Average fees for motor vehicle reports (MVRs) continue their upward march, according to the latest Verisk analysis, reaching $10.14 as of August 1, 2020, compared with $7.64 ten years ago.
Our ten-year analysis of fees revealed that state registry fees increased 33 percent nationwide over the past decade, with MVR costs growing at an average annual rate of 3.4 percent. MVR costs vary widely by state, and 31 states increased MVR fees over the past decade.
Since the beginning of 2019, nine states have increased their fees. Increases to date in 2020 for interactive records are:
- Iowa, from $8.50 to $10.30 per record
- North Carolina, $10 to $10.75 per record
Appreciating the value of MVRs
Despite the challenge of rising costs, the usefulness of MVRs is undiminished—even expanding. The applications to reduce premium leakage, keep books of business clean, and support fleet risk management are well established. But there are still more benefits, some new and some that simply are worth keeping in mind.
For example, life insurers can consider how MVRs might provide additional insight on mortality risk by identifying applicants’ potentially risky driving behaviors. And commercial fleet owners can potentially lower the risk of their vehicles being involved in accidents by flagging adverse driving history, both before and after hiring drivers.
Getting the most from your MVR dollar
Balancing the expense of MVR reports with the need for them can be difficult, but a strategic approach can help. Verisk has tools that can be used throughout the policy life cycle—at point of sale, at renewal, and for ongoing monitoring—to steer insurers in the right direction. They include:
- look-back indicators for driver violation activity
- driver monitoring of new violations or change in driver’s license status
- assistance in developing targeted business rules based on geographic book of business
Verisk cost-containment tools cut one customer’s MVR costs by 37 percent, or $1.2 million.
Lower underwriting expenditures—focused where they were needed—reduced the combined ratio while preserving the existing level of underwriting accuracy. And MVR spending was targeted at risks that required a surcharge, thereby generating more premium.
Verisk services also help insurers monitor driver records. These tools clearly communicate when an auto insurance customer is involved in driving-related adverse activity and can be used to trigger ordering an MVR for full details, saving expenditures on drivers with clean driving records.