Tailor-made insurance for transporters
Since its inception two years ago, the growth experienced by Scania Insurance Solutions can only be described as “quite phenomenal”
This growth, according to Belinda Felix, insurance manager at Scania Southern Africa, bears testimony to the unique approach to insurance adopted by the company; it has developed certain products that are tailor-made specifically for transporters.
For example, Felix explains that the company has rolled out “an embedded windscreen product for customers that purchase a Scania chassis”, which includes limited windscreen replacements.
As a division of the manufacturer, Scania Insurance Solutions supports its products by working internally to ensure the quality of the workmanship and that only genuine parts are used. This has all contributed to the great growth of the company’s insurance books.
“In the two years since we launched with our broker partner, Commrisk, we’ve had huge success in regions where we have dedicated brokers sitting in the dealerships. They have developed strong relationships and there’s been skills transfer, which has been fantastic for our sales and finance staff,” says Felix.
The company is not stopping there, however. Felix continues: “We are now in the process of applying to the Financial Services Board for our own broker licence and we should know by September whether this will be granted.”
The main objective is to create convenience for customers by ensuring that there is a one-stop shop for all their needs. “Having our own broker licence will give us power to negotiate directly with the insurance underwriters with regard to claims, rates, and how things need to be done for the best interests of our customers and their assets. We know our asset base, and if we do the best by it then we do the best by our customers,” she adds.
“We’re going to start very small with a pilot project in Durban, Cape Town, and Gauteng. We have earmarked four finance representatives that we want to get accredited.”
In terms of added value, the company is also proud of its short turnaround time on claims and minimal downtime of trucks, which means less revenue loss for customers.
Equally important, Scania Insurance Solutions is not limited to trucks, but encompasses other aspects of the customers’ businesses including buses, engines, generator sets, trailers, stock, buildings, money and glass.
Of course, adding value is central to the Scania Insurance Solutions business model. Felix says that negotiating pricing with insurers and repairers will benefit customers and impact the loss ratio on their comprehensive insurance portfolios.
“When a truck is in our workshop, we become aware if there is something that needs attention. We can then offer to fix it, which gives us the opportunity to ensure that the truck is running optimally. Eventually, it costs the customer more if their truck is not looked after properly,” she says.
Although the main focus has been on the South African market, Scania Insurance Solutions has also rolled out its solutions to Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Namibia through broker partners. This has presented a new set of challenges for the company, as some of these countries are underdeveloped.
However, Felix believes that the company’s insurance solutions will succeed: “Our products are tailor-made for our customers. We understand every single customer’s business. We also understand where and how the truck is going to be used. That all makes a huge difference to both the customer’s premium and their bottom line,” she concludes.