Reduce your risks, save money and ensure you have all the right tools for a profitable fleet with Gauntlet’s helpDo you know how to get your insurance premiums down, and keep them there? “As bus and coach specialists we know what insurers want to see and we know what fleet operators need to do to make sure their fleet is more attractive to an underwriter,” says Roger Gaunt, Managing Director of Gauntlet Group.Gauntlet helps clients manage their risks and has created a suite of services that is designed for any fleet operator to use, “like a tool box to dip in and out of if they need to,” says Roger.Gauntlet MD: Roger Gaunt“If we can make sure a fleet is well presented to an underwriter, we’ll get much better terms,” he says. “And if we can make sure that that fleet is profitable for the insurers, then they’re likely to want to keep that client for a long time, and they’re likely to give better terms at renewal.”What is Gauntlet?Set up 24 years ago by Roger, insurance broker Gauntlet Group offers relevant and comprehensive insurance and risk management solutions to operators.The company is there to support the insurance needs of operators, can ensure it gets them the best deals – and has a reputation for fixing fleets.“In terms of fleet products, some are delivered internally, whilst with others we work with external partners, so as to provide a one-stop shop for fleet operators of any size,” says Gauntlet’s Health and Safety Development Manager Andrew Scott.“We have a solution for what we like to think are the most likely scenarios fleet operators may face, whether that is a review or a fleet survey, or driver training, which could be online or delivered traditionally.”Says Tom O’Connell, Gauntlet’s Head of Motor New Business: “It’s about giving operators support so that, operationally, they can be sound.”“And it’s about protecting their balance sheet from insurance claims. That’s what we’re here to do,” adds Andrew.Claims management“In the olden days, claims were really quite low and so managing the insurance premium wasn’t a big deal and managing the claims wasn’t a big deal. Now it’s really significant; insurers are paying out substantial personal injury claims because of the changes to the Ogden rate.”Adds Andrew: “We find businesses in a range of states of flux. It’s less common to find well-run ones.“If we see a distressed risk – that’s a poor claims experience, not that well-managed from our point of view in terms of claims analysis and claims trends – we can go in with a range of solutions, and say to an insurer, ‘ok, we’ve got this risk, this is where we’re at. We’re going to work with the client for the next ‘x’ number of months by developing management systems for them, by coaching their staff and by giving them a dedicated service’.“This means operators can manage their fleet themselves, but have us as a guiding hand.”This is a way Gauntlet puts claims measures in place to ensure a situation doesn’t “spiral out of control,” says Tom.“Gauntlet can then show insurers how the solution will be followed through, so we’re not just saying it, we’re actually going to do it and show the evidence all along the way so, when it gets to renewal, everyone is pleased with the results.”Root of the problemIt’s hard to have effective fleet management if you don’t have the resources needed to do this, or the expertise or time. Operators are busy doing what they need to do and they need someone to direct and advise them and pinpoint the issues.“We can get into a business, look at the problems and ask ‘what is the root cause?” Andrew says. “This is something many fleet managers need to identify, but struggle to do.”Spend money wiselyIt’s important to not spend money on things which are seen as good risk management, but are, in fact, a waste of money, Roger explains.He says: “Telematics and cameras are a big topic, but operators can spend a lot of money on the wrong things and not get the results they’re expecting.“We try to be very direct with our advice and when operators are spending money incorrectly, we’ll tell them, because there’s no point in them continuing to believe they’re going to get a good result from spending their money on something that, actually, insurers don’t value or don’t see as being capable of generating results.”Using CCTVThere’s only a point to having cameras if they’re positioned correctly and strategically placed for maximum efficiency, Roger says. And then ensuring the information is recorded properly and passed on to the right people in the correct format.Adding cameras is a big development for coach and bus operators; with the cameras correctly positioned it makes claims quick to resolve because it’s factual evidence.But it’s not always your own cameras you can rely on. Gauntlet advises gathering surrounding CCTV in the area, or if there’s a roadside accident, finding out whether someone who had a dashcam saw the incident.“It’s about training drivers to remember to ask someone who stopped ‘do you have a dashcam? Have you got any footage you can pass through to me?’,” Roger says.Risk managementWhen asked what element of risk management should be the first priority of investment, Roger says that driver training is the most vital, first and foremost.“Prevention is the most important thing to invest in,” he says, adding that Driver CPC training doesn’t fully ‘vet’ the driver in aspects such as driving behaviour and accident prevention measures and doesn’t provide any driver profiling. That’s where Driving Monitor comes in.Gauntlet has introduced Driving Monitor – a web-based fleet risk management tool that can assess drivers’ competency levels.Driving MonitorIt’s easy to use with simple steps to follow, and ultimately helps operators meet the company’s health and safety obligations.Employees will travel through a cycle:Step1: EvaluateRiskMonitorThe really simple-to-use risk assessment moduleTrainingMonitoreLearning from your driver’s desktopStep2: ProfileLicenceMonitorDriving licence info & checks with the DVLAFleetMonitor‘Grey fleet’ vehicle data direct from driversAccidentMonitorAccident management data that’s easy to useStep3: MonitorTaskMonitorAlerting you to critical information on driversComplianceMonitorHelping you meet your duty-of-care obligationKnowledgeMonitorPowerful reporting with insight and positive results.Driving Monitor is the perfect way for an employer to view the driving standards of all their drivers. They have the ability to view any driving offences committed, and highlight a driver’s weak points, while also seeing where their strengths are.The system is “built from a driver’s perspective with simple point-n-click hazards on screen,” and collates a range data such as risk assessments, eLearning, vehicle data, accident data, DVLA licence data, tax/insurance/MoT data and training data, into one central driver audit system.Gauntlet E-LearningWith the help of Gauntlet E-Learning, employers are able to deliver to their employees more comprehensive health and safety training. With a selection of online resources and testing available to take at any time, in any location, it will also reduce administration and hours that could currently be eaten up by training away from base.Managers can view an employee’s progress and the employee receives electronic records and certificates – which are produced on the completion of each course.Ultimately, Roger says: “Talk to us early, don’t wait until the last minute or the renewal date. Let’s get talking now.”
In an interview with European Voice, Iacovou claimed that the Turkish government had a clear responsibility to ensure Denktash “does not cause the obstruction he has caused for the past few years”. The minister was speaking out after the publication of a report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in which he stated that the veteran Turkish Cypriot leader bore “prime responsibility” for the failure of recent talks in The Hague, aimed at reaching a political settlement between the Cypriot communities ahead of the island’s accession to the EU.Iacovou said Turkey “has to realise its own national interest would be solved best by coming to an accommodation with Cyprus” as this would boost its own chances of being invited to hold formal negotiations on joining the Union. In a statement issued this week, Denktash laid much of the blame for the failure of peace talks on Alvaro de Soto, Annan’s envoy to Cyprus. Dentkash said that de Soto had given an assurance in late 2001 he would merely be a fly on the wall in talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, reporting back to Annan. According to Denktash, this was a promise he never intended to keep: “Instead, he soon tried to acquire the status of ‘umpire’, truly involved but also becoming part of the problem.”A Turkish diplomat described Iacovou’s call for Ankara to exert greater influence on Denktash as “wishful thinking”.“Turkey’s interests are known better by the Turkish authorities than by Greek Cypriots,” the diplomat argued. “If there was a different stance from Erdogan while he was not yet prime minister compared to now, it’s because he knows the file now. This is a highly delicate diplomatic question; it’s necessary to know at least 50% of the file.” He criticised Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his apparent volte face on the Annan plan for Cyprus. While Erdogan had been supportive before becoming prime minister, he has since argued that Annan was trying to “deceive” Turkish Cypriots by excluding key aspects of the deal for a new power-sharing federation on the island.Erdogan’s attitude was a shame, said Iacovou, because the Turkish Cypriots had been given “an opportunity to free-ride into the European Union”.He also expressed surprise that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül has urged the Union to use the word “Cyprus” rather than “Republic of Cyprus” in the protocol to the Accession Treaty due to be signed in Athens next Wednesday (16 April). The request, rejected by Greece’s EU presidency, was made because Turkey has never recognised the Republic of Cyprus.“There is no legal way of changing that [the text of the protocol],” Iacovou countered. “Surely Mr Gül knows that. This is just another firework to impress public opinion.”Iacovou also dismissed new ideas for a settlement floated by Denktash in a letter to Tassos Papadopoulos, president of the Greek Cypriot south, last week. These included a recommendation that the largely deserted town of Varosha would be placed under Greek Cypriot control in return for the Greek Cypriots lifting their embargo on the Turkish-occupied north.He accused Denktash of attempting to “ostracize” the UN, despite references to the “good offices” of Annan. “It was very cleverly drafted and of course Mr Denktash’s intention is to mislead, that’s why he drafts so well,” said Iacovou. “But the mission of the secretary-general emanates from various [UN] Security Council resolutions on Cyprus. And Mr Denktash has never accepted any part of those resolutions.”
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CEREMONIES attended by the Czech Transport Minister Petr Moos and CD General Manager Vladimír Sosna marked the launch of private operations on the 9 km Sumperk – Sobotín line on May 1. Part of CD’s Desn
Find out what really works when you’re feeling under the weatherSpeaking with a doctor isn’t always convenient when you’re sick, so many reach out to friends and family, desperate to find some way to feel better. More often than not, the home remedies they’re given are nothing more than old wives’ tales.A better plan of action is to turn to your pharmacist for help. Often more accessible than a doctor, all you have to do is walk up to the counter and ask them for expert advice. If you’ve ever wondered how to prevent a cold or how to feel better when you do have one, registered pharmacist and health expert, Jim Morelli, is here to weigh in on some of the most pervasive cold and flu myths, and point you to what really works.Myth #1: Going outside with wet hair can make you sick.Pharmacist’s take: Going outside with wet hair can make you physically cold, but it will not cause a cold. It takes a virus to make you sick, which is contracted through exposure to germs.Myth #2: Feed a cold, starve a fever. Pharmacist’s take: Fevers do not respond to food. That being said, it’s always a good idea to maintain hydration and nutrition when sick.Myth #3: Chicken soup can cure the cold or flu.Pharmacist’s take: Chicken soup is not a cure for anything but hunger. However, there is some evidence it can be beneficial when you have a cold or the flu because it is hydrating and contains needed electrolytes.Myth #4: The flu shot causes the flu. Pharmacist’s take: The flu shot is actually a killed virus so it is not live. It cannot give you the flu. Even the weakened virus in the nasal spray vaccination should not cause the flu. Some people experience what is called a “serum sickness” from vaccinations, but this is a short lived period of feeling lousy as opposed to the actual flu.Myth #5: Avoid dairy when sick.Pharmacist’s take: Unless you are taking a tetracycline antibiotic, typically used to treat respiratory tract and intestine infections, dairy is fine when you are sick. Keep in mind, however, that in some individuals, dairy can upset the stomach if they’ve got a stomach bug.While it might be disappointing to hear that chicken soup doesn’t actually cure a cold, the upside is there is an actual way to feel better. Morelli recommends stocking your cabinet with cold and flu medicine, and the #1 pharmacist recommended brand to treat your worst cold and flu symptoms is Advil Cold & Sinus.Next time you’re sick and eager to feel better, go see your pharmacist and ask for Advil Cold & Sinus. Unlike a number of home remedies, it will actually help make you feel better, sooner.Brandpointcontent.com