Ford, a trusted name in the automotive industry for more than a century and in automotive insurance for over 60 years, has expanded its offerings to include commercial auto insurance for small fleets through Ford Credit subsidiary, The American Road Insurance Company.
With the launch of Ford Pro Insure, the company became the first automaker to offer commercial auto insurance directly, targeting policies for business fleets between five and 25 vehicles.
This move marks a natural extension of Ford’s existing capabilities and demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting the diverse needs of its customers.
Starting with five states — Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin — Ford Pro Insure offers fleet managers a comprehensive solution that will soon add telematics data.
Work Truck spoke with Kirby Harris, Ford Credit Insurance Operations Director, to learn more about this innovative offering and how it can benefit business fleets.
Ford Pro Insure will leverage telematics data to create a unique insurance offering for commercial fleets.
Using data from the vehicle, they can better understand driving habits, risk profiles, and other factors that can help inform insurance pricing and risk assessment.
Telematics-based insurance differs from traditional methods of determining insurance rates in that it uses real-time data on a vehicle's usage, location, and driving habits to set premiums. Traditional methods typically rely on proxy variables, such as age, gender, location, and driving history, to determine rates.
One of the top goals of any fleet, large or small, is reducing the total cost of ownership and downtime. Losses from an incident counteract that goal.
“If you think about downtime from a business owner’s perspective, it’s not just an inconvenience. It is a loss of revenue,” Harris noted. “The Ford Pro telematics system is a game-changer for commercial auto insurance. It provides real-time data that can help accurately predict risk, reduce losses, and improve claims handling. By partnering with Ford Pro, we can offer our customers a more personalized and cost-effective insurance experience.”
In addition to reducing losses, telematics systems can be used to predict risk and reduce those risk elements. And often, just using telematics shows a fleet is trying to manage its operations and risks.
But not every operation is the same or uses each vehicle equally. Ford Pro Insure recognizes that every fleet is unique and offers customizable policies that cater to each fleet’s needs. Their team works closely with customers to understand their requirements and tailor policies accordingly.
Pie Insurance Role
Pie Insurance is the managing general agent for Ford Pro Insure, supporting the rollout and underwriting. This allows Ford Pro Insure to leverage Pie’s expertise in insurance while providing a seamless experience for customers.
Ford Pro Insure understands that choosing the right insurance policy can be daunting for many fleets.
As Harris put it, “Most customers want to talk to an agent when selecting their insurance, and frankly, they really should if they don’t have expertise in insurance. You need advice. That’s why I believe in offering our customers the option to speak with a knowledgeable agent who can guide them through the process and provide personalized recommendations.”
Ford Pro Insure aims to deliver a more personalized experience. Pie has a call center with agents to help customers choose the right policy and offer guidance on other types of insurance that may be relevant to their needs.
“Pie also has a strong network of independent agents across the U.S., allowing customers to meet with an agent face-to-face if they prefer,” Harris added. “This approach aims to deliver a truly exceptional customer experience.”
Focus on Safety and Efficiency
Ford Pro Insure’s approach is centered around improving safety and efficiency for commercial fleets. Customers can leverage advanced technologies like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning to help prevent accidents and reduce claims frequency.
Embedded telematics systems provide more accurate data versus other options, such as those in mobile devices.
Ford Pro is working to create an entire ecosystem for its business fleet customers.
“Today’s business owner is taking much more control over the fleet and related processes, such as insurance, than ever before. We want to make things more transparent. Instead of going through a policy period and finding out their next quote the following year, we want to get it to where they can see the changes as they happen. That would be huge for fleets and business planning and budgeting,” Harris explained.
Ford Pro Insure aims to resolve common issues fleet operators face when dealing with insurance providers. It does this by streamlining the quoting process, providing transparent pricing, and offering flexible payment options.
But first, Ford Pro Insure plans to build a strong foundation for its new initiatives.
“You have to get your foundation laid, you know, not rush ahead,” Harris said. “To achieve this, we’re taking a deliberate approach, focusing on getting the basics right before moving on to more advanced improvements. We’re committed to continually enhancing our products and services, but we’re doing it at a pace that ensures we’re always doing things exceptionally well. Our goal is never to stop improving and to constantly respond to changing customer needs and emerging technologies.”
Future Expansion Plans
Ford Pro Insure plans to expand to all 50 states. How will it decide where to go next? By focusing on areas where its customers are located. They will consider various factors, including state regulatory requirements, market demand, and the presence of connected vehicles.
Currently, the program is focused on small fleets, including tradespeople operating business fleets. While larger fleets have expressed interest, the focus is on the smaller operations.
As the transportation landscape evolves, Ford Pro Insure remains committed to adapting its insurance products to meet the changing needs of its customers. They continuously monitor industry trends and customer feedback to ensure their offerings remain relevant and effective.