“Accidents are an iceberg of costs”

“Fleets, don’t think of insurance as something compulsory that only costs money, like just another tax. Insurance can help fleets improve their safety record and reduce costs. One of the speakers at the Fleet Europe Conference sessions dedicated to insurance and security, Thursday afternoon at the Fleet Europe Conference, hit the nail on the head.

Because for many fleets safety is not a priority. “Understandable. The more safety measures you put in a car, the more expensive the car becomes,” said Stephan Ruby (Global Strategic Partnerships and Chief Sales Officer Automotive at Allianz, shown at right).

Cozy Chesterfield

In a first of several discussions centered on a comfortable Chesterfield sofa, he and Guillaume Roux (head of automotive and mobility at Qover, middle of the picture) spoke with moderator Steven Schoefs (Editor of Fleet Europe, left picture) on how fleets can integrate the safety experience into their strategies.

It’s time the insurance/security issue was taken to the next level, Ruby said. “We need to have a dialogue with all the parties involved, because everyone can benefit from it. Fleet managers can get lower bonuses. OEMs can push ADAS. And we insurers will face fewer claims. But we are not doing it yet.

Another item on the agenda: ADAS can give a false sense of security, Roux said. “These security systems provide a certain level of comfort and convenience. Take, for example, lane keeping. But it can cause some drivers to lower their attention. And this in turn can increase the risk.

Down up

Another interesting fact: “The frequency of complaints is decreasing. Which is good. But what is bad is that the severity of the claims is increasing. Not in terms of physical damage, but because of the cost of parts – newer models, and electric vehicles in particular, are more expensive to repair.

Another hot topic, although still quite distant: what about insurance for autonomous vehicles? “We still have a few years left,” Roux said. “But I see a potential revolution. When cars are self-driving, our current customers will no longer own the vehicles. They will be organized into fleets – so the fleets will grow.

But who will be responsible? “In my view, the manufacturers will bear the responsibility, not the driver anymore,” Ruby said. “But that’s my personal opinion,” he hastened to add.

So, for fleet managers aware of the potential benefits of a well-designed insurance program: how should they create one? “It’s a double challenge, as the different legal situation from country to country imposes a burden, as does the legacy IT infrastructure that each fleet works with,” Roux said. “Those two things make it very difficult to build a truly global, truly digital insurance program – and that in a world where everything is going digital and global.”

Safety as a springboard

At Allianz, they work on a holistic approach, co-creating services with their clients to help them achieve their goals. Via gamification, for example. Qover’s suggestion: a modular approach, making it easier to integrate what is needed with what already exists, both in terms of policies and IT systems.

Following the discussion was a thought leadership presentation by Jonathan Bates (Executive Vice President of Marketing at MiX Telematics). His argument: Safety, of course a laudable goal in itself, can be the stepping stone to greater sustainability and efficiency.

Sometimes the overlapping gains are obvious. “Reducing idling benefits both your sustainability and efficiency goals.” Others only appear after careful analysis of the data. “We have found that drivers who switch from an electric vehicle to a combustion-powered vehicle during the same shift mix up their driving styles, which can lead to driving habits that increase risk. »

Detailed checklist

However, identifying gains in safety, efficiency and sustainability is only half the answer, Bates stressed. “You can’t improve your results if you don’t change people’s behavior. And to do that, you need to do three things: create a vision people can buy into, appeal to the values ​​they already have, and start with small changes. »

Julie Meynard (Director of Arval Consulting & Arval Mobility Observatory) spoke about the benefits of connected insurance as a means of promoting modes of driving that are both sustainable and safe. She likened accidents to a “cost iceberg”: not only the terrible cost in terms of human tragedy, but also: lost time, damaged equipment, reduced efficiency and productivity.

This is why “as an employer, you must ask yourself: have I done everything to avoid accidents? She presented a detailed checklist, from car policy to accident data management. And a high-potential solution: connected insurance – you rent an insured vehicle, and subscribe to a matching telematics offer, which can, among other things, mark your drivers, helping you to improve their driving behavior. In short: “Fleets and businesses need to make road safety part of their big picture.”

Reactive to predictive

The segment on security was closed by a session with Damian Penney (VP EMEA for Lytx), who had brought two experts in the field to take place in the Chesterfield: Doug Jenkins (Specialist Business Resilience Management at Axa), and Daniel McGuigan (Environment, Director of Health and Safety for PepsiCo’s Global Operations).

“Our mission at Lytx is to save lives on the road, and our goal is to ensure that no commercial driver is at fault in traffic accidents,” Mr. Penney said. “To achieve this, the fleet industry must move from a reactive approach towards safety to a proactive, even predictive approach.”

Messrs. Jenkins and McGuigan are no strangers to each other, precisely because they made this trip together. “When I started at PepsiCo in 2016, we didn’t have a strong relationship with Axa. So I took advantage of the annual renewal to help us understand each other better. It’s a relationship that benefits both of us and that helped reduce our loss ratio.

Image: Benjamin Brolet

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