Publish Date: April 18, 2024
Author: Matthew Leone
Tags: Blog - SeubertU

Navigating the Roadmap to a Better Renewal

By Matthew Leone |  Seubert Sales Consultant

Over the past few years, trucking companies have faced a complex set of challenges. Significant shifts in operational costs, driver capacity, and freight market conditions have made it challenging for them to adapt and maintain profitability.

While fleets try to navigate through this cash-strapped environment, transportation insurance underwriters are battling mounting financial pressures themselves.  Increases in accident costs, threats of large verdicts, and driver shortages are creating uncertainty for underwriters across the industry. As a result, they are consistently increasing premium at renewal and motor carriers are looking for any way to cut costs on their insurance. While some market factors are out of a fleet’s control, there are some initiatives they can take to positively influence underwriters:

  • Understand and effectively manage your CSA scores. Underwriters heavily weigh the scores and ratings available through the CAB (Central, Analysis, Bureau) safety database.  Correcting trends in your violations and understanding inefficiencies in the rating system can help improve the interpretation of your company’s risk profile by an underwriter.
    • Regular monitoring of violations given by law enforcement can help you quickly remove inaccuracies and keep scores positive. Many opportunities are available for motor carriers to improve their record by appealing alleged violations through the FMCSA’s DataQ portal or the local jurisdiction’s court where the citation was given.
    • Of the 7 BASIC categories in the CSA program, hours of service and unsafe driving have the strongest correlation to crash probability and should be a big focus for a fleet’s management team. Having favorable scores in both categories can have a large impact on the premium you receive.
  • Use your fleet management technology to its fullest potential. The improvement in data analytics and insights available through telematics, GPS tracking, and cab cameras provide motor carriers with an overabundance of information to use to their advantage.
    • Technology platforms today are providing a deeper look into variables like driver behaviors, route dangers and inefficiencies, and real-time vehicle maintenance alerts. The information is seldom required by an underwriter for a submission, and safety conscious fleets are doing themselves a disservice by not sharing it. The data can uncover shortcomings in an underwriter’s rate modeling system and bring them comfort when we are negotiating premiums.
  • Provide a qualitative perspective to your insurance submissions. The standard information required for a submission does not give the full picture of a fleet’s risk quality.  Telling a good story and sharing specifics on items like safety culture, the technology used, the experience of your team, safety incentives, and driver recognition can hold a lot of weight to an underwriter.  Additionally, detailed explanations around claims and violations can give underwriters the needed clarity to reduce the overall effect they have on your premium.  Anything that is not required for a submission but provides more insight into your commitment to safety should always be voluntarily shared at renewal.


Additional Ways to Save at Renewal – Alternative Risk-Financing Options:

  • Deductibles or SIRs – If you are in a guaranteed cost program, assuming more risk through liability deductibles or self-insured retentions can provide instant savings. Understanding the relationship between the savings and your claim frequency will help decide if it’s a good option for you.
  • Captives – A form of self-insurance, captives provide more control over your insurance program and a premium that is directly correlated to your individual loss history. They give best-in-class motor carriers the opportunity to beat the traditional market and save big in the form of dividends and investment income.

Matthew Leone is a Sales Consultant in Seubert’s Commercial Line Transportation Division. He joined the agency in August of 2018 and has more than 9 years of industry experience. In his current role, Matthew is identifying strategic threats and opportunities, coordinating resources, and advising on risk management solutions that align with your business’s unique goals.

Contact Matt to see how you could minimize risk.
412.223.1405  |  [email protected]  |  LinkedIn

  • Transportation