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A healthy operating authority is directly correlated with keeping insurance costs low. Educating yourself in the different tools that are available to help manage one’s overall operating authority will greatly benefit future premiums and calculating risks for movers. Understanding the differences between the two most prevalent motor carrier data services available, Central Analysis Bureau (CAB) and Safer is important to ensuring the health of a mover’s operations.

Safer is a free tool provided by FMCSA that gives a very brief snapshot of information that is pulled from various government data bases. Since it is only a snapshot, it will not give the best picture of a mover’s operations and inspection history.

Safer has been used by underwriters for years as the belief was held that because movers operate under a van line authority when the move is interstate, it is not reflective of true operations.  Underwriters are moving away from Safer and electing to review and evaluate information included within CAB. Here are a few things to think about:

  1. Several states have started to include intrastate data, so the available information is a far more accurate picture of the operations.  The argument that it is not representative is dwindling;
  2. Independent movers (not affiliated with a national van line) continue to emerge from other operations and make up a large population of moving & storage companies.  The data on these risks is very representative of operations;
  3. Underwriters not only look at the DOT rating, but also look at the ISS Safety Score, out of service scores, severe violations, sub-haul exposure, other DOT’s the Insured is affiliated and vehicle histories.  While many movers may not have a DOT rating, almost all have an ISS Safety rating, and you want that in the green.

Whether you are a Mover or an Insurance Professional, we highly recommend brokers help educate their Insured’s on their full CAB report. Underwriters use this in both risk selection and how they approach pricing on any individual account. Pay special attention to the inspections and violations and learn from this data to improve your vehicle maintenance and your driver behavior.


Written By: Terri Moran

Terri’s career spans many years with roles in Leadership, Underwriting and Marketing. She was responsible for one of the largest Moving & Storage programs nationally, serviced by dedicated Moving & Storage brokers. In her spare time, in addition to enjoying her family, she is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Surplus Lines Association of California.


Why CAB and not Safer? was last modified: September 24th, 2020 by Mover's Choice