By Patrick Manning, Associate Account Executive
As we all know, the energy industry is rapidly growing. With this growth, the demand for additional personnel and equipment is sharply on the rise, and as a result, the need for Auto liability with physical damage is also experiencing an uptick. Auto coverage is needed to transport personnel from site to site and used to deliver/haul equipment, tanks, and materials. Some transportation that is occurring out in the field has trucks running nearly 24 hours a day, stopping long enough for a quick check and a driver swap. One of the more prominent classes in the field is vacuum truck operators, or saltwater haulers.
Most agents currently believe that loss history, specific vehicles, and driving radius are what underwriters are using to get a grasp of the risk, determine the rate, and ultimately decide if they are willing to write coverage. In the past this might have been true, but as information becomes more readily available, underwriters are using every resource they can find in order to asses a risk. One of these resources is the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records system, or “SAFER.” The SAFER report is run by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and it offers company safety data and related services to our underwriters via the internet.
A SAFER Company Safety Profile will contain the following information: Carrier Operations/Safety Ratings, SafeState History, Crashes (4 year summary), Individual Crashes (min: 1 year, max: 2 years), Inspections (2 year Summary), Inspection Characteristics (2 year summary), Individual Inspections (min: 1 year, max: 2 years), Reports Not Printed, and State Point of Contact Listing. With all this information, the underwriter is able to create a much more accurate picture of the quality of operation the insured is running.
The important thing to take away from the SAFER report is that in order to get the best possible rate or even be eligible for coverage, it is becoming more and more crucial that the insured manages this report. Transportation in the field is often times on rocky and uneven roads, which means damage to the vehicles is far more likely to occur and this will adversely affect the insured’s SAFER report, and therefore their auto rate.
In the last 12 months we have seen more insureds turned away from our larger carriers due to any number of issues with their SAFER report. The insureds each had little-to-no auto losses and what would otherwise be considered a slam dunk account became completely un-writeable with higher rated carriers.
In order to access SAFER reports you simple need to go to: https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/. With the information available through this website, you will be able to help guide your insureds as they continue to grow in any field that requires transportation, and to make sure they are in the best possible position from a risk profile standpoint.