Top 3 Strategies to Reduce Insurance Costs with Trailer Telematics

Trailer Telematics as Insurance

By Carolina Ruiz • Published August 20, 2021 • 4 minute read

A June 2020 report by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) charted a 967% increase in the average amount of accident verdicts that involved commercial vehicles between 2010 and 2018.

Insurance companies have increased premiums significantly in the past few years to make up for their losses and to cover future draws against their general auto, cargo liability and property damage policies.

Higher insurance costs are raising the value of using telematics data to proactively identify and mitigate the risks of accidents, cargo claims and equipment damages.

Telematics data is mostly used by fleets to monitor risky driver behaviors such as speeding, hard braking and other aggressive maneuvers. Trailer telematics data can be another valuable resource, especially for shippers, freight brokers and motor carriers that have trailer fleets they rent to third-party carriers or share through other arrangements.
Equipment damages are not the only concern when trailers are being pulled by third-party carriers. When trailers are involved in accidents, plaintiff attorneys will try to bring all parties into litigation.
Below are three areas where transportation providers can use trailer telematics data to reduce insurance premiums and prevent accident and cargo claims:

1. Establish a chain of custody:

Telematics data can prevent cargo claims, especially for temperature-sensitive loads, by having a record of temperatures and other cargo conditions from origin to destination. Fleets can also identify where trailers are and how they are being used to keep their customers, drivers and third-party carriers accountable for damages and to prevent their assets from being misused or stolen.

New cargo sensor technology adds another layer of protection. One of the most recent advancements by SkyBitz is SkyCamera, a smart device with a volumetric cargo sensor and high-definition camera. The device scans the full length of a trailer to intelligently report empty or loaded status. It also captures images at door opening and closing events. This data can be used to pinpoint why and when cargo damages occurred.

2. Reduce equipment damages:

SkyBitz trailer telematics solutions give users real-time visibility to how their trailers are being utilized. By identifying assets that are underutilized can help prevent damages since the trailers most likely to be hit are the one sitting idle in a drop yard. Improving trailer turns is a proactive measure for reducing equipment damages.

3. Improve carrier selection:

Shippers, freight brokers and motor carriers with trailer fleets can use telematics to establish a better carrier selection process. When the data shows a partner carrier has speeding incidents or other risky behaviors, a freight broker could replace the carrier with a safer option or take proactive measures to reduce risk.

As insurance premiums continue to rise and companies take on higher deductibles, companies are adding more layers of protection by more fully utilizing trailer telematics data and keeping up with the latest advancements in cargo sensor technology.