Structuring our offer with the clients' needs in mind

Summary:LINK4 has been strongly associated for many years with direct insurance services provided to consumers and corporates and has sought to stand out in both segments for the simplicity of purchase, quality of service and attractive price. Of late, the company has been seeking to strengthen its presence in the motor insurance market for small businesses and fleets.

For small businesses, LINK4 has developed the Auto firmowe 24 ['Company car 24'] package which includes civil liability and own-damage insurance, accident insurance for the company car driver and passengers, assistance without mileage limits and insurance against theft of number plates and keys. The company offers an extra discount for every subsequent car insured, and a potential claim related to one vehicle does not lead to the reduction of discounts for the other vehicles. The buyer may obtain a private discount in the case of a no-claim history of company car drivers and a courtesy car is guaranteed for seven days in case of accident or theft of the company car.

LINK4 is thinking about further development of the offering for business and fleets.

We talked to Grzegorz Anczewski, member of the management board of LINK4, about the development of new services and the company’s business offering.

In what respect do businesses differ from individual customers when it comes to choosing car insurance?

Grzegorz Anczewski: The individual customer focuses mostly on the price. We can't escape from that. Obviously there are some people who look at the scope of the insurance and know how to analyse offers nearly as well as fleet managers. Customers’ awareness in the field of insurance is clearly improving. They have started to understand the concept of deductibles and choose the solutions that are best for them.In the case of fleets, there's a large emphasis on repair and maintenance issues, especially with regard to the quality of repairs and to how quickly they are carried out. This also concerns the claims-handling procedures. Companies wish to reduce to the very minimum all the fuss related to the process.

In the case of fleets, price is therefore less important, which does not mean that it is totally insignificant. Brokers are extremely important in this business, especially when it comes to medium sized fleets. They allow the company to be sure that the insurance product offered is exactly as they expect. Brokers usually have many years of experience in collaboration with fleet partners and thus understand the latter’s needs better. Insurers, on the other hand, should remember that fleet companies expect very flexible offers. Larger fleets, for instance, buy products such as assistance themselves, and purchase only civil liability and own-damage insurance policies from the insurer.

When did insurance products dedicated to business appear in your offering?

We started operating in Poland a decade ago offering personal motor insurance and we are still strongly associated with that segment due to highly-visible promotional campaigns. As the company developed, the natural way forward for us was to start operating in new areas. We launched a pilot programme last year by offering our typical motor insurance products to fleets. We currently provide services to several fleets which are quite demanding in terms of claims handling, but it's important that our clients are satisfied with the service we render in that area and with our rates. I have to add that our largest customers have as many as 800 cars. Our success in the large-corporate field made us decide to start work to extend our product offering. We want to go beyond motor products, offering property insurance to businesses.

What's the difference between your offering for small businesses and for larger fleets?

Our success on the fleet market so far has relied in the first place on the own-damage product in the All Risk formula, dedicated to that segment, but also to pricing and service flexibility. In the case of insurance products offered to larger fleets we are departing from the traditional offering, which is promoted and sold through intermediaries and brokers, aware of the different expectations fleet buyers have, especially with regard to repairs and touchy claims handling procedures. We are glad that brokers have received our brand and product offering so favourably, especially since we are planning to make this our basic sales channel.

Larger fleets seek professional support when they select the offering, therefore this is a natural sales channel and source of new customers. When our customers’ expectations go beyond the standard ones, trilateral meetings take place with the customer, us and the broker. We analyse each fleet thoroughly and prepare a suitable rate, analysing the claim history, the sector and the car-use policy at the company.

When we collaborate with fleet management companies, we propose a different approach to fleet valuation. We insist that individual fleets be estimated on the basis of their claim experience. After all, each fleet handled within fleet management is different in terms of its nature, needs and claim history. We believe that prices should not be averaged with worse fleets' rates being balanced out by those for better ones. At some fleet management companies, the policy of averaging rates and ignoring claim history in individual fleets has already become quite a burden.

You have mentioned the significant role of the repair shop network when the insurer is chosen. What can you offer fleets in this area?

Our advantage is the extremely efficient network of partner repair shops. Our decade-long experience in direct services and the centralisation of many processes has resulted in a strong network. We have been building the network for a decade now in the area of traditional motor insurance. Relying on third-party partners for various activities related to claims handling is something we find normal. It is something inherent to direct insurance. As opposed to our competitors, we never set out to build a huge structure of repair shops, which leads to having a defunct list of several hundred entities with which the insurer has little in common. Our strategy therefore assumes collaboration with several dozen repair shops to whom we actively provide work. If, for instance, a repair shop performs 40 to 50 repairs a months for us, we become their major customer. This allows us to obtain good rates, efficient repairs and additional services. This is particularly important considering how demanding fleets are: they want repairs to be performed quickly without affecting employees’ mobility. This type of cooperation with repair shops turns out to be excellent in this sector. Our competitors, on the other hand, have an extensive network but only give the repair shops a few repair assignments per month. There are no partner-like relations or competitive rates here, therefore.

What are you planning to add to the range of insurance for companies?

In the fleet area we will launch a product for small fleets of 15 to 20 cars. This will be a product with simplified underwriting. We're thinking about launching products through our network of partners already selling our other insurance products. I have to add that we currently collaborate with around 2,500 agents across Poland. We wish to give our network the right instruments to make it possible to prepare a product and price offering for local businesses in small towns at the agent level. We believe that this market has a large potential.

We also want to prepare property products for small businesses. We are going to draw on British experiences in this field. We want to provide entrepreneurs with possibly complete coverage. The offering will be segmented and adapted to the risks appearing in the relevant business activity. All this will be supplemented by assistance suitable for the relevant business. We want the product to be as simple as possible and to fill the gaps in specific SME market segments. A basic product will first be created, so that subsequently small, simple and not necessarily expensive options can be added to it, focused on the specific activity the customer carries out on the market.

Author: Grzegorz Anczewski, member of the management board of LINK4 Publication date: 2013-01-01 Price: 0