Want an Insurance Discount? Install Fleet Vehicle Telematics Devices

Fleet Telematics System Insurance DiscountAccording to a recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), implementation of driving behavior management systems using in-vehicle telematics devices can result in a significant reduction in the number of risky driving behaviors. Based on this research, Travelers (TRV) is paying its customers in the form of insurance discounts of up to 15% to educate their employees in safe driving by using data obtained from fleet vehicle telematics devices.

Similar to global positioning systems (GPS), fleet vehicle telematics technologies go beyond navigation and positioning by storing and sending data on how a vehicle is operated. Fleet telematics devices can help reduce fleet maintenance costs, improve vehicle efficiency and result in insurance discounts. Recently Travelers (NYSE: TRV) announced a potential discount of up to 15 percent on certain auto liability insurance premiums for qualifying businesses that effectively use vehicle telematics technology to monitor their company owned commercial fleet vehicles and driver behavior.

Travelers Insurance is one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Traveler’s Insurance announced this week that it is now paying fleets in the form of insurance discounts if the fleet installs fleet telematics systems. According to a TRV press release, the fleet must install vehicle telematics technology “in a sufficient number of their fleet vehicles and that they are actively incorporating safety information from the devices into their ongoing safety feedback to drivers, at least on a quarterly basis.”

Depending on the specific type and brand of vehicle telematics deployed, businesses will be able to receive information about driver behavior, vehicle routing and fuel efficiency. All of this information can help risk and fleet managers minimize risk and costs. Additionally, risk and fleet managers will have the feedback necessary to engage drivers about their driving performance and provide coaching on how to improve safety.

“By embracing fleet vehicle telematics systems and offering discounts to our commercial fleet auto customers that effectively deploy this technology, Travelers is furthering its commitment to improving driver behavior and roadway safety,” said Scott Higgins, president, Travelers Commercial Accounts.  To qualify for a discount, businesses must show that they have installed vehicle telematics devices in a sufficient number of their fleet vehicles and that they are actively incorporating safety information from the devices into their ongoing safety feedback to drivers, at least on a quarterly basis.

“The use of vehicle telematics is the next step in improving the safe operation of commercial fleets, transforming drivers with less oversight to those whose performance can be observed, coached and managed,” said Chris Hayes, Director of Transportation Services, Travelers Risk Control. “By using this technology and the wealth of information it can provide, fleet and risk managers can have data that will aid in developing specific training programs that positively modify driving behavior.”

Considering the upcoming CSA 2010 , safe driving is more important than ever for fleet managers. Using a fleet GPS telematics system can help fleets monitor drivers and equipment and perhaps reduce the chances of an FMCSA intervention. Because maintenance is also a key factor when it comes to inspections. A poor maintenance history could spell doom for a carrier. Most of these situation can avoided by installing these devices, therefore fleets should further explore the opportunities.

About TRV: Travelers is one of the nation’s largest property casualty companies with more than 30,000 employees and 13,000 independent agents. With 22 product lines across the personal, business, financial and international insurance segments, Travelers has become a symbol of financial strength and is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Fortune 100.