Personalized service, customized solutions, and reliability are the trademarks of Protection One, a national provider of home and business security services, headquartered in Lawrence, Kan. The company offers professional 24-hour monitoring and tailored security systems to more than 1 million home and business owners across the United States.

Named by as one of "America's Most Trustworthy Companies" in March 2008, Protection One depends on its fleet of installation and service vehicles to meet customer demands and remain true to its reputation as a trustworthy company.

A critical tenet of company leadership ensures vehicle and driver safety at every level. To do so effectively, the company employs a comprehensive risk management program.

"Although policy and procedures related to fleet have always been in place, we have fine-tuned the safety and risk portions of that program over the past few years," said Elsie Eisenbarth, vice president, administration for Protection One.

By refining its risk management program, the company has reduced accidents and lowered claim costs.

Communication Key

Protection One operates a fleet of approximately 700 vans and trucks. Drivers are asked to sign a form indicating they have read, understand, and will comply with all fleet policies, including risk management directives.

"We communicate with drivers through documented policies and procedures," Eisenbarth said. "Monthly reports are sent to supervisors and managers to share and then discuss with their drivers."

Because fixed-rate charges for accident claim costs are assessed to company branches in the month the accident occurred, management can address the situation in a timely manner.

Beyond Protection One's standard fleet policies and operating procedures, the company has incorporated the following safety and risk elements:

  • Pre-hire and annual MVR assessment for all drivers.
  • MVR point system, which can result in corrective actions with drivers.
  • New-driver defensive driving course.
  • Required additional training courses for any driver involved in an accident.
  • Post-accident drug testing.
  • Use of cell phone (including hands-free) or radios prohibited.

Accident Rate Reduced

Protection One's updated risk management program successfully reduced the number of accidents and associated severity. For example, total accidents for YTD July 2009 as a percentage of average fleet on-road is 2.5-percent lower than the same period of 2008.

"More importantly, the severity of all preventable accidents is reduced when evaluating YTD 2009 closed claim costs," Eisenbarth added. "The average cost of a closed claim for 2009 is about 50 percent of what a closed claim averaged in 2008."