Claims management: How to handle fleet damage professionally

When dealing with claims, speed is of the essence in order to avoid disrupting operations and keep costs low.

Efficient claims management plays an important role in every vehicle fleet, because damage can occur at any time. The costs can quickly skyrocket. Smooth claims management that simplifies internal communication processes and ensures employee mobility is therefore essential. But how do company fleets ensure efficient handling of damage to the fleet? And what steps are necessary for this? We tell you which tasks are part of claims management and how you should proceed in the event of a claim.

What does fleet claims management mean?

The term claims management covers all processes and strategies that are used to handle damage to a company’s or organization’s vehicles. If an accident or vehicle damage occurs in the fleet, a quick response is required. Otherwise, this can quickly lead to high costs and unnecessary disruption to operational processes.

Efficient claims management helps to keep costs as low as possible and minimize downtimes. An important aspect here is also
damage prevention
to reduce the risk of accidents and damage to vehicles in advance. This includes, for example, regular maintenance, driver instruction and driver safety training. When purchasing new company vehicles, you should also make sure that the vehicles are up to date in all technical and safety-related aspects.

Claims management in the vehicle fleet: The handling of claims

If, despite all precautionary measures, an accident occurs in the fleet, you as fleet manager should consider the following steps when handling the claim.

Step 1 - Damage assessment

After the accident, the health of all those involved should first be checked and the accident site secured. The police must then be informed and the damage recorded. This initial assessment should always be made in writing so that the insurance company can realistically estimate the costs later on. Photos of the accident site and the vehicles are also important, as they provide a crucial documentation basis for subsequent claims processing by the fleet manager and the insurance company.

Step 2 - Notification of damage to the insurance company

Report the accident to the insurance company immediately. This can be done in writing, but also by telephone or digitally. More and more insurance companies are offering online forms or apps in which pictures can be uploaded and details of the damage can be provided. As soon as the damage report has been received and processed by the insurance company, cover is checked and, in some cases, experts are called in . It may also be necessary to contact the opposing insurance company as part of the claims settlement process.

Step 3 - Organizing the repair

The next step is to organize the repair of the vehicle, if necessary in consultation with the insurance company. As fleet manager, you can do this yourself or hand it over to a service provider. This step is critical, as it is not uncommon for many fleets to experience repair delays here. You should therefore not wait until a claim is made before you have a partner workshop.

If the employee is dependent on a company car, you should provide them with a replacement car for the duration of the repair. It is more favorable if the vehicle to be repaired is a
pool vehicle
is a pool vehicle. In this case, the driver can quickly switch to an alternative car from the car sharing pool.

The maintenance intervals for vehicles are usually recommended by the manufacturer and can be found in the service booklet
Professional damage management starts with prevention. This includes regular maintenance appointments to rectify damage in good time before it leads to accidents or expensive repairs.

Step 4 - Damage evaluation and reporting

Efficient claims management also means that responsibilities are clarified in advance and that claims are processed quickly internally. Especially the
fleet controlling
plays an important role here. The evaluation of the damage costs and the effects on the overall value of the vehicle (particularly relevant for leased vehicles) are just two of many aspects that need to be carefully considered after a claim has been reported.

In addition, it makes sense to analyze anomalies or clusters of damage types or the timing of damage so that the fleet manager can react accordingly – whether in the form of improved safety equipment such as a reversing camera or increased training for company car drivers.

Claims management starts with prevention

Efficient claims management starts with preventing accidents and damage to the vehicle fleet. This includes
regular UVV driver training.
Drivers are trained in the safe handling of company vehicles and how to behave correctly in the event of an accident. It is extremely important to document all training courses carried out, as there may be severe penalties in the event of a claim if the training was not carried out or not documented.

The operational safety of the vehicles should also be ensured as part of claims management. Regular servicing and maintenance measures help to prevent damage and ensure road safety.

Fahrerunterweisung nach UVV

Safe on the road: Driver training in accordance with UVV

Carano’s e-learning course trains drivers in the safe use of company vehicles. All results are fully documented and serve as proof in the event of a claim.

Why digital solutions support efficient claims management

Digitization has long since arrived in the fleet and supports those responsible in streamlining communication processes and thus saving time and costs in the long term. Digital solutions can help speed up processing times and keep costs as low as possible, especially in the area of claims management. In addition, fleet software offers the option of collecting all relevant documents relating to the damage, such as images, repair approvals or expert reports, centrally in a digital damage file.

Comprehensive reporting is costly and a decisive cost factor, especially in the management of large fleets. Software solutions that automatically keep an eye on vehicle costs, evaluate damage or remind users of safety-related deadlines such as the completion of the UVV driver instruction or the driving license check offer a lot of savings potential in the long term.

Fleet management software supports you with the following functions:

  • Claims file incl. Pictures, expert opinions and other documents
  • Analysis of key damage areas
  • Automated communication with the insurance company
  • Monitoring of claims settlement
  • Decentralized online claims reporting by drivers
Fuhrparkmanagement Software Fleet+ digitalisiert die Verwaltung der Flotte

Claims management with Fleet+

Our Fleet+ fleet software digitalizes and simplifies claims management: collect all images, expert reports and invoices in a digital claims file and analyse the main points of damage. Drivers can report damage directly via the web application.

What are the advantages of outsourcing claims management?

In many fleets, service providers take care of claims handling, saving fleet managers a lot of time. But here, too, it is important to consider outsourcing carefully, as the choice on the market is diverse. This checklist can help with the selection of an external service provider:

  • Service hours and service hotlines
  • Help with damage abroad
  • Service packages, e.g. communication with workshop, fast procurement of a replacement car
  • Reporting options
  • How much time does the fleet manager still have to invest himself?

Whether a leasing provider, a fleet company or a car insurance company handles the claims settlement is ultimately always a matter of discretion. It is important to carefully examine internal capacities before outsourcing claims management.

Small fleets in particular, in which not every position can be filled by a specialist, benefit from outsourcing and can devote themselves better to other fleet-related topics thanks to the reduced workload. Particularly when it comes to legal expertise, fleet managers should not be afraid to call in an expert service provider to handle the claim, in order to be able to assess and minimize possible later legal costs ahead of time.

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