CSA Part 2: Maintaining your equipment

Todd Dills | May 01, 2011

DIY tips to keep inspectors at bay

Visit overdriveonline.com and search for “Staying ahead of the inspectors” to find advice on the maintenance areas most likely to cause problems under CSA. You’ll find links to stories under each of these topics:

• Tires and brakes

• Lights and electrical systems

• Drivetrain

• Trailers

CSA and insurance rates

“At this point, I don’t think the insurance industry has gotten its arms around the CSA approach,” says 1st Guard Corp. Chairman Ed Campbell. All the same, a move away from the Motor Vehicle Record as the primary data source for owner-operator policy underwriting toward CSA appears likely, if ready access to the data is available, Campbell adds. Compared to driver MVRs, “CSA seems to be driven by greater specificity.” This is perhaps nowhere more true than in its cataloging of all manner of roadside Vehicle Maintenance violations, which have never before been visible to insurance carriers.

For owner-operators with their own authority, this will most likely be the case. “There was information available through SafeStat” on carriers, says Canal Insurance Chief Underwriting Officer Paul Brocklebank. “We used it. But in terms of quantity and specificity, there’s more information available with CSA that we’re able to utilize.”

For leased operators, things are more uncertain.

Mike Miller, Progressive regional marketing director for commercial lines, doesn’t see big changes in underwriting, he says, primarily because “a lot of the driver records are not available for public consumption.” All the same, he adds, “we’d love to one day run the data through to see if there is true predictability” for safety outcomes from on-road behaviors chronicled by CSA.

Gaining access to driver CSA data, whether through the employing/leasing carrier or a third-party service provider like Vigillo, will be key to insurers’ use of the data for pricing. For example, Vigillo now offers a Roadside Resume free of charge to drivers that shows ranking data for drivers and owner-operators with carriers who use their service.

Ultimately, CSA could drive down insurance costs. “I think long-term that this approach to monitoring motor carriers will be more effective in reducing accidents than the old way,” says Wes Brackey, president of Great Plains Casualty. “As the trucking industry continually reduces their accident frequency, it will lower the cost of insurance to the industry.”

Brocklebank thinks CSA may lead to a better-qualified, better-compensated driver pool. As for what that means for insurance, he notes, “with better risk comes better pricing.”


1st Guard, 1stguard.com, (800) 995-4827

Canal Insurance, canal-ins.com, (800) 452-6911

Great Plains Casualty, greatplainscasualty.com, (866) 493-2778

Great West Casualty, gwccnet.com, (800) 228-8602

Progressive, progressivecommercial.com, (877) 656-7077

Roemer, insuremyrig.com, (888) 931-1934

Sentry, fortruckersonly.com, (800) 610-4888

Zurich, zurichna.com

James Jaillet contributed to this report.

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