatic: “Claims costs are rising, so prices will increase – possibly next year, possibly the year after.”

“For some,” Ellis warns starkly, “coverage will be harder to get.”

Cash strapped insurers are tightening their stipulations, no doubt hoping to save some money by turning more claims away. “Any non-disclosures mean the claim will be at risk,” Ellis told Fleet News’ assembled roundtablists, “and the insurance companies will look at this more and more if the price continues to fall.”

Insurers, Fleet News suggest, “will mandate criteria designed to reduce claims, manage risk and prompt behavioural change with drivers.”

“It’s a culture and a top-down approach,” explains J Sainsbury risk analyst David Bolger gnomically.

“Agency drivers are bad news from a risk perspective,” suddenly pipes up Scott Ingham, director at Matrix Global Services, adding abruptly: “Foreign nationals can be an issue if they fly in, do a task, and then leave.”

Very true. And if there’s one thing underwriters don’t like it’s issues. Claims people, on the other hand, seem to really like them. It’s swings and roundabouts really, init?


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