Takeaways from Our Conversation on Commercial Auto, Telematics and Cannabis

By | April 22, 2024

Commercial auto is a tough topic in any business segment, but it’s tougher still for cannabis businesses.

For our latest podcast, we spoke with Griffen Kapulica, broker relationship manager for Fairmatic, a commercial insurance company delivering data-driven fleet insurance using AI-powered technology and telematics.

We looped into the conversation Chris Boden, a long-focused cannabis insurance broker and vice president of the wholesale cannabis division for PL Risk.

Following are takeaways from that conversation.

Kapulica explained Farimatic’s operation.

Griffen Kapulica

“We use our mobile app for telematics to collect mileage and driving performance data and the the more safely you’re fleet drives, the more we’re going to give you discounts up to 20% off of your annual premium in terms of numbers,” he said. “Everyone always wants numbers, right?

But each risk is sort of quantified on its own merit and that’s what’s different about Fairmatic is, we’re here to provide the premium based on your true risk and exposure versus just lumping you all in together.”

He touched on the firm’s claims, and while he was hesitant to give a lot of information, he did offer some figures.

“We are seeing really solid numbers across the board with claims knock on wood,” Kapulica said. “Of course, I think we’re always a little nervous to talk about claims numbers, because things can change in a snap, right in an instant. But we are running under a 50%, to-date, loss ratio, and of course we’ve only been around a few years.”

Chris Boden

Theft is one of the most common claims they are experiencing, especially in large metropolitan areas, according to him.

A driver of another frequent claim, auto accidents, they are seeing is due to distracted driving.

“So as a business owner, if you have some insights into how often you’re professional drivers are distracted or texting and driving while on the road, you will notice that we give all of our fleets the ability to access a dashboard and our app is able to collect information about each driver and notify the owner,” he said. “‘Hey this is how often Jimmy or Jessica your drivers are engaging with their phone?’ The app gives business owners information on how fast a driver is driving when they’re tapping their phone.”

He added: “We know every professional driver out there, whatever business they’re in, they’re going to use their phone or some kind of technology for work, right?,” he said. “They still need to use it, so we when it’s sort of an excess amount of use, or if it’s just, ‘Hey, they’ve touched their phone to look at their Google Maps,’ as an example.”

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For Boden, commercial auto is an important part of his cannabis specialty business, and it has been difficult, and often costly, coverage to obtain. He has seen his clients lose other business because they couldn’t get their clients good commercial auto coverage.

“Most of these retailers, they have maybe one direct appointment with the auto carrier that can do coverage and that’s about it,” he said. “And unfortunately, in my opinion, the auto space is in the slowest to expand as far as options go, and it’s apparent, because even non-cannabis industries that auto has been very, very tough, and (Fairmatic) has been a very good option for the agents. You know, if they’re trying to get in with the prospect, they can say, “Hey, this is something new that they might not have known. It may not work for him at this particular moment for that operator, but this is something different that gets that door open. So, you can have dialogue with the insured.”


Topics Auto Commercial Lines Business Insurance Cannabis

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