Motor Truck Cargo and Fleet Safety – Some BASIC Tools

Many people see fleet safety and cargo insurance as being two separate topics. This is an enduring myth and one that you should not believe.

A lot of discussion and attention is given to cargo specific topics such as cargo theft, terminal security and refrigeration breakdown. These events are only part of the loss dollars related to cargo insurance. The leading frequency of loss and leading dollar loss for cargo claims is collision, upset and overturn. This means that the same traffic accident that drives the auto liability and physical damage results also drives the cargo loss ratio.

A good fleet safety plan addresses several topics:

  • Driver selection
  • Driver management
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Accident investigation and review

These elements are represented in the BASIC scores that the Department of Transportation uses to prioritize interventions and enforcement actions for motor carriers.

Driver Selection can be judges by the results from the Driver Fitness BASIC score. If the motor carrier does not properly qualify, train and screen their drivers this behavior can be evident in this evaluation.

The Unsafe Driving BASIC Score will indicate the ongoing driver performance. This score will help you evaluate driver performance and should be reflective of MVR profiles for this fleet. The Controlled Substances / Alcohol BASIC will help you identify if the drug and alcohol programs at carrier are being effectively managed.

Vehicle maintenance can be judged by the score in the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC evaluation. A poor score here would indicate that the minimum legally require vehicle inspection and repairs are not being effectively completed.

Accident investigation and review does not neatly fit into a BASIC score category. However the carrier that has Alert status on any BAISC score and who cannot identify an action plan to correct that score would be lacking in investigation and analysis programs.

BFM uses the BASIC scores in its underwriting and evaluation of motor carriers. We believe this system has predictive value as several independent studies have confirmed. We encourage our customers to recognize the link behind fleet safety and cargo losses. We encourage you to understand the BASIC scores and how you can use this tool to target your fleet safety management efforts.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.