Vehicle Telematics: the tattletales of driving habits

The words “Fleet Management” may make some business owners’ skin crawl but it’s one of those things they just can’t ignore. For most companies, this is a key aspect of their overall operations and something that needs constant attention.

Some commercial insurance companies are providing “Fleet Monitoring” premium discounts for the use of telematics, with the hopes that it will reduce the amount of claims and incidents within their commercial auto fleet.

Telematics refers to technology such as front facing cameras, sensors, GPS, and vehicle engine diagnostics. These devices can effectively monitor driving behaviors such as location, hard braking, rapid acceleration, speeding and hard cornering. Identifying these habits is an important element of commercial auto insurance, especially given the increasing rates lately.

The results of these telematics can help determine the risk, along with appropriate pricing and proactive loss control. Some of the technology can even alert the driver itself in real-time of any unacceptable driving behaviors to prevent an accident or injury. Vehicle engine diagnostics also helps tremendously with monitoring things like the health of the vehicle, for example: oil life, fuel efficiency, tire pressure, engine or fluid needs, etc. This is yet another part of fleet management that can be very time consuming and stressful on a business owner/manager.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the amount of fatal crashes involving large trucks and/or buses has increased by 42% since 2009. Ironically, technology such as cell phones could have contributed to that and here we are, talking about technology of other forms to help prevent it. But isn’t that our reality now… All things technology? But shouldn’t we be open to anything that can get that number back down? While telematics are optional for now, it could be very soon that they are actually required and that may not be a bad thing.

Additional auto insurance carriers are issuing premium refunds

Some people may think insurance companies are only there for them when they need to file a claim. Well, we are pleased to share some good news that shows how much auto insurance carriers across the board really do care.

These are challenging times and your insurance company wants to help! Many drivers are using their vehicles less as they abide by our current stay-at-home orders. Therefore, the following companies will all be issuing a one-time premium refund for personal auto policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each company is handling it slightly different so we’ve included the details below. This only applies to motor vehicle policies (not including golf cart, motorcycle, ATV or boat). This is still awaiting final regulatory approval but is headed in the right direction.

The best part about this is that policyholders don’t need to do anything! Refunds will automatically be either credited to their policy account or refunded.

*Nationwide: $50 per policy active as of March 31, 2020

*Safeco: 15% of premium as of April 7, 2020 for 2 months

*Auto Owners: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

*Mercury: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

*Progressive: 20% of April premium (refunded in May) and 20% of May premium (refunded in June)

*Chubb: 35% of premium for April and May, 2020 upon annual renewal

*Travelers: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

*MetLife: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

*AAA: 20% of auto premium for April and May, 2020

Geico: 15% of premium as the policy comes up for renewal between April 8-October 7, 2020. The credit will also apply to any new policies purchased during this period.

Allstate: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

USAA: 20% of premium as of March 31, 2020 for 2 months

State Farm: 25% of premium for policies in-force between March 20-May 31, 2020

Hartford: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

Liberty Mutual: 15% of premium as of April 7, 2020 for 2 months

Florida Fam Bureau: 15% of premium for April and May, 2020

*The companies with an * are the carriers in which we, at McGriff-Williams, represent and received this data directly from. Information regarding the other companies listed here was collected from their individual websites.

Business Interruption Insurance

In a time like the current pandemic of COVID-19, we are all experiencing some serious interruption. As individuals, it’s come in the form our personal relationships, children’s schools, sports, social events, networking, and even the everyday errand of running to the grocery store. Those restrictions are inconvenient and may be aggravating but in the end, not totally life changing. After all, some may even be enjoying the forced slow down and more time at home with their families.

But for businesses, it’s a different story. Think about your favorite restaurant, retailer, hardware store, caterer or event venue… your dentist, your hair stylist, your daycare and your gym. Think about how difficult it would be to tell employees of 20 years that you can’t afford to pay them or that you have to close the doors. Think about the students that work hourly to pay their way through school and support themselves, already living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet.

This is a tough time, no doubt about it. It’s terrible. And it’s forcing business owners to look anywhere and everywhere for options. One avenue business owners are exploring is Business Interruption coverage on their commercial insurance policy, which is what we’d like to clarify.

Unfortunately, in most cases, this type of coverage does not apply to any type of disease or outbreak. In the event of a natural disaster or man-made crisis, this coverage would help protect businesses against financial losses if they had to suspend operations or operate at a reduced rate/capacity.

Some of the things Business Interruption typically covers are:
• lost revenue
• rent and lease payments
• mortgage payments
• other loan payments and taxes
• employee payroll or relocation costs

This coverage may not extend for the situation we’re in right now but it’s comforting to know it’s there when applicable. If there’s property damage, closure, or lack of operations that does qualify for coverage, this could get a company back up and running rather quickly. Suffering from economic shock and financial losses is stressful enough, so the silver lining in those situations would be that this is there to help.

There really isn’t a great solution or magic answer to how we’ll recover from this Coronavirus situation but if we can stay positive, band together, and help where we’re able… surely, we’ll come out of it okay and as best prepared as we can be to get to work on recovering.

“Run Your Day The Intentional Way”

THEME. By definition, it is “the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person’s thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.” In our situation, it’s what we want as our personal and professional priority for this year. It’s our compass. It’s what we want every decision to be guided by and a focus that everyone on our team keeps at the forefront of their minds at all times.

INTENTIONAL. By definition, it is “done on purpose; deliberate.” It takes thought, effort, and strategy. It means you are purposeful in every word and action. It takes engagement and belief in both the process and the end result.

We, as a company, were challenged to come up with a “theme” for 2020. We’re making some changes and shifting some things we do as an organization and wanted this theme to kick off some really exciting things for our future as a company. So, we tapped into the best resource of all… our people. We involved everyone on our team to participate and contribute ideas to get to our theme. We talked a lot about focusing on the core values our company has always lived by. We want to make them a top priority and shift our minds back to what’s truly important, rather than just getting caught up in a busy routine and going through the motions day in and day out. We discussed how if you don’t run your day, your day will run you. So… drumroll… we are proud to reveal our 2020 theme: “RUN YOUR DAY THE INTENTIONAL WAY.”

Intentionality can be accomplished in many ways. Here is how we are striving to be intentional rather than accidental:


• The way we show appreciation to our staff and foster our culture
• How we treat our clients and the guidance we provide them
• Taking a holistic approach to their individual situation and exposure
• Getting creative with solutions to problems some may not even know exist
• Who we partner and do business with

Running your day the intentional way starts with the second your eyes open in the morning (side note: it helps to have coffee) and your feet hit the floor. Your attitude and intentions can set the tone for the rest of the day, week, month, and year. We plan to give everything we’ve got to stick to our goals and support eachother throughout this year to really do things on purpose with purpose. Join us! Go choose a word, a resolution, a theme… and run your day the intentional way!

Prevent your next HR nightmare!

Think you don’t need an Employee Handbook or that yours is sufficient as is? Think again. It is extremely important to keep a current Employee Handbook.

Some misconceptions of business owners or HR directors may be:
• No time or resources
• It’s too much work
• Afraid we’ll miss important compliance/law changes
• Not a company priority
• Don’t think a Handbook is necessary for our business
• We’ve already finished our updates this year

Your Handbook does a lot for you that shouldn’t be overlooked, such as:
• It tells your story and you have the opportunity to be a really great narrator
• It sets the tone for your company culture and clearly communicates the mutual expectations with your employees
• It explains your purpose, your why and your how
• It defines and explains the benefits you offer to your staff, adding value and morale to your operation
• Your openness and transparency will go a lot further than you might expect
• Delivers brand or information change promptly and efficiently

There could be substantial consequences of not having an accurate, up-to-date Handbook:
• Your exposure to legal action being taken against you
• Missing or inaccurate information is misleading
• Employees may not feel comfortable going to management when they should be able to refer to the Handbook to avoid feeling hesitant
• Staff will not feel confident if there’s a lack of guidance and support from their leadership
• Changes in state/federal laws that affect your policies will be overlooked
• Harassment and discrimination issues could be avoided

As always, if there are ways we can help with your Employee Handbook or implementation of it, please contact us any time at (352)371-7977 or info@mcgriffwilliams.com.