Truckers face more scrutiny from cost-wary insurers

Truck insurers are heavily scrutinising claims to try and stem a slump in profits brought about by recent natural disasters

By Ruza Zivkusic | August 25, 2011

Trucking operators making insurance claims face greater scrutiny as insurers tighten their belts to mitigate the costs of recent natural disasters.

GSK insurance manager Kevin Luck, from Belmont in Western Australia, says insurers have lost up to 30 percent in profit in the past year.

"Insurance companies are all tightening their belts. They’re not paying claims as easy as easy as they used to, they’re scrutinising claims a bit more now so there’s an impact right across the board," he says.

"It’s all been stemmed purely from the amount of money they’ve lost from the natural disasters such as floods and fires."

Insurance premiums are biting into operators’ bottom lines, with Luck saying GSK receives up to four calls a week from businesses seeking cheaper rates as they struggle with rising fuel prices and taxes.

"We’ve got people dropping their fleet sizes down and owner drivers who are struggling to make ends meet," he says.

"Nothing has really changed apart from the fact that costs have gone up. We have noticed this since September last year."

Small things like wind screens and the amount of travel can impact the premium, Luck says.

"We also look at the mount of liability cover they’ve got. By not being able to find work it could affect their insurance payments. At the end of the day, trucks are their livelihoods and if they roll their vehicle and write it off it takes a month to settle and then they’re not working for a month," he says.

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