Fleet News

Rental sector unites to face insurance challenge

More than fifty companies from the vehicle rental and motor insurance sectors have come together to address the issue of soaring insurance premiums.

A recent BVRLA survey found that nearly 90% of its members had seen premiums rise in the last year, with some smaller operators facing increases of over 50% combined with new policy restrictions and higher excess levels.

“The increasing cost of compulsory motor insurance is currently the biggest threat to the profitability and sustainability of the vehicle rental industry,” said BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.

Figures collated by the association show that the ratio of personal injury claims has risen from 17% to 25% of accidents over the past six years, with the average cost of each claim more than doubling.

The audience of rental and leasing operators, ranging from small, family-owned firms to large multi-national brands, heard from an array of insurance industry experts representing the Association of British Insurers, Allianz, Aon, Experian, Thatcham, Total Accident Management, Towergate and Trak. They were given an insight into how the insurance industry works as well as best practice guidance on claims management, mitigating risk and taking advantage of the latest technology.

Nigel Goodall, liability claims and risk manager with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, who was sharing his companies approach to risk management, advised BVRLA members to align their front-office operations more closely with their claims management processes.

All of the advice given on the day, and much more, is contained in a new BVRLA Guide to Insurance Risk Management, which is available in digital format on the BVRLA website.

“The aim of the conference and the guide is to help members develop an action plan for presenting their business to insurers and brokers,” added Lewis.

All of the companies present agreed that much more could be done to share industry data on fraud and other insurance threats.

“The insurance industry pools data to try and reduce what it pays out on claims, while our industry uses the RISC problem renter database to prevent claims occurring in the first place. We could do both things much more effectively by working together,” said Lewis.

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