August 17, 2023
7 min read

Unlocking the Future of Commercial Auto Insurance

Akshitha Ramachandran


Imagine a world with premium pricing that rewards drivers for safe driving (i.e. usage-based premium pricing), the elimination of manual processes, and driver safety based underwriting capabilities. To enable such a reality for commercial auto insurers, data is king. More specifically telematics devices, pulling real-time data from vehicles, are essential to provide this critical infrastructure. However, that data is not easily accessible…. Unless you’re using… Axle, a universal API connecting data across telematics devices, allowing insurers to tap into real-time, granular vehicle data.

In this blog post, we dive deep into the challenges faced in the insurance space and how Axle is poised to unleash new data and practices to support commercial auto insurers.

Is Commercial Auto that Hard? …. YES!

Commercial auto insurers face many headwinds. Historically, this has been an area that is difficult to tame with a combined ratio (sum of underwriting loss ratio and expense ratio) above 100% in past decades.

While progress has been made to bring this ratio below 100% in 2021-22, the industry faces a challenging climate amid: driver shortages, worsening crash severity, rising repair costs, and more. This is certainly a testing space to say the least.

In light of all the obstacles insurers must overcome, we can focus our lens on the heart of the issue: inadequate data and manual processes. These are areas ripe for enhancement. Let's dive into some examples:

  • 🚚 Premium Quotes: This is the amount the insured must pay for their coverage. Crafting an effective premium quote hinges on evaluating associated risks, minimizing losses in case of damages. At times, premiums can be really high for drivers despite being safe, or too low for those who are risky. Getting to a fair quote is time-consuming and requires data that may not always be available. The process is both an art and science.
  • 📝 First Notice of Loss (FNOL): This is the initial report that captures the damage, loss, or theft of an asset. These reports require several critical data points to be completed accurately. Claim adjustors often have to iterate on the document to fix any errors and plug data gaps. A critical step, but very laborious!
  • 🧑‍💼 Claims Adjustment: Dedicated claims adjustors take on this intricate process of investigating insurance claims to determine liability. This process is rife with challenges and involves collaboration with multiple parties. Adjustors must rely on available data to assess damages accurately, many times lacking ground truth information (like data from devices in a vehicle).

The Future of Commercial Auto?… Begins with Axle!

Here's where Axle makes its difference, armed with an array of telematics and ELD integrations. This translates to a wealth of data, including vehicle location history, safety events, and driver behavior, all accessible via APIs. This provides a treasure trove of information for insurance companies to tap into, while still ensuring the privacy of the insured.

Let's explore how Axle addresses these pressing issues:

  • 🚚 Premium Quotes: Axle facilitates the underwriting process and precisely evaluating an insurer’s risk before the policy period, at the time of renewal, or even in real-time. By analyzing fleet location history, safety records, and driver behavior, insurers can tailor premiums with pinpoint accuracy.
  • 📝 First Notice of Loss: Axle's webhook functionality can trigger automatic notifications to insurers as soon as incidents occur. The detection of predefined safety events (e.g., collision) can be configured to send location, time, date, driver, and more directly to an insurer. This ensures seamless and holistic information flow, avoiding data gaps or manual input errors.
  • 🧑‍💼 Claims Adjustment: By combining telematics data and dashcams, Axle can  streamline the claims assessment process. At the time of a detected incident, telematics logging of the occurrence can be validated before, during, and after. Accurately determining the responsible party becomes achievable, streamlining the claims adjustment process.


In the ever-evolving landscape of commercial auto insurance, Axle stands as a foundational support. Armed with real-time telematics data, it can enhance how insurers approach risk assessment, FNOL, claims adjustment, and premium pricing. The times are changing, and the future of insurance is bright, data-driven, and undeniably efficient. As we navigate the tides of technological advancement, Axle is the ultimate partner – riding alongside insurers towards a horizon brimming with possibilities.


Written by
Akshitha Ramachandran

The future of transportation is built with Axle