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A vehicle telematics device gathers and transmits information regarding the location of a vehicle and how it's being driven (for example, acceleration and braking). This information can be useful to monitor safe and efficient driving, find a missing vehicle and reconstruct accident details.
A device containing only the GPS feature does not count as a telematics device. A telematics device goes beyond just the GPS function and can transmit information to a portal that drivers and/or fleet managers can access. In addition, telematics devices often provide driver safety feedback such as in-cab device feedback or video cameras.
In our study of the telematics industry, Travelers has identified over 100 different devices or service vendors. In fact, there are as many devices on the market as there are different needs. Consider first the reasons you want to use a telematics device – safety, fuel economy, logistics? Then narrow the list of vendors by their specialization.
Travelers does not provide the telematics devices; however,Travelers has reviewed the devices of several vendors that provide both useable data and a management dashboard allowing telematics information to be used for increasing fleet safety. A list of these vendors is available on the vendor service provider page within this site. While this list contains only a few telematics providers, these vendors provide a good starting point for business customers who are considering the implementation of a telematics program for safety purposes.
As a Travelers business customer, you receive consulting services from Travelers Risk Management professionals to help you develop a safety program that meets your specific needs. You'll also gain access to our TravSources® website which offers you a wide range of risk control resources that you can use anytime.
Insurance rates are determined by a number of factors, including the types of programs an insured has in place to hire, qualify and monitor drivers. While the presence of a telematics device alone will not impact your rates, using the device to effectively monitor and coach your drivers may lead to a discounted rate. Travelers will consider your telematics safety program when quoting the policy.
Some organizations are concerned that adding a monitoring device will cause a morale issue with drivers. If a telematics program is rolled out properly, this can be avoided. It's important to share metrics with drivers as a positive coaching tool rather than use them as a punishment tool. Many organizations have found that drivers appreciate having regular feedback on performance when that performance can be fairly measured against their peers. Remember that a telematics program is only as good as the human interactions behind the technology.
Upon installation of telematics devices in your fleet, you should contact your insurance agent/broker. By notifying your insurance producer, you are providing information that impacts the underwriting of your account, and a discount may apply if your business is effectively using the devices to manage driver performance.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is a leader in understanding driver behavior and in developing and testing advanced vehicle technology such as telematics. Since 2009, Travelers has worked with VTTI to realize the full potential of this emerging technology and discover the best ways to use vehicle data for effective coaching.