Every fleet should have an accident management program with ongoing optimizations and efficiency updates. But choosing an accident management program that is right for your fleet means evaluating the benefits of a program and how well they match your exact fleet requirements.
When Should You Reevaluate Your Accident Management Program?
Fleet management is not a set-it and forget-it enterprise. It requires active management to be responsive to supply chain constraints, economic challenges, technological advances, legislative changes, and more. Here are some signs it is time to adjust your accident management program:
- Strain on internal resources for accident management
- An increase in your accident rate
- Increased accident volume to manage
- Repair cycle time is increasing
- Changes to system or reporting requirements
- Difficulty managing repair spend
- Increase in your insurance premiums
If you find it is time for change, the next step is to find out what can be done to improve your program and which company might offer the right solutions.
What is professional fleet accident management, and what key benefits does it offer?
Fleet accident management is a process designed to reduce the overall costs and productivity losses when fleet vehicles are damaged. This is accomplished through management of the entire repair cycle from proper claim intake to driver appointment setting for repairs, quality control reviews of estimates and repairs, completion of repairs at certified body shops, rental management, returning vehicles to service, and subrogation to recover losses.
A professional fleet accident management service provider is staffed with professionals certified and skilled in these areas of expertise. They offer a mix of products and services that meet a client’s unique requirements and use scale and technology investments to more effectively manage the entire process.
Fleets benefit from professional fleet accident management in a number of ways, including:
- Reduced repair cycle time
- Reduced repair costs
- Improved repair quality
- Increased subrogation recovery
- Automated driver remediation
- Continuous investment in accident management technology
The Fleet Accident Management Process
When an accident occurs, an effective fleet accident management program provides a streamlined process that fleet managers can follow for consistent, fast, reasonably priced claims processing and repairs. This process will look something like this:
- An accident occurs
- A point of contact, usually the driver, reports the accident to the accident management provider
- Claim intake completed – where important data gathering occurs. This determines subsequent actions, including arranging towing and rentals, shop assignment, driver risk assessments and training, and loss recovery.
- FNOL is performed
- Repair estimate obtained
- Estimate is reviewed
- Repair is approved
- Repair is scheduled and actively managed to completion
- Return of rental is managed (as needed)
- Loss recovery (as needed)
- Salvage (as needed)
Throughout the process, rapid timelines are essential to getting drivers and vehicles back on the road, so your fleet can continue to serve customers effectively. Fleet accident management programs are designed to keep these timelines as short as possible while minimizing repair costs. Over time, new technologies are integrated into fleet accident management programs that help decrease repair times and improve productivity, like contact-free estimates, automated shop and driver communications, eliminating third-party appraisals, and reducing rental expenses.
During the loss recovery phase, a comprehensive fleet accident management program will handle all necessary actions to maximize loss recoveries. The key to loss recovery is to keep timelines as short as possible and aggressively pursue recoveries from involved third parties for all billable claim expenses and non-billable costs. With the right mix of experience and tools at your disposal, it’s possible to recover 95% or more of your costs on subrogated claims.
How Is an Integrated Fleet Accident Management Program Different?
When a fleet accident management program is integrated into other services, it becomes even more effective. For example, when integrating accident management data into a fleet risk management platform, drivers who experience an accident can receive immediate remedial training assignments appropriate for the type of accident.
Conversely, when fleets can tie driver behaviors measured in a safety program like DriverCare CoPilot back to accident data, they can proactively target drivers who exhibit those same predictive behaviors but have not yet experienced an accident.
Through immediate and proactive remediation, fleets can significantly reduce their accident rate and improve their risk profile.
Getting Started with the Right Fleet Accident Management Program
If you are considering a change from your current situation, your organization likely has a specific process to follow. If not, or if you wish to become more informed about potential providers to include in a formal evaluation process, here are some suggestions.
Assess the Status Quo – One of the first things to do is honestly assess your current situation. Get input from key stakeholders and use a simple way of measuring current satisfaction with your program overall and the components of your program. Look at your data and measure how well your program is doing on cost control, timeliness of repairs, recovery percentages, and so forth.
Identify Possible Providers – Here are some ways to find qualified fleet accident management providers with services that can work for you:
- Use your professional network to find out what other fleets like yours are doing and if they like their provider.
- Do an internet search for the particular areas of weakness you are trying to solve and find out what you can about each company’s services.
- Search for providers through directories in industry societies like AFLA, NAFA, and NETS.
- Reach out to providers you’ve identified as possible matches to discuss the services they offer in more detail to see if you want to continue exploring their solutions. Be honest with where you are in your process, and you’ll get a better result from those conversations.
You’re now better informed to begin the process of vetting and evaluating a chosen list of solution providers.
A professional fleet accident management program can reduce repair costs, speed up repair times, maximize loss recovery following accidents, provide intelligence to improve driver performance, and more.
As an industry leader in the fleet accident management industry, CEI offers a variety of products and services that may help you with your specific fleet situation. Contact us today to talk with one of our specialists and explore cost-effective solutions for your fleet.