Nationwide taps insurtech partners to power commercial telematics initiative

January 27, 2020

Digital Insurance

Nathan Golia, Editor-in-Chief, Digital Insurance

Nationwide's commercial insurance group is hoping that fleet management services help refine telematics-based insurance offerings with the launch of a new program targeting human services drivers.

Partnering with Azuga and Zubie, companies that provide technology to support trip-tracking and analytics capabilities,the Vantage 360 Premium Partner Program offers comprehensive fleet management and GPS tracking for qualifying companies. The human services market encompasses medical and social services fleets that, among other things, help move patients to crucial appointments.

"Many of these customers are nonprofits, and it's tough for them to afford a telematics solution," says Pete Frey, director of commercial telematics for Nationwide. Under the terms of the program, "we agree to cover the cost for the first year, get them up and running, and they do share their driving data with us and that allows our loss control folks to help coach them."


The tech from Nationwide's partners provides the ability to track vehicles while monitoring trips and drivers' behavior. It works with any telematics data-gathering device, from mobile apps to OBD-II devices and is geared towards middle-market customers with more than20 vehicles. (The Vantage 360 brand also has a mobile-app-only based program live in three states for smaller fleets.)

While it's not tied directly to the insurance premium at launch, Frey says the goal is to use what it learns from getting the analytics in the hands of these drivers to develop a product.

"What the commercial side is doing is not justbuilding a usage-based insurance type solution, but how do we build fleet management into this," Frey says, explaining that there's a lot of nuance when it comes to fleet customers. "There's different shapes and sizes of our customers as well, As we look to build the program, how we incorporate discounts for safer driving takes a little more work."