How Connected Fleet Insurance Could Hold the Key to Safer Roads

November 15, 2022

Jack Burton

Insurance Partnerships Lead


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As we observe Road Safety Week from 14-20 November, here’s some sobering news for you. According to government data released at the end of September, road collisions involving deaths and serious injuries caused by vans, trucks, and buses have returned to pre-pandemic levels. 

Fleet News reports that Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) were involved in 2,835 fatal or serious collisions in 2021, an increase of 24% on 2020. The number of fatal or serious collisions involving Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) was up 7% on 2020—amounting to an average of three per day. 

This is a worrying trend that all of us working in the fleet industry must urgently address by investigating what’s going on behind the scenes of these statistics and collaborating to find solutions. 

Road safety charity Brake agrees. It has called on fleet industry leaders to prioritise safety as a business-critical dependency. But, faced with supply chain issues, driver shortages, and ongoing disruption in the market, they desperately need support. So where can they find it? 

At Samsara, we’ve been working with connected fleet insurance provider Flock to support their mission to make the world quantifiably safer. Together we believe that the rich landscape of telematics data holds the key to enabling and incentivising safer driving.

I’ll let Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Flock, Antton Peña, tell you more. 

Antton Peña, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Flock

A new type of data-driven connected insurance 

The Commercial Auto Fleet Insurance Market is seeing increased activity worldwide as reported in a recent global study by AMA research. One contributing factor is the increase in road accidents. The more claims a company makes, the more an insurance provider has to pay out—and the more premiums rise to cover the cost. 

But what if there was a way for the insurance provider to reduce premiums by helping their customers reduce the number of claims?

Consider the traditional insurance model wherein insurance providers typically price policies by looking at generalised, historical data. For example, suppose a fleet owner wants an insurance quote for a fleet of ten pizza delivery vehicles. In that case, they’ll look at the historical data of other pizza delivery fleets of a similar size and prepare a cost based on that. They might create a risk profile based on the idea that pizza is usually delivered at night and the vehicles are therefore at a higher risk of having an accident. 

Insurance in this case is reactive. Both parties are waiting for an accident to happen rather than trying to prevent it. A tactic that costs money and potentially lives. 

At Flock, we believe that insurance should be proactive—i.e. prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Like Samsara, our business is about enabling and incentivising safer, more sustainable driving. Safer customers make fewer claims. This means fewer payouts for us and lower premiums for them. 

The way we do this? Data.

Connected Insurance for safer fleets

Flock harnesses telematics data from companies like Samsara to provide insurance prices that truly reflect their level of risk with rebates to reward safer driving. 

When it comes to safety, both Flock and Samsara share the idea that not every mile is created equally. It’s more dangerous to drive a mile down a side street than it is on a motorway, for example. 

Flock takes telematics data from vehicles and combines that with information about the environment—like building density and historical crime data. We use it to identify which drivers are risky, which routes are more dangerous and how these factors, among others, will impact a customer’s risk profile.

Safer fleets pay less

The depth and breadth of data provided by Samsara’s technology allows us to quantify risk on a per-second and per-metre basis. All of the different data points mean that we can then offer a highly accurate insurance quote that truly reflects a customer's exposure to risk.

Over time, we can track that data to help businesses to reduce their premiums by implementing safer driving practices. Customers can leverage insights from their fleet data to support behavioural change among risky drivers and offer better training across the board.

Using data to support fleet innovation

Insurance makes up 25% of the cost of setting up a fleet. If we can find a way to reduce the price of policies by using telematics data then new fleet businesses won’t be priced out of the market before they’ve even been able to get up and running.

Many traditional insurers aren’t willing to take on what they perceive to be risky new fleets that don’t have a track record of safety established yet. This was exactly what one of Samsara and Flock’s customers, elmo, experienced.

elmo is an electric car subscription company that offers customers the affordability of a traditional lease, with the flexibility of a subscription. Everything is included in one monthly payment, with no deposit and no lengthy contracts. 

Because they already had Samsara installed in their fleet, elmo were able to easily provide insights related to safety and driver behaviour with Flock. These insights ensured safety remained a key focus for elmo as they scaled their fleet rapidly while keeping insurance premiums low.

The future of connected insurance and operations 

As fleets become more connected and innovative motor companies like elmo emerge, there’s an opportunity for the industry to move forward in a safer, more sustainable direction. Road safety has a long way to go and there are future challenges, such as how we’ll share the road with autonomous vehicles, to consider. 

But if we can continue to collaborate as an industry to harness the power of data, our roads can only get safer. They must. 


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