Understanding Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Record

Written by Surinder Sandhu, CIP
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Delivery trucks parked at a shipping bay.

What is a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Record (CVOR)? 

If you are an owner of a company that has commercially regulated vehicles, the CVOR and the information it contains will be very important to you. For the purpose of this article, there are two key components on a CVOR that every carrier of this document should pay special attention to when reviewing:

  1. Carrier Safety Rating
  2. Overall Violation Rate

Carrier Safety Rating

A carrier safety rating is similar to a grade on a report card that reflects how the company is complying to the safety regulations of the road. Keeping this rating in good standing should be an important priority for any commercial business with a heavy vehicle or fleet of regulated vehicles. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) assigns one of the following ratings for the CVOR:

  • Excellent
  • Satisfactory
  • Satisfactory – Unaudited
  • Conditional
  • Unsatisfactory

Numerous factors can impact the rating of a carrier. If there is no prior history for the carrier, a “Satisfactory – Unaudited” rating is usually assigned until an audit is completed. When an audit has been performed by the MTO, the carrier can receive “Excellent”, “Satisfactory”, “Conditional” or “Unsatisfactory” status. “Conditional” status means the company has not met the benchmark set by the MTO but can still hold a CVOR certificate.

Having the “Conditional” status can harm the company’s position in terms of getting insurance from a standard market. This status follows the company and its owners until it is mended with additional audits. This can be costly, as the carrier often must hire a Fleet Risk Specialist to improve their fleet management and it can take years to meet the expectations set by the MTO.

Receiving an “Unsatisfactory” status means the carrier has failed to meet the guidelines stated by the MTO to hold a CVOR, and thus the CVOR certificate is canceled or revoked.

Overall Violation Rates: 

A CVOR certificate also shows the Overall Violation Rate (OVR) for the carrier. The violation rate is comprised of the carrier’s collisions, convictions, and vehicle/driver out-of-service rates (inspections) over a 24-month period. Other factors included in the calculation of the OVR are annual average mileage and the number of vehicles. Having a violation rate of less than 25% is seen as favourable for most insurers. The OVR can represent the type of drivers that the company allows to operate their vehicles and what vehicle maintenance procedures they have in place. Quality driver management and a strong preventative maintenance program for the vehicles are key strategies to scoring a low OVR.

Carriers should be getting their CVOR from the MTO on a yearly basis, or more frequently if the OVR exceeds 35%. A review of this report may highlight driving/vehicle infractions that were not directly reported to the fleet manager or mechanic. This review will also ensure fleet documentation is up to date in accordance with the CVOR report.

There are two types of reports that can be ordered: CVOR Level 1 shows the status of the CVOR, along with the violation rate, while CVOR Level 2 shows a more detailed report for the carrier, including specific information regarding driver infractions, collisions, and vehicle inspections. For more information about these reports please visit the MTO website.

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Surinder Sandhu

About Surinder Sandhu, CIP

Manager, Commercial Insurance Surinder’s career in insurance began with a direct writer in 2006. Since joining Unica in 2010 she has held various Underwriting roles within Unica’s Personal and Commercial departments, such as Senior Underwriter for the small business team and her role as Senior Auto Production Underwriter. Surinder believes the recipe to success is delivering high-quality and on-time customer service. Surinder holds a Computer Programming and Designing diploma from Seneca College.
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