A discussion with George Stubbs of GS Group

For GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?

What are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?

GS Group: For Permanent Peace of MindFor GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?

FACTS: Every fleet operator needs insurance, and there are a lot of providers out there. What are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?

For GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?GS Group: In terms of insurance cover per se, a broker will evaluate client needs in relation to the over-all level of risk exposure and will make a considered recommendation thereafter. When evaluating, an alternative insurer, careful consideration should be given to a number of factors such as experience and consistency of operation in the fleet market; as well as reputation, financial standing and (perhaps above all) claims service. Getting claims settled swiftly and justly is of paramount importance for most businesses, especially with regard to managing cash flow.

FACTS: Reduction in premiums remains the aim of every business. One way to achieve this is to simply look for the lowest cost cover, but why is this an unsatisfactory approach, and what are the more effective alternatives?

GS Group: It is perhaps a cliché but ‘cheaper isn’t often best’. Whilst margins are important to every For GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?fleet operator, buying simply on price can often mean that a compromise requires to be made in other areas; such as poor claims service, onerous terms & conditions and, quite simply, less cover. Insurance should never be seen as a commodity buy but as a relationship between client and broker. A good broker will work in tandem with a fleet operator to create a robust fleet risk management programme designed to improve claims performance and to reduce premiums over time. There has to be a high quality exchange between client and broker to determine key issues, identify exposures and formulate a strategy to effectively manage these. If risk is run well for an insurer, and is managed well by all parties, then the end result will be stability of premium.

FACTS: Insurance is all about managing risk. How can GS Group help fleet operators to manage risk better?

For GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?GS Group: Rightly or wrongly, a fleet claims history still drives rating and consequently the price of cover. This doesn’t always portray the right picture however, and we at GS will always fully analyse the claims statistics which can identify and establish recurring trends, specific solutions to which can then be incorporated within the risk management programme. Insurer reserving, or the amounts which are set aside to meet the cost of outstanding claims, can often be misleading and are frequently excessive. Our claims specialists always seek to ensure that reserves are accurate and not over-inflated, so that the risk is presented on the correct basis.

FACTS: Having insurance cover is necessary; but fighting insurance companies over claims can be a time consuming and often thoroughly frustrating process. How does GS work with their clients to make sure that the ‘management overhead’ involved in insurance is minimised?

For GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?GS Group: GS believes, above all, in strong working partnerships with both the fleet operator and the insurer. We thoroughly understand the sector and this knowledge and experience enables us to act as the clients’ ‘in house insurance department’. We know how to interact with insurers to achieve best results for our clients and are seen as their ‘voice’ in and to the market.

FACTS: What has changed in the commercial fleet insurance market in the last few years, and what stories can GS tell about how they have been able to resolve recent problems for their customers: saving them money, time and frazzled nerves?

GS Group: The market, generally, is still ‘flat’ which means that premiums aren’t increasing to any great extent unless other factors such as claims, growth in fleet numbers or business diversification kick in. To maintain this equilibrium however, insurers need to control extraneous costs and this can have implication on claims settlements where insurers will always try to mitigate in their favour. This can For GS Group, what are the key issues which a business should consider when evaluating its current insurance cover and alternative offerings?result in a double whammy for a fleet operator who could see the insurer attempt to avoid paying an accidental damage claim on the basis of ‘policy wording’ while at the same time agreeing to pay a spurious third party claim on the basis that it’s cheaper to pay than to defend.

For example, we were recently involved in a fairly technical motor claim in which the insurers initially repudiated the claim on the basis of ‘policy interpretation’. Our in-house loss adjuster took the case up on behalf of our client and, not only did we secure a significant settlement, but the insurers were forced to change the wording on all their fleet policies. We have literally hundreds of examples of this kind of thing; where we are able to help our customers to achieve an equitable settlement in the face of resistance from an insurer. It is a very important part of what we do for our clients.

For more information: www.gs-group.uk.com

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