Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section
July 2020

Issues & Answers: A Driving Force

Andy Shockey, Assistant Vice President, Risk Management Services, Philadelphia Insurance Cos., said that vehicle telematics is leading to safer roadways while helping commercial vehicle owners control costs and the well-being of their drivers. The following is an excerpt of that interview.

Andy Shockey

Andy Shockey
Assistant Vice President, Risk Management Services
Philadelphia Insurance Cos.

“Policyholders with PHLYTRAC have averaged a 19% reduction in loss frequency.”

At a Glance

  • Leader in telematics for commercial auto insurance.
  • Best’s Financial Strength Rating A++ (Superior) and approved in 50 states.
  • 96% overall customer satisfaction.


What is vehicle telematics?

Very simply, it’s the collection of vehicle and driver behavior datapoints related to the operation of the vehicle. This data can be collected and transferred from the vehicle via cellular signal, and is also collected by a black box installed by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

How is vehicle telematics helpful to policyholders?

The availability of telematics data positions policyholders to receive and respond proactively to the behaviors of their employee drivers. This includes the opportunity for positive reinforcement to their drivers who consistently operate their vehicles in a safe and lawful manner. Prior to this technology, our policyholders could only react to situations brought to their attention such as phone calls from the concerned general public and/or their vehicle mechanic.
In addition to helping policyholders improve driver behavior, telematics users can monitor the location of their vehicles to ensure they’re operating where they should be. We had an incident this year where a policyholder’s utility van was stolen and taken on a high speed chase exceeding 90 miles per hour. When the police “lost” the vehicle during the chase, the policyholder was able to log into our PHLYTRAC system to tell the police exactly where the car thief was heading. The police were able to successfully recover the vehicle, damage-free.

How is vehicle telematics helpful to PHLY agents?

This shared dataset helps PHLY and our agency partners continue to inform and influence our policyholders on what can be done to continue to control the cost of commercial automobile insurance. Driver behavior remains an aspect to this challenging exposure that is in our policyholder’s control.

How has vehicle telematics impacted driver safety?

We looked at our frequency experience of our national telematics program at Philadelphia Insurance, which is 45,000 vehicles and growing. Our policyholders averaged a 19% frequency reduction.
During the COVID-19 time in our country, we’re reading about high speeds and the severe crashes related to the speeds. Telematics continues to help position a fleet management team with timely alerts to their own drivers’ behaviors, which helps improve their safety as well as the safety of other motorists on the road.