Leeds-based commercial insurance broker, McCarron Coates, is engineering change in the van fleet market, by delivering insight into how the public perceive “white van man”.
To help the Freight Transport Association (FTA), recruit more members for the Van Excellence scheme for which it has provided a unique member-only exclusive insurance policy, McCarron Coates has embarked on a mission to help convert white van man into wise van man.
A survey of consumers UK-wide was independently commissioned to generate insights that will help van fleet operators and individual van drivers improve their risk and ultimately reduce their insurance premiums. It is just one of a variety of innovative approaches McCarron Coates has taken, to better understand its customers and help them gain greater self-awareness.
The methodology is in keeping with the commercial broker’s proactive approach to insurance provision and its ethos of thinking differently.
The research analysed the interaction between members of the public and van drivers and couriers in 22 different respects, to assess the average consumer’s attitude or emotions towards van drivers.
It discovered that a third of consumers (37 per cent ) believe van drivers have “lots of bad and inconsiderate driving habits”. Nearly one-in-five (19 per cent) said they believed van drivers to be the worst on the road, whilst a further 16 per cent felt only HGV drivers are worse than van drivers. Twenty three per cent believe van drivers often exhibit bullying behaviour such as tailgating.
The survey also discovered that the average consumer has more trust in a van driver at the wheel of an owned vehicle, rather than hired van, and similarly in drivers with signed vans. Notably, more than one in 20 interviewees are more wary of van drivers since vehicles started to be used in terror attacks, with this rising to 13 per cent of those living in Greater London.
These and many more findings are now being used to make van fleet operators think about their operation and act on the topics covered. To make the findings easy to assimilate, McCarron Coates has created a cartoon, which puts everything into context in a dynamic way.
Paul Coates said: “Our Wise Van Man campaign is focusing directly on areas that fleet operators should be considering, to improve their drivers’ performance and behaviour on the road, increase safety and lower premiums.
“However, it goes further than this, adding value by highlighting why fleets need to consider how driver behaviours affect their public image and brand reputation.”
Ian McCarron said: “Our findings demonstrate the correlation between a consumer’s trust in a van driver and their spotting of a logo that signifies that the driver participates in a safer driving scheme like Van Excellence.
“One-in-ten of us in general are more reassured when we see a logo that communicates a duty of care and this rises to 37 per cent of those aged 25 to 54. Our findings should provide lots of food for thought for van and courier fleet operators.”