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Cracking the code on the components of commercial vehicle risk

  • Feeling the squeeze of an unprecedented hard market, identifying vehicle risk more accurately and pricing more precisely are strategies commercial auto insurers should explore.
  • Innovation is the key to lifting results.
  • Verisk’s new commercial lines (CL) VIN Decode solution helps enable underwriting leaders to accelerate their competitiveness with one of the most robust vehicle identification numbers (VIN) solutions available to the industry.

Commercial auto insurers are feeling profitability pressures amid an unprecedented hard market, riskier driving behavior,1 and record social inflation2 that has cost the industry more than $20 billion over the last decade. In fact, average combined ratios have exceeded 100 for eleven straight years, indicating that the industry was unprofitable from an underwriting perspective.3

Is there a solution?

Assembling the components of vehicle risk… one attribute at a time.

Leverage innovation to lift results

While the industry faces numerous challenges, understanding vehicle risk is critical to improving segmentation, refining pricing, and enhancing profitability. Identifying important vehicle attributes, such as year, make, model, class, and MSRP* can help generate a robust view of risk by identifying key vehicle components. What if key vehicle details such as gross vehicle weight, engine and transmission specifications, and passenger capacity could be identified at a VIN-level (vehicle identification number), and normalized into insurance-ready intelligence?

I’m excited to announce that Verisk has leveraged its deep domain expertise in insurance and analytics to bring a new solution to the market. CL VIN Decode delivers 50+ detailed vehicle attributes for millions of commercial and specialized vehicles to gain insight that helps improve rating accuracy and profitability. What differentiates CL VIN Decode?

Specialized vehicle coverage

While some VIN solutions are limited to mass-manufactured passenger vehicles, Verisk’s CL VIN Decode provides a more comprehensive option for commercial auto insurance books and the specialized vehicles that are insured:

  • Trailer and truck-tractors
  • Light to extra-heavy-duty
  • Powersports and off-road motorcycles
  • Low-volume, specialized manufacturers
  • Plus, private passenger vehicle types

Workflow efficiencies

Using CL VIN Decode helps automate and streamline workflows while avoiding mistakes when entering 17-digit VINS and other manual processes. Solid data standards help ensure accuracy, timeliness, and consistency of service for customers. In addition, customers also benefit from having more accurate pricing for the unique and specialized vehicles being insured.

A comprehensive ecosystem

Identifying components of vehicle risk is only one side of the equation. CL VIN Decode is designed to bring together these insights with the ISO Commercial Auto Class Program used by many insurers. “Commercial vehicles come in many different shapes and sizes, and their unique attributes can have a significant impact on their risk profiles,” says Mark Bissonette, Vice President of Commercial Lines Underwriting at First Chicago Insurance Company. “Verisk’s detailed data and automation capabilities enables us to evaluate and price with greater precision, and deliver a more streamlined customer experience.”

A vehicle for evolving change

There is yet another aspect to consider: positioning for the future. With CL VIN Decode, insurers can access dozens of vehicle attributes via API, flat file, or bulk reporting to harness next-generation analytics to better assess risk as vehicle data and technologies evolve. Plus, by employing innovative technology, insurance leaders can keep up to date, insurance leaders can keep up to date with the industry via continual product research – identifying new vehicles, types, and features as they enter the market.

Through Verisk’s collaboration, insurers can leverage standardized, VIN-level, insurance-ready analytics via multiple technologies to automate workflows, streamline processes, and help reduce the number of manual input errors, helping to lift speed, accuracy, and profitability with a familiar and future-proof solution.

Put us to the test

Take your commercial auto program to the next level of rating precision. To learn how many VINs you could match and the detailed insights you could decode, contact your Verisk account executive or visit

Neil Lieberman

Neil Lieberman is a commercial auto product manager for Verisk. He can be reached at

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*Manufacturers suggested retail price of the new vehicle as equipped

**Gross Vehicle Weight Rating denotes the maximum amount of weight the vehicle can safely handle, including payload capacity

  1. Steve Hallo, Property Casualty 360, “U.S. Traffic Deaths Hit 20-Year High to Start 2022,” August 19, 2022 <>, accessed on March 20, 2023.
  2. Jeff Dunsavage, The Triple-I Blog, “Triple-I, CAS Quantify Social Inflation’s Impact on Commercial Auto,” February 8, 2022; between 2010 and 2019 <>, accessed on March 20, 2023.
  3. AM Best Aggregates and Averages, 2011-2021.

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