Commercial auto: industry overview

Key insights to help manage your fleet

Businesses of all kinds depend on vehicles — cars, pickups, vans, trucks or buses — to carry out their daily operations and generate revenue. However, if these fleets are poorly managed or maintained, businesses could face significant damage to their reputation and bottom line, particularly if they aren’t able to meet the continued demands of their customers. Thus, it’s vital for businesses to manage their fleets and drivers effectively.

However, fleet management isn’t a straightforward affair; it’s heavily influenced by multiple dynamic trends. Driver shortages, distracted driving incidents, rising vehicle repair expenses, steep medical costs and telematics trends have all made managing fleets and drivers more complex. Understanding those trends — both positive and negative — can help organizations plan and take proactive steps to reduce exposures and efficiently manage fleets.

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Understanding trends — both positive and negative — can help organizations plan and take proactive steps to reduce exposures and efficiently manage fleets.

Addressing commercial auto trends

Managing a fleet of commercial vehicles can be difficult, particularly given the complexity of the trends that impact businesses. To optimize their operations, businesses need to take a proactive approach to managing their vehicles and drivers. This can be an involved process and may include auditing safety procedures and policies, monitoring drivers, incentivizing good behaviors, implementing preventive maintenance programs, and integrating telematics solutions to bolster risk management efforts.

Thankfully, businesses aren’t alone when it comes to navigating challenges related to their vehicles. Businesses should seek insurance partners that understand market trends, provide loss control guidance specific to their operations, suggest ways to make their fleet run more efficiently, highlight gaps in risk management practices, educate them on compliance considerations and act as a trusted advisor. Above all, businesses that work closely with an experienced insurance agent will not only have a better understanding of the exposures that impact their business, but they will also be more prepared to protect their drivers and vehicles on the road.


To examine the impacts of distracted driving and to learn about ways drivers can stay safe on the road, review these loss control resources. You can also learn more about Nationwide's commercial telematics solutions. If you're an agent interested in growing your commercial book of business, please go to


How telematics can benefit commercial fleets

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6 "Cost of Auto Injury Claims Continues to Outpace Inflation; Attorney Involvement Increases," (April 17, 2019).

7 "Trends in health care spending," (Aug. 13, 2019).

8 "Fleet Telematics Explained," (accessed July 9, 2020).

9 "10 reasons fleets should use telematics," Michael Catarevas, (Sept. 17, 2019).

10 "Small fleet, big rewards: Telematics tips for small fleets," Antonio Venutelli, (Aug. 21, 2019).