Winter can be a difficult time for South Wales and South West transport companies such as hauliers, couriers, and taxi businesses.
High winds, snow, and flooding can hit your bottom line badly.
Here are the five most common ways your business could suffer:
Staff are unable to travel to work
Employees being snowed in or unable to reach your premises because of flooding is something which affected 25% of all small businesses in a recent survey. For transport companies, staff being unable to get to your site to pick up lorries, vans, or cars is a major headache.
Customers don’t want to venture out
For taxi companies and self-employed drivers, this is a major issue. In snowy and stormy weather, people naturally feel like they want to stay by their firesides.
Poor conditions mean it’s not safe for staff to go out to work
We all have a duty of care to our employees – and to ourselves. If road conditions are treacherous, it’s not safe to send drivers out on runs. Businesses should also have clear policies and procedure for staff on the road if they are on long journeys when bad weather hits.
Customers such as shops and other businesses are closed
There’s no need for deliveries of goods to stores and other types of businesses such as hotels, offices, and factories, if they are closed because of the weather. This can hit your revenue badly. It’s worth checking your contracts with clients to ensure you have a bad weather clause which ensure you don’t get penalised for non-delivery because of storms and snowfall.
Your vehicles are damaged
This could happen at your premises or on the road. Accidents are more likely when bad weather happens, and vehicles at business premises can sustain thousands of pounds worth of damage if they are hit by items being tossed about in high winds or flooded because of rainfall or storm surges in rivers and the sea.
How can you combat the threat to your business?
No one can control the weather. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the impact of winter storms.
Ensure your South Wales or South West business has clear policies and procedures for staff about winter absences and caring for your vehicles.
It’s worth having a pre-winter survey of your vehicles to ensure they’re all in good condition and are prepared for winter – including having anti-freeze and de-icer, the heating systems work efficiently, and all the lights function.
Having a plan to ensure your business can continue in the event of weather problems is also vital.
Part of this plan must be having the right level of insurance cover for your business and your vehicles.
Talk to your broker about what’s covered in your policy, and what your insurer defines as storm damage as opposed to accidental damage. This could affect how much you receive as a payout in the event something goes wrong – and some policies contain an excess payment clause for accidental damage.
A good insurance broker will help you with advice on risk management, and discuss whether your transport company needs fleet operators’ insurance.
Does your South Wales or South West transport business need advice on coping with winter risks? Call our experts today on 02920 470375. Find out more about fleet operators’ insurance here.