While I enjoy writing this blog, there are times when I struggle to choose interesting and engaging subject matter. Not this time! The trucking insurance industry is one like I have never seen in my 32 year career. It’s a combination of many things, it’s rapid growth within a new company without strong foundations in safety & compliance; it’s unreported units to their insurer being dispatched; it’s unqualified drivers being put behind the wheel; it’s unethical advice being given to company owners who are blindly following it. Insurers have had enough. They have insured these risks on trust and belief that they are being given true information. When they find the information to be untrue and abusive, they have no choice but to make underwriting rule changes and decisions that are needed to be made.
Unfortunately, the new rules and underwriting decisions put good and honest operators in a pool that make it very difficult to operate. The good operators will succeed and they will operate, however with much more difficulty and costly time and effort. Just to be clear, this article is about what we call non-fleet operators. The new rules and business decisions focus on less than fleet operations, where the rules are strictly enforced. The reason for this is because, traditionally, less than fleet operators will not have a safety & compliance manager, or budget for one, and therefore the insurer does not have the same confidence that they have with a fleet that has one.
This will severely change the landscape of trucking insurance for some time. And it should. Our new normal will look nothing like we have ever seen. As I said, the good operators will survive and succeed and the ones that follow the practices mentioned above will cease to have insurance and therefore cease to exist. Unfortunately, that is how it will look on paper. As recent as last night, CTV aired an expose on falsified liability slips being sold for cash. I believe this practice will become more prevalent and will put all of us at risk. It will take much diligence from all of us to not only look for these operators, but to report them to the industry bodies and even police if necessary.
I have been saying, for some time, that our industry is unhealthy. Well, now it’s downright terminal and we need to do everything we can educate, advocate and protect it as best we can.