Save on Your Auto Insurance: Three Tips to Help You Manage Your Premiums

Commercial auto insurance is an essential policy all landscapers and nursery owners should carry to ensure the risks of the road don’t become business-ending blunders. With auto insurance premiums set to surge in 2024, according to Insurance Business Magazine, now is a valuable time for policyholders to find opportunities for cost savings. While individual needs may vary, depending on the size and structure of your business, here are some tips that can help you manage your auto insurance cost:


Establish Best Practices for Hiring and Driving

When your company-branded fleet hits the streets, you want to be confident your employees will conduct themselves professionally and safely on the roads. While labor shortages across the U.S. have forced many business owners to lower their driver applicant standards to fill vacant positions, hiring an inexperienced driver at your nursery or landscaping company can significantly increase your risk for accidents and commercial auto claims. 

Help ensure your business gets quality prospects by crafting best practices to identify qualified candidates and, once they’re hired, reinforce the importance of road safety with a driver safety policy. 

Your hiring program should include requests for the following information from candidates:

  • Motor vehicle records for the past three years.

  • Proof of road test completion and any required certifications.

  • A negative drug and alcohol test.

  • Records concerning any relevant criminal offenses, such as drunk driving. 

Your safe driving program, meanwhile, should set professional standards for employees on the road. These guidelines can include:

  • Avoiding distracted driving by prohibiting cell phone use and, if allowed, rules regarding hands-free communication technology. 

  • Always wearing a seatbelt, following the speed limit and obeying all posted traffic signs.

  • Instructions for what to do in the event of an accident, with supervisor contact information and next steps clearly outlined. 

Reinforcing your safe driving program with annual mandatory driver education training events can help ensure compliance and boost driver confidence. Plus, it can reduce the likelihood of potential tickets and accidents, improving your claim history.

Maintain Your Vehicles

Maintaining your fleet of vehicles is critical to the continued success of your landscaping or nursery business, enabling you to transport equipment and materials quickly and efficiently. However, a poorly maintained fleet poses risks that can negatively impact your claim history and cause your insurance rate to increase.

If your vehicles are not well-maintained, your chance of a sudden and costly breakdown on the roadway rises. This can heighten your risk for accidents and crashes, which can come with expensive bodily injury, property damage claims or even litigation. Too many incidents in company vehicles will harm your claim history, causing your premium to go up. 

Ensure employee safety and reduce risk by establishing — and closely following — a regular maintenance schedule. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends checking most commercial vehicles every six months for routine maintenance tasks, such as tire inspection and rotation, brake checks and oil changes. As part of your safe driver program, encourage employees to report vehicle issues as soon as they’re discovered, especially if they fall outside the maintenance schedule.

Speak with an Insurance Expert

Maintaining a good driving record and taking steps to ensure a low claim history are key factors in keeping your commercial auto insurance costs down. However, there are some considerations you can take to your insurance broker or advisor to manage or lower your costs:

  • Evaluate your deductible options – Many policyholders look for a perfect mix of coverage and cost when shopping for insurance. If you can afford to pay a little more out-of-pocket with a higher deductible in the event of an accident, the lower premium may help you save immediately on your commercial auto insurance. Remember that, unlike health insurance, there’s no maximum out-of-pocket cost you’re working toward. If you take on the responsibility of a higher deductible, you’ll have to pay out that amount every time you have a claim during your policy. 

  • Explore opportunities for discounts – Working with a qualified insurance expert can net you quality coverage at a discount. Insurance brokers act as an intermediary between you and the carrier, providing you with multiple options from top-rated carriers so you can pick the best option that suits your needs. Additionally, your broker should guide you on whether you’re eligible for multi-vehicle or bundled policy discounts. 

Commercial auto insurance is a critical policy for business owners of all stripes. By proactively managing your insurance costs, you can save money and ensure your business is properly protected. Contact MNLA’s insurance expert, Ashley Thomas, for a free risk analysis to explore your commercial auto insurance options. Learn more about available coverage at or contact Ashley Thomas of Gallagher Affinity at 918.764.1619 or for a coverage review.

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