US autos continue to bear the brunt of rising prices – experts

You can tell us about yourself and your role Travellers/ Northland Transportation?

I have been in the insurance industry for over 20 years and joined Travelers in early 2022 to lead the Insurance business in Northland. My background is in planning, business development and finance, and I have also led several P&L business insurances. I also spent an additional 10 years in the computer software industry early in my career, so I have hardware and software solutions to consider.

As president of Northland, the industry’s largest auto insurance company, I work closely with our talented and experienced team to offer industry-leading auto insurance solutions for people who then-processed and shipped through our specialized retail partners. In 2023, it will celebrate 75 years – a testament to the organization’s commitment to delivery and our ability to continuously improve. to serve our customers.

What is the current state of commercial auto insurance in the US?

Commercial vehicles have been affected by similar challenges as seen in personal vehicles. The increase in repair and replacement costs was due to the lack of supply lines due to COVID and strong demand when freight rates were high. Meanwhile, the cost of trucks, parts and labor continues to increase.

Auto Insurance is also facing major challenges created by large jury awards, which are increasing in amount and time. Unfortunately, this situation limits the range of options in the market and contributes to high prices. Northland support business organizations, such as the American Trucking Associations, are advocating on behalf of the industry for regulatory reform to help solve this issue.

We also work with our customers to help them mitigate some of these risks. For example, our dedicated professionals not only understand shipping and specialize in heavy truck claims, but they also know the jurisdictional differences and Local attorneys can quickly help settle or defend claims that drive the right results.

We also provide resources and information that can help our customers keep fleets on the road and operating safely. This includes technical training, site reviews and safety and customer information that we provide. expert travel safety analysis and safety advice, and specialized tools for small boats and owner-operators. Northland can also help automakers evaluate emerging technologies and understand the value of investments.

These best practices help our customers retain drivers and lower overall operating costs over time.

How did the pandemic affect the automotive sector?

Demand for my car increased during COVID, first because home delivery became more common, then we worked on the supply chain. We saw record numbers of new vehicle launches, usually one or two units, due to strong earnings when freight rates were high.

Company drivers benefited from salary increases and other benefits at the time, which attracted a wide variety of drivers. According to the Women in Trucking Association’s 2022 Women in Trucking Index, female drivers make up about 14% of the industry today, up from 10% in 2019.

Most of my new shipments have been delayed due to supply issues, and, while prices have fallen from historic highs, there are still restrictions and delays. used truck surveys. The price of oil has gone up, and the cost of labor has been affected by inflation. Some of the smaller companies have closed their doors due to the increase in prices, but many of those drivers have decided to join the larger fleets.

How did insurance help reduce this?

Insurance protects truck owners by providing coverage in the event of an accident or damage to their vehicle, so we will pay these high repair parts and labor costs to get them back on track. drive their trucks quickly on the road. Or, if needed, we help them manage the added cost of an additional truck while keeping their insurance premiums in check. We also provide additional benefits, such as roadside assistance and towing reimbursement, to help owners deal with unexpected costs. from car wrecks.

What new and innovative technologies are being used to help trucking companies manage their insurance costs?

Automated Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which are similar to the automatic braking and assistance systems you might find in your own car, have helped trucking companies improve safety.

The data and analysis provided by telematics can be used to provide safety training and driver training. For example, if a car crashes, the mobile phone can help fleet managers determine the speed before the crash, if the brakes should be applied, and if the driver took any evasive measures. another car or something. Along with identifying unsafe behaviors such as distracted driving and opportunities for improvement, this data can also help trucking companies recognize and reward safe driving and make better decisions about how to train employees may reduce accidents.

In addition, insurance companies can also use phone data and cameras to better prevent or determine accidents, which can significantly reduce legal costs and reduce the likelihood of large fines.

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