4 Tips to Save on Insurance Rates for Your NEMT Business
Disclaimer: This article is based on the webinar we hosted.
Every business must have insurance. Not having robust coverage could lead to bankruptcy when disaster strikes.
Insurance is one of the biggest expenses for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) businesses. For one, liability insurance is mandatory—without it, you cannot legally operate. It covers medical expenses in case of injuries, along with the costs for legal defense and settlements.
Essential NEMT insurance also covers the following:
- Professional liability
- Auto liability
- Physical damage
- Worker’s compensation
There are also various non-essential coverages that will be helpful to the business in the long run, especially if there is a large fleet and group of drivers involved.
So, how can a business pay for all these insurance expenses?
4 Tips to Lower Insurance Coverage
The methods to reduce insurance coverage will help improve the company. These best practices will protect your customers, drivers, and overall business all at once:
1. Create a Culture of Safety
It goes without saying that safety is critical in NEMT. And creating a culture of safety in the company will also help lower your insurance costs.
“Safety is extremely important. That should be the first thing you think of. It really comes down to training your drivers,” said Thomas Clancy, an insurance expert and regional vice president of Research Underwriters.
Thomas cautioned NEMT companies against hiring drivers out of desperation. When companies don’t have enough drivers to serve the growing demand for NEMT services, they may accept applicants without doing their due diligence (i.e., investigating their MVRs).
While professional experience is an essential hiring requirement, companies can still accept novice drivers as long as they are given extensive training before they begin to drive clients. New NEMT drivers can shadow experienced ones to understand the intricacies of the industry.
Even experienced NEMT drivers need additional training. Clancy recommends at least quarterly safety meetings and retraining on safe NEMT driving practices.
NEMT Driver’s Manual
All new hires should get a driver’s manual to better understand the company's safety culture. Putting guidelines on paper or in a booklet is a way of institutionalizing these safety procedures and emphasizing their importance.
Include basic first aid response in the manual. After all, drivers deal with patients going to and from doctor’s appointments. Thomas Clancy, in a conversation with RouteGenie co-CEO Jonathan Anthon, suggests that every driver should have an accident kit in their NEMT vehicle.
Rewarding drivers will make them want to do better. For example, a team incentive will help drivers feed off and inspire each other to do better and get a shared reward.
The incentive doesn’t have to be too expensive—it should be just enough to make at least one driver on the team want to succeed.
Before manuals, training sessions, and incentives, it all starts with the hiring process. An NEMT driver is unlike any other professional driver. They must drive well and provide good customer service. But while customer service can be learned, a bad driving history may be hard to correct.
Vet drivers properly and make sure they don’t have a history of traffic violations. An inexperienced NEMT driver with a good record will likely perform better in the long run. And your company can help shape a driver’s NEMT experience with intensive training.
Remember that one bad apple in a pool of NEMT drivers can compromise the company’s reputation and drive insurance coverage costs through the roof.
2. Leverage Technology to Reduce Insurance Rates
There are two basic ways that technology can lower insurance rates: safety and optimization.
First, fewer trips mean fewer accidents, which would mean low insurance rates. With route optimization, which is one of the basic features of NEMT software like RouteGenie, you can plan and properly schedule trips to prevent unnecessary fuel use and excessive man-hours.
The software also tracks maintenance needs so that vehicles are always in great shape when transporting passengers. Well-maintained vehicles will also lower insurance costs because they will not put passengers or drivers at risk.
Second, high-end cameras and event data recorders (EDRs) have prevented major claims for many NEMT businesses. For one, EDRs can prevent accidents because you can correct unsafe practices with your driver. You can track if they use their phones while driving or constantly take their eyes off the road.
If accidents occur, you can prevent them from blowing up because the EDR demonstrates fault. Furthermore, if there are false claims against the NEMT company, you can quickly shut them down with concrete evidence.
3. Get Ahead With Insurance Renewal
Don’t wait until the last minute to process your insurance renewal. It must be an ongoing task—Thomas suggests going through the logs and budget ahead of time so it doesn’t sneak up on you. Quarterly would be a good schedule to revisit unresolved complaints and claims and try to close all of them as soon as possible.
Insurance is one of the biggest overhead expenses for NEMT companies, and it will only get bigger when the company grows. Going over your budget and books beforehand will help streamline the renewal process and keep expenses low. Furthermore, you can’t expect your insurance coverage from the previous year to be the same.
4. Develop a Relationship With the Right Broker
Finding and communicating with a trusted broker is an integral part of insurance for NEMT providers. Good brokers can be incredibly helpful in overall operations—they are very knowledgeable about insurance within the industry and will always inform their clients about their best options.
Brokers should make sure your business is fully covered—not to over-insure or under-insure, but to provide you with much-needed peace of mind.
Creating a culture of safety, investing in excellent technology, planning ahead, and developing a relationship with reliable brokers are all fantastic tips that will help lower insurance rates and improve company operations in the long run. To get your NEMT insurance quote feel free to submit a request via our website.
About the author
As RouteGenie's Marketing Director, Yurii gained deep knowledge in the NEMT industry. He is an expert in marketing, utilizing all marketing channels to build RouteGenie's brand and to make sure NEMT providers have access to powerful NEMT software that can boost their growth. Yurii shares his knowledge by writing content on topics related to marketing, and the healthcare industry: medical transportation, home care, and medical billing. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.