​Introducing Dave Burnet, Product Manager for Motor Breakdown Insurance

Bloghead Dburdett

Did you know that ERS Motor Breakdown Insurance cover is available for a wide range of our specialist motor insurance products? From 44 tonne horseboxes to taxis or motorhomes, cherished classics and supercars, we make it our business to support drivers in their moment of greatest need.

Our new Motor Breakdown Insurance Product Manager, Dave Burnet, has been with ERS since 2015. We last caught-up with him two years ago to hear about his work on our High Risk proposition, and we felt it was high time for a check-in to learn about his latest role, and get the lowdown on ERS’s MBI plans for the year ahead…

Tell us about the journey from High Risk to your current role.

I began my ERS career as an underwriter in the High Risk team, so that’s the area I’ve specialised in for five years now. But it’s a market that is become increasingly digitised – to the benefit of both high risk customers and insurers

My new role as Product Manager for both  MBI and Van propositions felt like a natural progression as the latter is a market I’m already very familiar with as we covered it regularly within High Risk. In contrast, MBI represents a new and unique challenge that’s completely different to anything I’ve done before, and that’s what appealed to me about the opportunity. 

So what does this new challenge involve, on a day-to-day basis?

Well, it’s still a Product Manager role, which means responsibilities such as portfolio performance management, meetings with our broker partner, keeping the wider ERS business up to date and my favourite part – diving into the numbers. 

In High Risk, the most significant consideration was the driver, their history and, in particular, any past convictions or claims. While MBImight initially look a bit more straightforward, the reality is that it spans a vast array of different vehicle types, because the ERS specialisms are so diverse. With four different cover levels across all specialisms, there’s a lot to think about from a pricing perspective.

You’re starting the MBI role in the middle of another lockdown. How has the product performed throughout the pandemic?

Clearly, there’s been a big impact due to road usage changes. As you might imagine, we saw a slowdown during the first lockdown followed by an uplift in business as people returned to the roads. But this was accompanied by a claims increase, as vehicles had not been maintained while laid-up. Each subsequent lockdown has led to another slowdown, and I’ve no doubt that in the next few months we’ll see another uplift!

My key call-out to brokers is to make sure they’re having conversations with their clients about vehicle maintenance. In general, owners of specialist vehicles such as classic cars or motorhomes tend to do an excellent job on this front, but the pandemic is such a unique event that normal behaviours don’t always apply and, ultimately, when you’re not driving these vehicles, they can slip out of mind.

What makes the ERS MBI proposition stand out in the market?

I’ve mentioned the sheer number of specialist vehicles we support, but one thing that makes us stand out is that brokers can get a speedy MBI quote for any of these vehicles – based on real-time pricing information – via our eTrade portal, which we’ve made available to the entire market.

ERS eTrade offers a discount for collections of a dozen vehicles or more. So if you’re a broker in a hurry to secure comprehensive MBI cover for a supercar, multi-vehicle or classic car collection, you can do this in just a few clicks over eTrade, which is pretty special. 

But the biggest difference remains the depth of our specialist expertise, which absolutely translates into breakdown. We understand the vehicles involved, we understand the practical and emotional implications of a breakdown for customers, and we’re continuing to adapt the MBI product to meet specific specialist requirements. So, watch this space over the coming months!

Beyond the pandemic, what are the market trends you’re following most keenly?

I think the whole industry is keeping a close watch on the electric vehicles market. These are clearly the vehicles of the future, and so it’s becoming a bigger and bigger focus area for motor insurers.

One area we’re currently investigating is misfuelling for electric vehicle policies, and how we might cater for a vehicle that has run out of charge rather than petrol. This is giving me food for thought as the EV market grows.

Outside of work, you’re a keen car enthusiast. How have you coped during these lockdowns?

Sadly I made the difficult decision last summer to sell my modified Mitsubishi Evo. We were in the process of moving house and, combined with the pandemic, it meant the car wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. Of course, now we’re all moved in, I regret the decision.  Hopefully, soon I can  start looking for something to fill the empty space on the driveway.

Finally, do you have any TV recommendations for other petrolheads currently cooped up at home?

My wife and I recently went through the F1 Drive to Survive series on Netflix, which is a good watch. It follows the drivers and managers through an F1 season, and it’s fascinating to see how they all respond to different race situations. While my wife has hated all of my cars to date, she enjoyed Drive to Survive, so I’m clearly doing a better job with my streaming choices!

I’d also recommend Fastest Car, another Netflix selection, which pitches supercars against modified vehicles. And then there are the Fast & Furious movies. They’re a little less focused on the cars these days, but the originals are classics… of a kind.

To trade our Motor Breakdown product, sign up for ERS eTrade today

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