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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
JUL 27, 2017
Telematics Can Help Reduce Accidents and Improve Fleet Efficiency
Imagine being able to reduce your company’s vehicle accident rate by as much as 50% through GPS technology. That’s what Amerisure policyholders participating in a pilot program have experienced as a result of telematics.
Kevin Clary, Amerisure’s Vice President of Loss Control, says the two-year pilot, which began last year, is helping businesses improve safety and reduce operating costs. The telematics program uses a vehicle’s built-in diagnostic software and a simple-to-install GPS tracking device to monitor driving behavior and vehicle location.
Through a web-based software program, businesses can monitor the location and movements of vehicles in real time to improve fleet operation. The system can track:
Number of miles driven
Time of day driven
Clary says Amerisure is piloting telematics on approximately 2,000 vehicles it insures through 30 policyholders — most of them mid-sized companies with a fleet of service vehicles.
“What makes our telematics program different than others in the industry is that we are sharing the cost with the policyholder,” he explains. “We’ll pay 30% to 50% of their two-year telematics contract. Our goal is to prove the concept to them. After the contract expires, hopefully they will continue it because they see the value of telematics.”
Clary adds that with the recent spike in vehicle accident rates and insurance costs, the motivation is there for policyholders to try telematics. The National Safety Council reported earlier this year that 2016 and 2015 marked the biggest two-year increase (14%) in traffic deaths in 50 years.
The Benefits of Telematics
Telematics allows businesses to monitor individual drivers to improve their driving habits, but it also provides fleet-wide data so that a business can identify larger trends. “We look at every 100 miles driven and do benchmarking scorecards to help policyholders spot patterns,” Clary says. “For example, they may discover that with certain routes or travel times, there is more traffic. They can adjust their routes or delivery times accordingly.”
Telematics also results in greater operational efficiency. Clary points to a contractor in Florida that determined many of its service vehicles were left running during appointments. By reducing engine idling, the contractor was able to significantly lower its fuel costs.
In addition to saving on fuel, telematics can:
Increase the number of service calls completed each day because GPS tracking helps identify the optimum routes and can quickly reroute lost vehicles.
Help recover stolen vehicles by identifying their exact locations.
Restrict vehicle use to certain locations or hours through “geofencing.”
Alert drivers and dispatchers to necessary maintenance, thus prolonging the life of the fleet.
Amerisure’s pilot program runs through the end of 2017. Clary says the company will assess the results in the fall and decide whether to continue cost sharing or perhaps offer a premium discount to those policyholders who use telematics.
For more information on risk management, loss control and other topics, visit Amerisure’s