An Aston love affair

2016 05 29 13.07.15

This is the story of two Astons and how some clever thinking won the respect and love of our broker and their clients.

High-end and performance car owners are anything but run-of-the-mill clients. They have particular needs and want to deal with a specialist who understands them and can customize their policy to their needs. 

As a niche insurance specialist, Star fits that bill perfectly and that’s why our brokers choose to work with us. Our team has delegated authority from Vero, so we handle all policy decisions and claims quickly and efficiently in-house. 

Two clients insured with us via their broker sustained significant damage to their Aston Martins. Despite them being repairable, and the clients having the ability through Star to choose their own repairer, neither owner would feel the same about their car. 

Tensions can be high with this kind of claim, especially when relationships are on the line. Another insurer would follow a script, thinking it’s cheaper to repair the vehicle, and force these clients into a repair process. And that would be their legal right. But our brokers know that Star is all about maintaining good relationships and doing what’s fair to all. 

Forcing these clients down the repair path could lead to ongoing problems and the claims process would finish with them driving a car they no longer feel quite so excited about!  

We don't follow a flow chart process and instead turn the traditional methods/processes on their heads. For example, often when there is less damage, using our unique and innovative salvage and disposal processes, including Trademe $1 Reserve Auctions, we can realise a higher residual value from the damaged vehicle. This then makes it more economical to write the vehicle off rather than repairing it. 

There is obviously a point where it doesn't become economical, but after factoring in a few conditions,
we believed that the value of recovery from the two Astons would make better sense to write them off. 

Many insurers don't understand the salvage value because their claims handler won’t talk to the assessor or the salvage team. So when the assessment is made it is often based on the opinion that there’s little or no value in the damaged car. 

Our innovative approach is possible because all our team sit together in the same office giving us a full end-to-end view of a customer’s policy, and visibility between our boutique in-house teams – claims, assessors, salvage and disposals. We all talk to each other.

Our salvage approach is so effective that our disposals team holds Trademe’s highest auction views of 2016. One of our previous auctions has also made Trademe’s all time top 5 views. 

So back to the Aston’s.

Once these Aston claims were visible in the system, Nick Baker from Star connected with the broker, as they were significant claims that required a win-win-win scenario. 

“We look at every claim individually. We have a great relationship with the senior brokerage team and always work constructively to get a good result,” says Nick.

The reality is, if these vehicles were repaired, the clients could be waiting up to 3 months for their vehicles to be returned. We analysed the figures and believed we could make good recovery on these vehicles. After discussions with our broker and a little negotiation with their clients, which saw them add some funds to the pool to make the transaction financially viable for everyone involved, we agreed to write off their vehicles. This ensured the claim was expedited, with no residual issues with the vehicles. The result, happy clients.

This is just one example why working with a specialist has more benefits than the policy price. Sure, the customer ‘might’ be able to save some funds on their policy upfront, but come claims time, you want to deal with an open-minded and experienced, solutions-focused team with the power to say ‘yes’, and where relationships and best outcomes are valued. 

“What I like about our relationship with Star is they will alert me to a potential issue before it blows up, and they’ll already have a solution in hand. They are really proactive and pragmatic,” says our broker client.

Insurance doesn't have to be a paper pushing flow chart process. It’s about being responsible ensuring all parties have a positive experience.

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