Idelic Program Helps Fleets Land Better Insurance Deals

Getty Image depicting trucking insurance The goal of Idelic Insurance Agency is to modernize the traditional insurance market while improving driver habits. (sqback/Getty Images)

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Technology firm Idelic is launching an initiative designed to help fleets negotiate better terms for insurance policies through use of data culled from its suite of safety programs.

The Pittsburgh-based company on Jan. 17 announced the formation of Idelic Insurance Agency, LLC. The initiative combines data from Idelic’s Safety Suite driver performance management platform — which aggregates driver risk data and identifies high-risk drivers via proprietary machine learning — and its Driver Safety Playbook, a driver coaching and professional development effort developed in collaboration with insurers and fleets. The goal, per Idelic, is to modernize the traditional insurance market while improving driver habits.

“We want to engage drivers in a proactive and predictive way,” said Michael Gramm, senior vice president of insurance. “The most important part is the coaching and engagement with the drivers. You can have the most predictive analytics known to man, but it won’t do any good if you don’t know why you’re coaching these drivers.”



He added, “We’re all about taking the data that comes off of today’s trucks and use that data to predict what drivers are at risk to having an accident in the next 90 days. The fleets look at this data to better understand the risk of their driver force. We help the companies identify those drivers.”

Idelic said data aggregated across more than 5 million miles of driving time and 215,000 accidents found that 60% of preventable accidents involve drivers at the top of a company’s watch list.

Idelic Insurance Agency is designed to be a technology-driven managing general agent, which the company said will focus on providing commercial fleets with insurance coverage reflecting loss reductions and savings based on data pulled from its safety products.

According to laws on the books in several states, a managing general agent is defined as “an individual or business entity appointed by an insurer to solicit applications from agents for insurance contracts or to negotiate insurance contracts on behalf of an insurer and, if authorized to do so by an insurer, to effectuate [or put in force] and to countersign insurance contracts.”

Affordable insurance has become increasingly important to fleets. The rising cost of premiums ranked fifth on the 2022 edition of American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Industry Issues report, the first time since 2005 that insurance costs made the list.

An ATRI report from 2022 titled “The Impact of Rising Insurance Costs on the Trucking Industry” found that the cost of insurance premiums per mile increased 47% over the prior 10 years, from 5.9 cents to 8.7 cents. In the report, ATRI determined that despite reductions in insurance coverage, rising deductibles and improved safety, almost all motor carriers experienced substantial increases in insurance costs from 2018 to 2020.

In particular, it found that premiums are increasing across all fleet sizes and sectors. While truck-crash frequency and severity rose between 2009 and 2018 — the time period studied in ATRI’s analysis — the rate of insurance cost increases across that span far exceeded the nominal rate increase in crashes.

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Hayden Cardiff

Cardiff 

The threat of so-called nuclear verdicts — defined as those exceeding $10 million in damages in a court case related to a truck-involved crash — also loom over the market for trucking insurance. Here, a data-based defense can help, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Hayden Cardiff said.

“This is very much a defense when it comes to nuclear verdicts,” he said. “The plantiff’s bar has a much harder time going into attacking a fleet because nuclear verdicts are not about the facts of the case. They’re all about the fleet, their process, how they engage with drivers, how they coach drivers, how they are managed. This could help protect them in nuclear verdict cases.”

Co-founder and CEO Nick Bartel said, “We anticipate the improvements that motor carriers using the Idelic program could see in their insurance outcomes would likely exceed their initial investment in the Idelic program.

“We’re focused on a long-term partnership with fleets to help lower their overall risk profile through innovative technology solutions that increase their bottom lines. At every insurance policy renewal, we have the opportunity to help fleets benefit from their dedication to driver safety.”

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