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From the Front Lines: Trucking

"Many carriers and agents are pulling out of the market, and it is a great time for us to offer a solution for businesses that are struggling to find coverage and are feeling like they are being neglected," says independent agent KylE Houck. "If we can provide value, just as we do with our middle market commercial clients, we can make a positive impact."
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From the Front Lines: TruckingKyle Houck

Adviser

Florida Risk Partners

Valrico, Florida

How did you get started at your agency? 

Like an overwhelming majority of the people in the industry that I have connected with, I had no intention of getting into the insurance industry. I met our agency principal, David Carothers, while I was working for a professional employer organization. He was one of my referral partners. As his target clients were a bit different from mine, we discussed that he probably wasn't going to have a huge volume to send my way. Time went on, we stayed in contact and when he reached the point of looking to hire a producer, it was coincidentally time for me to make a change—he reached out and discussed what it would look like coming on board.

Why trucking insurance?

Many carriers and agents are pulling out of the market, and it is a great time for us to offer a solution for businesses that are struggling to find coverage and are feeling like they are being neglected. If we can provide value, just as we do with our middle market commercial clients, we can make a positive impact.

Challenges in the trucking insurance market?

Auto rates right now are horrible in Florida—and I know this is not isolated to just here. The impact is being felt nationwide. There are limited markets and businesses are feeling it, which is making it tough for them. This can cause business owners to take shortcuts and sacrifice safety. The result: An endless cycle of accidents, claims and increased premiums. The shortage of qualified workers in the labor market is also compounding the problem.

Changes in the trucking insurance market?

More and more people buying goods online. This has been happening for years, but it was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in the need for more trucks on the road. And with more trucks on the road, naturally, there will be more accidents. As a result, I see rates continuing to increase.

Future trends? 

InsurTech is changing the industry through the use of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and usage-based insurance products that are engaging with the native GPS systems in the vehicles. Technology allows the insured to pay different rates for different drivers based on their scoring. Also, insureds pay for miles driven and accounts are reconciled monthly, allowing for a more accurate rate. This is a step in the right direction and will reward businesses for creating the right culture and behaviors.

Advice for a fellow agent in the trucking insurance market?

Never stop learning. Be a sponge and try to soak up as much information as possible. Take advantage of carrier webinars. There are usually some good nuggets in there. 

Olivia Overman is IA content editor.