June 18, 2014 8:30 AM, EDT

ProSight Offers SmartDrive Video Safety with Insurance Package

ProSight Specialty Insurance is now offering to pay for its transportation customers to adopt video-based fleet safety technology through a new insurance package.

With its SecureFleet offering, ProSight covers most of the costs for fleets to use SmartDrive Systems’ product, which uses in-cab cameras to record events such as lane departures, hard braking and crashes.

Fleet owners and safety managers can use that information to coach their drivers and correct unsafe behaviors, thus reducing safety risk and claims from potential accidents, the companies said in the June 18 announcement.

The new offering presents a contrast to insurance providers that simply discount their premiums for customers who install the safety systems on their own, company executives said.

“What’s unique is it’s actually integrated into the product offering,” said Darryl Siry, chief marketing officer for ProSight Specialty Insurance Solutions.

He said the biggest factor preventing some fleet managers from investing in this safety technology is their willingness to make the financial investment.

“Now we’ve removed that objection,” Siry said. “We know the risks and we know this is going to reduce those risks, so we’re willing to front that capital expense.”

ProSight said it will cover all the service and unit costs except the cost of installation, which amounts to about $95 to $195 per vehicle, and a $50 annual connection fee per vehicle.

Compared with retail pricing for this safety technology, SecureFleet represents an average savings of more than $950 per vehicle in the first year, ProSight said.

Siry said ProSight is expecting its technology investment to pay off by lowering claims significantly.

“There’s huge leverage if you can reduce that risk,” he said. “That’s the bet that we’re making. We think that if you can reduce the risk by even 10%, it more than covers the cost.”

SmartDrive CEO Steve Mitgang said that changing driver behavior can produce a “terrific drop in overall cost of claims and sheer number of collisions.”

He predicted that the industry will continue to move toward more proactive safety and training systems.

“The market is moving this way,” Mitgang said. “Whether you’re a for-hire fleet or a private fleet, your brand is at risk, for sure, as are your finances. If you’re a small fleet, you could be litigated out of business.”