Vehicle and fleet safety technology specialists CameraMatics asked over 600 small business owners in Ireland, the UK and the US about their main vehicle-related business challenge. The results paint an interesting picture in the run-up to June 27, designated by the UN as World Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day.
Both in the Ireland/UK and USA, business people overwhelmingly told CameraMatics that rising insurance costs came top of their list of vehicle challenges, with 53.3 per cent of Ireland/UK and 33.7 per cent of USA respondents reporting this as their primary concern.
Those dealing with business vehicles report that commercial vehicle insurance premiums have risen steadily for several years – so its position on the worry list may not come as a big surprise.
However, it is clear insurance is more of an issue for Irish/UK companies as it grabbed over 50 per cent of the vote, compared to the US where it was just a third. Could it be that insurance is a smaller portion of US company overheads?
Fuel and Operating costs are the next major concern, with 21.7 per cent of Ireland/UK and 26.1 per cent of USA businesses seeing this as an issue.
Worry about unsafe employee driving received 16.3 per cent of Ireland/UK and 22.3 per cent of USA votes.
And coming last in both territories was vehicle safety and security with just 8.7 per cent of Ireland/UK and 17.9 per cent of USA votes. The figures do suggest that vehicle security is more of a concern in the USA.
Interestingly, although the percentage of votes in each category varied by location, the order of concern remained the same. It’s fair to say these are very real issues for small business owners the world over, despite local and national issues causing variations. Concerns that give business owners an extra headache when they want to focus on making their core business a success.
Insurance providers are clear that robust risk management has a positive effect on premiums and there are many simple and affordable vehicle solutions available to small business owners.
Commenting on the results, CameraMatics CEO Mervyn O’Callaghan said: “Small businesses everywhere rely on vehicles to run their operations. From one or two cars and vans to larger vehicles and bigger fleets: vehicles keep businesses moving and serving their customers. This has never been more important than at present when many services need to be brought to customers’ doorsteps.
“Insurance is a major driver for businesses deploying our system on their vehicles. Vehicle technology such as cameras and tracking are no longer just for trucks. Proper risk management using technology enables all types of vehicles to become safer and smarter.”
British insurance giant Aviva announced in 2019 that the values of both whiplash fraud and organised fraud (e.g. crash for cash) went down 10 per cent and 12.5 per cent, respectively. So video technology may be reducing fake claims, which are time-consuming for small companies to defend.