Why Has There Been Dramatic Changes in Underwriting for Fleets?
When working with CDL/DOT Heavy to Extra Heavy fleets, the following question often arises: “We had a great year of performance from a loss standpoint. The fleet stayed about the same in makeup and size, but there’s been a change in the underwriting for our account in premiums and deductibles – why?”
The answer? Compliance.
Compliance and Safety: Know the Difference
Not to be confused with safety or lack of loss, compliance now plays a growing role in underwriting as the focus shifts to leading indicators of loss and awareness of nuclear verdicts — a buzzword for large jury awards that go beyond what’s considered a reasonable or rational amount — which have become increasingly common in today’s operating environment.
For most fleets, years of prioritizing safety has made compliance a confusing gray area that can sometimes be overlooked in an already heavily regulated industry.
So, how do we not only make sense of compliance while keeping fleets safe and reducing loss, but also improve the process to avoid increase expenses and loss of revenue?
It starts with understanding this — safety is not compliance. Though the two might be related, they are ultimately two different things and must be treated as such.
Your DOT Number Equals Knowledge
Next, it’s time to think about the Central Analysis Bureau (CAB). CAB is a third-party aggregator of data collected from your SMS and Safer reports. Like a credit report, these reports can only be accessed through the insurance and financial industries. And just like your credit report, you’ve probably wondered how so many important decisions can be made based on a report that you, the person it impacts most, can’t easily access or view.
I can’t help you with a credit report, but I do have a cheat code for everything the underwriters, enforcement, and reinsurers see about your company before viewing loss runs, financials, or exposure make of your company.
It’s simple. Each DOT# is assigned its own unique pin access code for additional access on the SMS/FMCSA website.
The measurements used to generate your ISS (Inspection Safety Score) Pass, Optional, or Mandatory pullover requirements are generated from the measures you have access to with the real-time results your fleet has earned from roadside inspections, violations, crashes, and more. This is also the same portal you would file a Data Q, if you have enough evidence to dispute the enforcements interpretation of a regulation that warranted the Out of Service Violation (OOS) showing.
If you don’t have your pin or can’t find the pin unique to each filed DOT#, you can request a pin via email or mail to the address on your file on the Safer website. For assistance, call the FMCSA at (800) 832-5660. Note: At the time of this blog’s publication, the online pin request system is temporarily unavailable, so having it mailed is the only option. Contact the FMCSA for additional details.
Expert Support for Your Regulatory Needs
For organizations with DOT-regulated equipment, this is just a piece of the daily puzzle. Compliance goes beyond safety, and it needs to be assigned to someone within your business who can learn and manage the complex regulations. You can also work with a partner, like Holmes Murphy, who knows the regulations and can help you navigate these ever-changing and potentially costly waters.
If you’re ready to take the next step in ensuring your compliance with DOT regulations and more, contact us to start a conversation!
Published on: 10.19.23