Survey shows main perceived advantages of vehicle telematics
December 2020 | General Industries
BY TONY FENTON AND PETE FREY
94% of business owners surveyed agreed that vehicle telematics help protect their employees on the road
91% feel that these solutions have a positive impact on how their business operates
But only 60% of agents feel knowledgeable enough to speak about telematics with their clients
For businesses across the country, two of the most challenging aspects of their operations are managing their fleet of vehicles and keeping their drivers safe behind the wheel. Operating a fleet of commercial vehicles is not as simple as handing an employee a set of keys and sending them on their way. Businesses spend countless hours each year searching for ways they can improve their fleet management practices.
One increasingly popular way middle-market businesses are tackling these challenges head-on is through the use of telematics systems. Broadly speaking, telematics devices gather data about vehicle performance, driver behavior and vehicle diagnostics (among other things) and then send that information to be evaluated. Common examples of telematics solutions include GPS technology, sensors, mobile applications, dashcams and vehicle engine diagnostics solutions.
As fleet telematics devices become more common, it is incumbent upon insurance professionals to learn more about these solutions, how they are used to benefit businesses and how business owners perceive this technology.
Trends within the telematics space were recently examined in Nationwide's latest Agent Authority research, which surveyed 200 middle-market businesses with fleet vehicles and 400 independent insurance agents from across the country. In this article, we will examine key findings from that research and explain how independent agents like you can leverage this information to meet the needs of your clients and prospects.
Businesses are seeking more guidance from a trusted advisor
When it comes to seeking guidance on telematics solutions, middle-market businesses place a lot of trust in their agents to provide the information they need to make informed decisions. In fact, 88% of middle-market business owners indicated that they would trust their agent to counsel their business on vehicle telematics. The trust that businesses place in their agents to advise on telematics was reinforced in the Agent Authority research by the fact that 83% of middle-market businesses indicated that their agent was knowledgeable when speaking about the technology.
While businesses maintain a high level of faith in their agent’s ability to advise on this subject, not all agency personnel feel confident in their telematics knowledge base. Only six in 10 agents feel knowledgeable enough to speak about telematics solutions with their clients. Drilling down further, agency principals (74%) tend to be the most comfortable speaking about telematics, followed by producers (59%), and then customer service representatives (37%).
One potential stumbling block agencies should be aware of when it comes to developing their employees’ understanding of telematics is the resources they provide. Generally speaking, agency principals overestimate the level of resources they offer their workforce. While 79% of principals feel they provide their employees with plenty of sources on telematics, only 63% of producers and 32% of customer service representatives agree.
These findings speak to the need for insurance professionals, especially those who work with insureds that have fleet exposures, to stay up to date on the latest trends in fleet management and telematics systems. As more businesses seek out telematics solutions, agents will need to understand the benefits these systems provide, what applications are best for their clients’ particular needs, and ways clients can get the most out of their telematics solutions. Agents should also have a keen awareness of the resources their carrier partners can provide to support these efforts.
Learn more about Nationwide’s commercial telematics solution, dash cam technologies and related loss control resources. If you're an agent interested in growing your commercial book of business, please go to nationwide.com/agents.
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