RHA Insurance Services reviews the year and looks ahead to the challenges of 2022

This time last year, we were discussing the issues around COVID and Brexit and whilst the vaccination programme has seen the start of us returning to some form of ‘normality’, unfortunately, it has been another challenging year. With a shortage of energy, fuel, drivers and transport globally giving rise to supply-chain issues that are likely to persist longer than expected.

The surge in post-pandemic demand from all that online shopping has put additional strain on an already fragile system. The huge spikes in UK demand for haulage have come at a time when there’s a significant skilled driver deficit causing additional concerns and problems for owners across the sector.

The bane of Brexit

Brexit hasn’t helped either. The cost of shipping has increased tenfold and delays in freight movement due to paperwork and increased time for drivers to complete work- border controls has created a logistical nightmare.

In a survey conducted in June, six months on from the Brexit transition, 94% of UK haulage companies stated they have been negatively impacted and are seeing greater Brexit aftershocks than they anticipated. Furthermore, the number of UK haulage companies that have lost business because of Brexit regulation changes has risen to 69%.

We are here to help

However, as the partner insurance provider to the RHA, we are here to support both the sector and members as much as possible. For example, our COVID insurance advice line proved to be rather active this year- you can access it by calling 0203 960 2944 and we have also created several helpful guides that you can access via our website rhainsuranceservices.uk.net.

These include advice and help in getting younger or inexperienced drivers added to your fleet, which is one route to remedy the driver deficit. Insurers are aware of the need to become more accommodating for the younger profile. Developing your own ‘home grown talent’ internally will help insurers feel more comfortable than if you are seeking to insure casual part-time drivers. The use of telematic technology is also helping owners to analyse their fleet performance and continues to drive premiums down for those that take an active role in managing drivers utilising the data within their business.

Wellbeing Matters

Sickness and absenteeism have also been an unfortunate feature of 2021. Transport workers take off almost three times more days due to illness than the UK average: the mean number of sick days per year in the UK is just 4.4, whereas transport workers take 11.4 days on average. Health and wellbeing are one aspect we take very seriously and that is why we have introduced a new facility to provide that additional support. Our ‘Wellbeing Matters’ platform provides free, convenient, and confidential access to a range of helpful content including videos, podcasts and blogs, via multiple points, to support the needs of your employees at any time. This platform also offers wellbeing packages that you can invest in for your staff. Get in touch with the team to get your free access.

RHA Van Launches

We have also extended our capabilities with the addition of RHA Van team, so we can access a wider range of cover options supporting smaller fleets and vehicles. In addition, we have added to our team of haulage experts to ensure we can continue to offer you fast, efficient and tailored solutions.

We know more changes are coming, but this industry has shown amazing resilience, responsiveness and flexibility in the way it has adapted, and we are confident that will continue to be the case during 2022.

As a business, we continue to proudly service the requirements of RHA members, and we are confident about next year as we build on our partnership and continue to improve on our service-led proposition.

We look forward to providing on-going support and advice and would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and hopefully a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

From everyone at the RHA Insurance Services team

Contact us on 0203 960 2944 or enquiries@rhainsuranceservices.uk.net