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Chuck Wallace, a co-founder of Esurance, saw commercial truck insurance as a struggling market, hidebound by past practice and ripe for innovation.
The insurance tech revolution he had helped kick off some 20 years ago with Esurance for home and auto owners had left trucking by the side of the road.
That led to a meeting with Reid Spitz, a principal at venture capital firm 8VC.
Seeing an opportunity to reinvent the trucking insurance market, they partnered with 8VC and other investors to form High Definition Vehicle Insurance. Launched in 2018, HDVI focuses on small and midsize trucking fleets.
“We wrap all we do around data and telematics, third-party next-generation hardware, our own software and services, combined with an integrated insurance product that rewards fleets for becoming safer,” explained Wallace, who is HDVI’s CEO.
The program provides “a set of initiatives for the fleet to help them improve more aspects of their operation,” such as safety, hiring and training practices and procedures, data management and control, and regulatory compliance, among other areas.
“As [fleets] prove themselves responsive to coaching and implementing recommendations to become safer, they can earn a better rate through the course of the policy,” Wallace said, adding, “you can’t just put a camera in a truck and see safety improvements. You need monitoring and analyzing [the data] combined with [proactive, ongoing] coaching as well.”
Spitz, HDVI’s head of operations, said commercial truck liability insurance has been a “hardening market”