HARTFORD, CT - The Travelers Companies Inc. announced that business customers may qualify for a discount of up to 15 percent on certain auto liability insurance premiums if they effectively use telematics technology to monitor their commercial fleets and driver behavior.

According to a recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), implementation of driving behavior management systems using in-vehicle telematics devices can result in a significant reduction in the number of risky driving behaviors. The study was funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

"By embracing fleet vehicle telematics and offering discounts to our commercial auto customers that effectively deploy this technology, Travelers is furthering its commitment to improving driver behavior and roadway safety," said Scott Higgins, president of Travelers commercial accounts. "Customers who are already taking advantage of the latest telematics technology are encouraged to work with their independent insurance agent or broker to see if they qualify for the discount."

Using telematics, businesses can receive information about driver behavior, vehicle routing and fuel efficiency. All of this information can help risk and fleet managers minimize risk and costs, Travelers pointed out. Additionally, risk and fleet managers have the feedback necessary to engage drivers about their driving performance and provide coaching on how to improve safety.

"Our research shows that combining onboard safety monitoring with behavioral coaching leads to a significant reduction in the number of risky driving events," said Jeff Hickman, lead researcher for Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. "We at VTTI are pleased that companies such as Travelers are using the results of our research to recognize the opportunities for risk and fleet managers to improve driver safety, which can assist in making the roads safer for everyone."

"The use of vehicle telematics is the next step in improving the safe operation of commercial fleets, transforming drivers with less oversight to those whose performance can be observed, coached and managed," said Chris Hayes, director of transportation services for Travelers risk control. "By using this technology and the wealth of information it can provide, fleet and risk managers can have data that will aid in developing specific training programs that positively modify driving behavior."

To qualify for a discount, businesses must show that they have installed vehicle telematics devices in a sufficient number of their fleet vehicles and that they are actively incorporating safety information from the devices into their ongoing safety feedback to drivers, at least on a quarterly basis.