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Skyward ahead of the pack on commercial auto telematics: CEO Robinson

Skyward Specialty Insurance Andrew Robinson v2.jpg

Skyward Specialty is ahead of competitors in its use of commercial fleet telematics, amid a growing interest among carriers in using tracking technology to improve and manage risk in the loss challenged trucking market, the carrier’s CEO told this publication’s Inside P&C Live conference on Thursday.

Andrew Robinson said the move fits into a broader strategy of finding new sources of data to improve underwriting capabilities.

“For us, we want to be working with it early, so we’re able to think about what’s next both in terms of product, but also in terms of risk management,” said Robinson.

He said telematics were “a good example” of where Skyward was “in front of where the market is”, while using an information source that has become widely available.

He raised an example of a client in the energy sector that has a captive reinsured by Skyward, which now uses telematics technology to track truck drivers.

He said all captive participants have access to a league table showing driver performance, creating a “gamification” of driver safety.

The Stephen Way-founded Skyward changed its name from Houston International Insurance Group last year.

Robinson defended his company’s role in insuring the fossil fuel industry, saying that Skyward would continue to provide cover to clients in the oil and gas sector so long as such businesses remained a “central part of our economy”.

Nonetheless, he said he remained committed to further diversifying the carrier’s book of business into emerging risks.

Commenting on the recent freezing weather in the company’s home state of Texas, Robinson said that the $10bn-$20bn event “really wasn't something that people contemplated in their pricing”.

He said despite the natural cat insurance market’s “capacity to forget”, he hoped the frequency of Black Swan-style events would continue momentum towards “what is more technically sufficient pricing on the property side and on the business interruption side, for the industry going forward”.

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