It’s been two years to the month since we launched our dedicated Prestige Claims team to help take our customer service standards and claims responsiveness to the next level. We sat down with our Claims Manager, Rob Puxley, to get the inside track on the team and how our dedicated Claims Service has been designed to support such a broad and diverse audience of High Net Worth car lovers…

Why did ERS identify the need for a dedicated team?

The main trigger for creating our team was to improve the customer journey and bring the claims function closer to everyone – our engineers, our underwriters, and most importantly, our brokers and policy holders. The High Net Worth audience is paying for a Prestige service, and that’s exactly what we wanted to offer to the customer via our brokers in the event of a claim.

Since creating the team we’ve been able to offer every broker and policy holder a single point of contact throughout the end-to-end claims process, which is much more efficient and also helps us to establish better working relationships and ongoing communications.

Beyond the value of their vehicles, what makes Prestige vehicle owners stand out from an insurance perspective?

This audience tends to be incredibly time-poor and rarely has the bandwidth to focus on the nuances of motor insurance. For example, we recently took a call from a broker whose sports client had experienced an issue with their vehicle in the middle of a major international competition. Our job was to get as much information as we possibly could, as quickly as possible, to process the claim, without burdening the policyholder in any way.

We see this a lot with Prestige owners – they’re away from home a lot, or they’re overseas, so claims are rarely straightforward.

Tell us about your team – who is who?

We have three Prestige claims technicians, Tom Jones, Simon Midwinter and Mel Sloots, and as Claims Manager I oversee the team. Between us we have more than 56 years’ motor insurance industry experience.

Tom and Simon are like yin and yang. Tom is very technical and Prestige vehicles are his passion. He tends to take the lead on our most complex cases. Simon brings to the table a strong background in customer service, so if there’s a broker with an 11th hour crisis, you’ll probably find he’s the one to pick-up the call. I’m the final point of referral and provide that crucial point of contact between brokers and underwriters

Give us a snapshot of life on the team.

We’re remote based right now so we make sure we’re checking in with one another throughout the day, in addition to a team meeting first thing where we cover off any urgent priorities.

It’s important we maintain a close relationship with the ERS underwriting team. So, if we spot any new claims trends, we’ll immediately pick up the phone to Scott Tillbrook , our Head of Commercial, and Simon Muir, our Head of AD Claims, to discuss them. A good example of this is with the spate of Range Rover thefts last year, which we were quick to spot and relay to the wider organisation.

As well as our underwriters, it’s important to mention our dedicated engineers, who play a crucial role in supporting the claims process, so we’re always in close contact with them too.

What makes it such a special team to work with?

The team has been together for over a year now, so we’ve developed a close working relationship. Everyone plays their own unique role.

I know it sounds cliched, but we are all genuinely passionate about trying to provide the best service and finding areas where we can make marginal gains to continually improve upon the service we give to our brokers and policyholders. As a small and dedicated team, we all keep up-to-speed across the detail of ongoing cases, so when brokers contact us needing a quick response, whoever picks up is in a position to provide an instant update.

Finally, from a personal perspective, I love the diverse nature of the role – both the clients and the vehicles. One day it’s a Prius on behalf of a high-profile customer , the next day it’s a Bugatti.

What are the most common questions you get asked by the wider organisation?

Usually it’s about large loss cases. We have to keep the business informed whenever there’s a high value accident, and of course we sometimes have to work closely with our fraud team too.

We have a zero-tolerance policy towards fraud, the reason being that it impacts all of our existing policyholders and their legitimate claims, and during times of recession these instances do sadly increase. Because we’re dealing with a High Net Worth product, one fraudulent claim could have a much bigger impact on our book. I remember one case we saw, involving an alleged stolen Lamborghini, that was worth around £120,000.

What are the main challenges for your team in 2021?

Like most industries, motor insurance continues to face challenges posed by both the pandemic and Brexit – from claims inflation to maintaining supply chain resilience. I am incredibly proud to say that we have managed our supply chain and it has coped fantastically.

Beyond these issues, we’ll see an increased volume of claims relating to electric vehicles or vehicles with more ‘sophisticated’ Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). These are more costly and complicated to repair, and it’s important that we work in partnership with our brokers to manage expectations and communicate these realities to clients, particularly as the major Prestige manufacturers such as Porsche make a bigger play around electric vehicles.

What’s your key message for brokers over the year ahead?

Help us move faster. The sooner brokers set the claim up with us and provide a complete set of information, the sooner we can run with it. There was a great example of this recently involving an overseas incident with a Rolls Royce. Despite it being a complex scenario, the broker got us all of the information on day one and we were able to authorise repair work within hours.

That sounds like the perfect partnership.

It’s a great example of what we can achieve working together. We had another similar case a few months back where a broker shared a basic windscreen claim that turned out to be a lot more challenging than anyone was anticipating. But by keeping close to the broker and going the extra mile to quickly source a replacement windscreen for the client’s ageing vehicle, they have now decided to place a further three vehicles with us.

Finally, can you give us a snapshot of how each team member has kept themselves busy outside of work during this difficult period?

Well, Simon spends his spare time with his grandson, collecting funko pop characters, fueled by his love of sci-fi and Marvel. The rest of us have slightly more normal hobbies! Tom likes to unwind with a good car magazine and Mel likes to take her French bulldog for a walk. When I’m not watching Peppa Pig with my 2-year-old daughter, I like to keep fit and dabble with photography.

Click here for more information on our Prestige product. If you’re looking for a quote, email or call 0333 241 2445.

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