Tell us about the gen¬≠e¬≠sis of Fleet Insur¬≠ance; how did you define your niche in this mar¬≠ket¬≠place?
Fleet Insur¬≠ance was start¬≠ed in 2011 to sup¬≠port fleet own¬≠ers who were seek¬≠ing to achieve bet¬≠ter com¬≠mer¬≠cial fleet insur¬≠ance deals across the globe.
The rea¬≠son to start this com¬≠pa¬≠ny was the real¬≠iza¬≠tion that fleet own¬≠ers pay way too much for their com¬≠mer¬≠cial fleet insur¬≠ance. I saw this when I was man¬≠ag¬≠ing direc¬≠tor at an insur¬≠ance com¬≠pa¬≠ny that spe¬≠cial¬≠ized in insur¬≠ing com¬≠mer¬≠cial fleets. Often see¬≠ing this, I thought I should start an insur¬≠ance con¬≠sul¬≠tan¬≠cy to work with the fleet own¬≠ers to get them a bet¬≠ter deal on insur¬≠ance.
If you look at the glob¬≠al mar¬≠ket¬≠place today, there are a lot of par¬≠ties who do under¬≠stand insur¬≠ance and how that applies to fleets. How¬≠ev¬≠er, what makes us unique is that we are inde¬≠pen¬≠dent and we approach every¬≠thing not from a pre¬≠mi¬≠um basis, but from an inte¬≠grat¬≠ed bench¬≠mark basis. And in that domain we feel that we are unique.
Our role in the glob¬≠al com¬≠mer¬≠cial fleet insur¬≠ance domain is basi¬≠cal¬≠ly to apply a method¬≠ol¬≠o¬≠gy that allows us to source the best pos¬≠si¬≠ble deal from all over the globe. What is unique is our approach. We look not only at the pre¬≠mi¬≠um bench¬≠mark but at the total pic¬≠ture, and on the basis of that process we are able to guide the fleet own¬≠er in select¬≠ing the right solu¬≠tion for the right ter¬≠ri¬≠to¬≠ry at the right price.
What are some of the ways Glob¬≠al Insur¬≠ance adds val¬≠ue to the fleet client?
Now, the first thing we need to do when we are intro¬≠duced to a client is to make an assess¬≠ment of the client‚Äôs objec¬≠tives. That is always the start¬≠ing point and we have to under¬≠stand whether or not we can add val¬≠ue to the cur¬≠rent sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tion. What we are not very good at is work¬≠ing with clients who are pure¬≠ly pro¬≠cure¬≠ment focused. There are nego¬≠ti¬≠a¬≠tion skills that they can apply to get a bet¬≠ter deal, but we feel that it can only be, at best, a short term. What we focus on is adding val¬≠ue for the long term. That means bal¬≠anc¬≠ing the dri¬≠ver pol¬≠i¬≠cy and the insur¬≠ance pol¬≠i¬≠cy. That is where we add our val¬≠ue.
At the moment, we focus exclu¬≠sive¬≠ly on work¬≠ing with the fleet own¬≠ers to achieve opti¬≠mal insur¬≠ance arrange¬≠ments. We do that our¬≠selves with our own con¬≠sul¬≠tants. In the process of achiev¬≠ing the total ben¬≠e¬≠fits it is the fleet own¬≠ers who engage with oth¬≠er par¬≠ties. It is our role to be sole¬≠ly advis¬≠ing the fleet own¬≠er. We have no com¬≠mer¬≠cial rela¬≠tion¬≠ship with oth¬≠er ancil¬≠lary providers. Our remu¬≠ner¬≠a¬≠tion is paid by the fleet own¬≠er. We give them inde¬≠pen¬≠dent advice and to main¬≠tain that inde¬≠pen¬≠den¬≠cy we don‚Äôt have com¬≠mer¬≠cial or oth¬≠er rela¬≠tion¬≠ships with oth¬≠er ancil¬≠lary providers.
What are some of the trends and issues you are see¬≠ing in the glob¬≠al fleet insur¬≠ance mar¬≠ket?
We are see¬≠ing an increase in risk man¬≠age¬≠ment and an increase in cost of pre¬≠mi¬≠um, basi¬≠cal¬≠ly dri¬≠ven by new reg¬≠u¬≠la¬≠tions like the EU‚Äôs Solvency2 that require insur¬≠ance com¬≠pa¬≠nies to keep more cap¬≠i¬≠tal and improve risk man¬≠age¬≠ment pro¬≠ce¬≠dures. As a result, there is a big risk for the fleet own¬≠ers across the globe to be con¬≠front¬≠ed with blan¬≠ket pre¬≠mi¬≠um increas¬≠es across the board. There¬≠fore, it is real¬≠ly impor¬≠tant to, at this point in time, iden¬≠ti¬≠fy the fleet-spe¬≠cif¬≠ic risk pro¬≠file and per¬≠form a com¬≠pre¬≠hen¬≠sive bench¬≠mark to achieve the pre¬≠mi¬≠um that fits the spe¬≠cif¬≠ic sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tion of the fleet own¬≠er.
The main issue that fleet own¬≠ers face is that the knowl¬≠edge of com¬≠mer¬≠cial fleet insur¬≠ance with¬≠in their own com¬≠pa¬≠nies is quite lim¬≠it¬≠ed. They out¬≠source this knowl¬≠edge and pur¬≠chase it from bro¬≠kers and insur¬≠ers. What these bro¬≠kers and insur¬≠ers pro¬≠vide is a very good cof¬≠fer for the lia¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ties that a fleet own¬≠er faces. How¬≠ev¬≠er, what they don‚Äôt pro¬≠vide is bench¬≠mark data, not only in pre¬≠mi¬≠ums but also claims that are incurred. Fur¬≠ther¬≠more, there is no stan¬≠dard prac¬≠tice of ana¬≠lyz¬≠ing in detail the risk pro¬≠file of the com¬≠pa¬≠ny. As a result, the pre¬≠mi¬≠um that the fleet own¬≠ers are being charged reflects the gen¬≠er¬≠al mar¬≠ket rather than their spe¬≠cif¬≠ic needs and expo¬≠sures.
Do you advise your clients on strate¬≠gies they can use to reduce their fleet pre¬≠mi¬≠ums?
In order to reduce fleet pre¬≠mi¬≠ums there are basi¬≠cal¬≠ly two big pil¬≠lars that need to be bal¬≠anced. First of all, the fleet dri¬≠ver pol¬≠i¬≠cy needs to be very clear. Some com¬≠pa¬≠nies some¬≠times opt to have a ‚Äúhap¬≠py dri¬≠ver pol¬≠i¬≠cy‚ÄĚ and that doesn‚Äôt go very well with low¬≠er pre¬≠mi¬≠ums. The sec¬≠ond part is the insur¬≠ance risk pol¬≠i¬≠cy that deter¬≠mines the type of risk posi¬≠tion the com¬≠pa¬≠ny wants to take. Are they will¬≠ing to take on board the risk them¬≠selves on their own books, or do they want to trans¬≠fer the risk to an insur¬≠ance com¬≠pa¬≠ny? In the process of going through that strate¬≠gic deci¬≠sion, we pro¬≠vide advice and guid¬≠ance.
Do you guide them on putting togeth¬≠er their dri¬≠ver pol¬≠i¬≠cy?
Dri¬≠ver pol¬≠i¬≠cy ‚ÄĒ that is not some¬≠thing that we spe¬≠cial¬≠ize in; we take that as a giv¬≠en. What we do is we add the miss¬≠ing link between the dri¬≠ver pol¬≠i¬≠cy and the insur¬≠ance pol¬≠i¬≠cy. We bring them togeth¬≠er because we real¬≠ly believe they have to work hand in hand in order to achieve the opti¬≠mal insur¬≠ance arrange¬≠ments.
What is the fleet size that you work with?
When I start¬≠ed out I felt that prob¬≠a¬≠bly the small¬≠er fleet own¬≠ers would ben¬≠e¬≠fit most from these type of con¬≠sult¬≠ing ser¬≠vices, but in the end ‚ÄĒ after two and a half years now ‚ÄĒ the client base varies from 500 vehi¬≠cles to 250,000 vehi¬≠cles and the needs of the fleet own¬≠ers vary across the whole globe.
Is there any¬≠where that you don‚Äôt work?
At the present, we have not had expe¬≠ri¬≠ence in Africa and South Amer¬≠i¬≠ca. These are ter¬≠ri¬≠to¬≠ries that are still in devel¬≠op¬≠ment. The con¬≠sult¬≠ing ser¬≠vice we pro¬≠vide depends on com¬≠pe¬≠ti¬≠tion among poten¬≠tial sup¬≠pli¬≠ers. The biggest fleets are con¬≠cen¬≠trat¬≠ed in Amer¬≠i¬≠ca and in Europe and that is where we focus. That is where we have the data, the bench¬≠marks and our exper¬≠tise to sup¬≠port fleet own¬≠ers to achieve this max¬≠i¬≠mum deal.