A year is a long time in prestige motoring insurance – here’s what we’ve observed

Tom Donachie 2017 4  Cropped

It’s been a year since we launched our dedicated Prestige motoring team. We knew that motorists with advanced and high-value vehicles across the UK were struggling to get any value from insurance providers – if indeed they were able to get a policy in the first place. The move within our industry towards automated, online-only policymaking has adversely impacted all manner of motorists, hitting anyone that doesn’t fit neatly within rigid, pre-defined categories. If you own a Ferrari, or have an occupation that is more atypical than the everyday, you can forget about fitting into such categories, irrespective of where you live, how and where you drive, or the protective measures you take to ensure your vehicle is safe and secure at all times.

We understood the association between prestige vehicles and the characteristics, ambitions and status of their owners and have placed this at the core of our proposition. What we’ve seen consistently validated over the past twelve months is just how much these owners value their driving experience. Whilst undoubtedly proud of their vehicles, for these owners  insurance is not merely a ‘must have’ in order to get on the road or display an expensive asset on the city streets; they actually need a bespoke policy, to afford the right level of protection  - with cover based on very specific (and often professional) needs. The insurance industry has spent too long penalising good and trusted drivers simply because of the vehicle they own, the career they follow and/or the size of their wallet. Our Prestige underwriting team was created to break this trend and assess each individual driver based on their specific circumstances and each risk on its own merit.

Nowhere was this prestige motoring enthusiasm and passion more in evidence than at Gumball 3000, an event that has received a certain notoriety due to its colourful, elite clientele. In 2017, our very own sales director Alex Hardy achieved a certain eminence of his own, after we entered him into the week-long, 3000-mile race. We were selected to underwrite Gumball because we fully understood the nature of the risk and had the appetite and expertise to take it on. We chose to participate in Gumball because we wanted to better understand the passions and motivations of the drivers lining up with us on the starting grid. The week Alex spent living and breathing Gumball 3000, supported by our always-on claims team and on-the-road claims specialist Matthew Gray, exemplified our entire market approach. It’s only by understanding the drivers you’re seeking to support that you can create relevant and appropriate policies.

Gumball also taught us the value of not judging a risk on preconceived ideas or top line statistics. While we knew we could write each of the cars individually, we spent months researching the event and past experiences to really understand what was involved to create a relevant and robust policy for participants. Whilst we are specialists, devoting that time and expertise to ensure a true understanding of what was required, without making any assumptions, to meet the needs of both organisers and participants was crucial.

Furthermore, as a broker-only insurer, we recognised some of the intense frustration for prestige brokers of attempting to secure value for their clients whilst also accessing cover that met their clients’ needs. As we move into our second year of dedicated Prestige support, our vision today is clear. We will continue to specialise, we will continue to provide a highly responsive service to our brokers and their customers and, rather than looking at just the facts and risks on paper, will continue to treat prestige drivers as motoring lovers with their own individual motoring needs.  

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