Blog | Behavior Change

The New Tech That Can Increase Profitability for Commercial Auto

CMT's new video telematics solution, DriveScape
May 26, 2021
DriveScape Logo

Commercial Auto Landscape Today

When commercial insurers don’t have all of the information they need to assess risk and respond to claims, they can suffer poor underwriting results and high claims costs. This is exacerbated by the continued rising vehicle repair costs and attorney involvement in claims.

At a glance, the U.S. commercial auto market has experienced

  • 10 years of combined ratios over 100% 
  • $4 billion market loss in 2019, the worst loss in 10 years 
  • 2 point increase in LAE and severity in 2019 (despite a double digit increase in premium) 
  • Social inflation rapidly driving the cost of claims 
  • Nuclear verdicts up 300% over the past decade  

Commercial insurers need a tool that enables better loss control and ability to identify liability.  

Can Dashcams Help? 

Today, some insurers are offering dashcam policies where drivers receive a discount for installing a dashcam. Insurers have adopted these policies, which have become particularly common in the United Kingdom across personal lines, because of the valuable role video can play in identifying fault for claims. 

However, dashcams available today are difficult to scale and to secure:

  • It’s hard for insurers to know if a device is installed, functioning, and recording in a driver’s vehicle
  • Time is wasted digging through hours of dashcam footage for relevant material
  • Insurers need to rely on video alone to tell a story, with no additional data
  • Removable SIM cards mean that storage is unsecured and could be tampered with 
  • Lack of integration with existing tools, like fleet operation centers or policy administration

Because dashcams are difficult to scale, they also fail to improve business processes for insurers:

  • Insurers with dashcam policies aren’t consistently receiving crash videos from drivers, which means that even if the driver is using a dashcam, insurers don’t have the video to  assist in claims handling.
  • Video evidence is valuable in identifying fault for claims, but provides maximum value if it’s available soon after the crash occurred for faster claims handling. Waiting for a crash video to arrive or digging through long clips to find the right timestamp is time that could be spent investigating and settling the claim. 
  • There’s no efficient approach to using the video in underwriting and rating. The risk events that lead to better loss control get lost in hours of dashcam footage, and insurers don’t have time to look at individual videos and manually extract risk events to include in risk assessment.

The Solution isn’t Dashcams, it’s Video Telematics

Mobile telematics created a revolution in loss prediction and mitigation. It allowed insurers to roll out programs that offer discounts and incentives to policyholders for safer driving, capturing, analyzing, and providing feedback on driving risk at scale. In return, insurers better understand what behaviors lead to crashes and place policyholders in the right risk pools.

Driver DriveScape View

Because commercial auto brings more risk, and the need to manage that risk and costs associated with it, insurers and fleets are interested in understanding behaviors or context beyond what’s captured through mobile telematics. Video telematics builds on the capabilities of mobile telematics, enhancing existing programs with new features that give a wider view into risks that are happening inside and outside the vehicle. 

Video telematics can unlock:

  • A complete picture of risk and more granular understanding of loss with data from different sources, not just detection of a single visual event. 
  • Clear and compelling video evidence of what happened before, during, and after a crash to identify fault and protect against false claims. 
  • A scalable and secure solution that integrates with the tools insurers already use, surfacing videos to quickly and efficiently investigate a claim and delivering reports with extracted risk events to use in risk assessment. 

Drawing on our experience and data collection, CMT has developed a solution that does just this and more. Purpose-built for commercial insurers and fleets, DriveScape is a dual-camera dashcam that combines mobile telematics data with an AI-powered computer vision platform. From extracting risks to reconstructing crashes, DriveScape tells the complete story of what happens on the road. Commercial insurers will achieve better loss control and greater understanding of fault, while fleets will benefit from reduced costs and improved driver safety.