Archive

  1. Cuvva raises £15M Series A to launch flexible monthly car insurance

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    3rd December

    Source: Tech Crunch

    Cuvva, the app-based insurance provider that began life offering pay-as-you-go driving cover but has since expanded to also sell travel insurance, has raised £15 million in Series A funding.

    Backing comes from RTP Global,  Breega and Digital Horizon, joining existing investors LocalGlobe, Techstars Ventures, Tekton and Seedcamp. A number of angels also joined the round, including Dominic Burke, the CEO of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, and Faisal Galaria, the former chief strategy and investments officer of GoCompare.

    Launched in 2016 when founder Freddy Macnamara (pictured) become frustrated he couldn’t let others drive his car intermittently because of lack of insurance cover, Cuvva  was an early pioneer of pay-as-you-go car insurance.

    The idea, which was easier explained than done, was to make it possible to insure a car only when it was being driven, and therefore be cheaper for low-mileage drivers, and, via an app and access to the DVLA database, make it easier to on-board new drivers for pay-as-you-drive cover.

    The insurtech still offers hourly car insurance, but its product line has since been expanded to daily covery, as well as a product specifically aimed at learner drivers. In addition, Cuvva entered the travel insurance space, no doubt spotting overlap with its presumably younger, millennial demographic.

    To that end, Cuvva says it will use the new capital to launch a new pay-monthly motor product in early 2020 that it says could cut average annual bills for car owners “significantly.” It will do this by cutting out various middle people, including brokers and comparison websites, which it says charge insurers about £70 on each policy sold.

    “Unlike legacy insurers, Cuvva will not charge a fee to spread payments over the year and it will not penalise loyal customers with dual pricing,” says the startup. Cuvva also says it will offer the same savings, whether you are signing up as a new customer or are a returning customer, and won’t charge admin fees to alter personal details registered with your policy.

    Cue canned statement from Macnamara: “I started Cuvva when I couldn’t find flexible insurance to help me share my car. Four years on from launch we are still discovering how big the problem we are solving really is. We’re now selling 3% of all UK motor insurance policies but we’ve got so much further to go. Cuvva is going to be the place where you buy all your insurance, all through our mobile app.”

     

  2. What does the future hold for driverless cars?

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    Source:  Business Leader

    3rd December

    The Government has said it aims to have driverless cars on British roads by the end of this year.

    However, experts from Warwick Business School warn the artificial intelligence required to do so is pushing the frontiers of science.

    They argue that autonomous vehicles must be able to mimic human motorists and “negotiate” with them to navigate public roads safely. While impressive progress has been made on cars sensing their surroundings, the challenge of interacting with other road users has hardly been addressed

    This could be the decisive limiting factor in developing driverless cars and could mean they need a separate road network, or at least their own lanes, to protect the public, experts claim.

    Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, said: “Alan Turing famously challenged future generations to create a machine that would be indistinguishable from a person through the medium of written language.

    “The future of fully autonomous vehicles depends on science meeting a similar challenge – creating computer systems that drive in a way that blends seamlessly and safely with human drivers. This involves addressing fundamental questions at the frontiers of cognitive science, which have not been fully answered.

    “Mixing autonomous vehicles with human drivers and cyclists on our cluttered roads seems too dangerous. The best way forward may be to give them their own roads.”

    The experts believe that artificial intelligence has the potential to control a vehicle and monitor its surroundings better than humans can.

    However, ‘difficult situations’ involving other drivers pose a bigger challenge, according to their paper, Negotiating the Traffic: Can Cognitive Science Help Make Autonomous Vehicles a Reality?

    For example, the cameras on a self-driving car will not be good enough to see human drivers smiling, pointing, or nodding. Other signals, such as flashing lights or beeping horns, can have a range of different meanings depending on the context, which means an autonomous vehicle would need a separate set of instructions for every conceivable scenario.

    One proposed solution is for autonomous cars to hand back control to a human driver if the artificial intelligence cannot resolve everyday situations humans could be more dangerous, as the driver will not be able to react and resolve the problem fast enough, the researchers warn.

    Professor Chater said: “‘Negotiating the traffic’ is not merely a figure of speech. It involves an actual process of tacit negotiation with other road users in a safety-critical environment. It is crucial that everyone reaches the same – or at least compatible – agreements to prevent a potential accident.

    “These human interactions are so effortless that we are unaware of the complex reasoning involved. Teaching a machine to mimic that reasoning is a huge challenge. The rate of progress on this challenge may prove a decisive limiting factor in the development of autonomous vehicles.

     

     

  3. ARC360 announces plans for 2020 and beyond

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    ARC360, the new forum for the automotive incident repair industry, has revealed its plans for 2020 which includes a series of quarterly events and the introduction of an online communication platform.

    The plans were announced at the inaugural ARC360 event ‘Gaining ground together’, which took place at the end of November at the King Power Stadium, Leicester City FC.

    From next year, ARC360 will host a series of quarterly conference-based events, backed by an online communication platform available to ‘members’ in order to ensure the opportunity for ongoing high-level conversation.

    The ARC360 platform will house all pre- and post-event collateral and insights; market intelligence documents; co-produced features, interviews and white papers; as well as a members’ forum.

    Membership to the private ARC360 portal, which sits within the industry standard RepairTalks platform, is available to all subscription based ARC360 delegates. Membership to ARC360 is charged at £69 per month and provides:

    • 1 x ‘business account’ pass per ARC360 event
    • Access to the ARC360 ‘member’ platform
    • 1 x individual online portal account
    • Priority booking on future ARC360 ‘special’ events
    • Access to and pre-publication exclusives on all ARC360 material

    For those who prefer to ‘pay as you go’ delegate places to individual ARC360 events will still be available on a per event/per person basis.

    ARC360 has been established to provide an open platform upon which the repair industry can raise key issues and discuss cross-sector solutions in an open, transparent way.

    ARC360, in association with I Love Claims, is supported by corporate partners: 3M, ACIS, BMS, CAPS, EMACS, Entegral, Enterprise, Nationwide Vehicle Recovery Assistance, and S&G Response; and sponsors Indasa, Stanners, Symach, Thatcham Research, and The Green Parts Specialists. The new forum is also backed by strategic partners AutoRaise, NBRA, RepairTalks and Trend Tracker.

    For more information on ARC360 please email mark@iloveclaims.com or call 07843538559.

  4. ARC360 kicks off at King Power Stadium

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    November saw the introduction of a new voice in the UK automotive aftermarket sector with ARC360’s inaugural conference and exhibition taking place in front of more than 250 delegates at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.

    In association with I Love Claims and supported by corporate partners: 3M, ACIS, BMS, CAPS, EMACS, Entegral, Enterprise, Nationwide Vehicle Recovery Assistance, and S&G Response; and sponsors Indasa, Stanners, Symach, Thatcham Research, and The Green Parts Specialists, ARC360 has been established to provide an open platform upon which the repair industry can raise key issues and discuss cross-sector solutions in an open, transparent way.

    Mark Hadaway, ARC360 co-founder, said,Our industry suffers from an image problem, and we want to be part of the movement to address that. We want to raise the level of conversation, to make it more transparent and collaborative. We want to encourage the conversation to open up, so we all feel like we have a say in where the industry is going.’

    Refreshing

    That ethos was certainly evident during the first event, which was refreshing in the frankness of its speakers and revealed two recurring themes affecting the market at the moment: the need for repairers to re-evaluate the process of contract renewals with insurers, and the benefits of closer cooperation between insurers and vehicle manufacturers.

    Held under the banner, ‘Gaining Ground Together’, the launch of ARC360 included two high-level panel debates which touched on everything from standardisation to segmentation, as well as keynote presentations from Chris Weeks, chief executive of the NBRA and commercial and strategy director of Hastings Direct, Victoria Turner, who spoke independently and relayed her personal insights on the day.

    Exclusive

    Chris discussed the findings of an exclusive NBRA survey, which identified five key problem areas within the repairer/insurer relationship: mobility costs; the contract review process; profitability; flexibility around SLAs (service level agreements); and complaint handling.

    He said that only by abandoning the ‘them and us’ mindset would a solution be possible.

    Meanwhile, Victoria presented an insurer’s perspective and underlined that change was not straightforward in a mass-market but agreed that shared responsibility was the only positive way forward.

    Claims transformation specialist Rob Smale was equally forthright in his presentation. He said the reality is that the relationship between bodyshops and insurers is not ‘partnership’, but transactional, and only fundamental change could disrupt the status quo.

    He said, ‘Tinkering won’t work.’

    Successful

    Delegates were also invited into the workshop of one of the UK’s most successful repair groups during a revealing keynote interview with Gemini ARC managing director Dave Sargeant. Gemini has grown from one site to 29 in just over a decade, with Dave attributing the success to ‘good people’ and a group-wide focus on three basic measures: customer satisfaction (the driver and the insurer); key-to-key times; and cost.

    He said, ‘They’re the only three things that matter. If you’re hitting those three, I don’t see how any customer or insurer can be unhappy.’

    Dave also discussed his role as chairman of AutoRaise and urged more training providers to get behind the industry charity. He said that too many were making excuses not to support AutoRaise and revealed that there is a logjam of 300 apprentices just waiting for a place.

    Message

    The one-day event closed with a final message from Mark, who thanked all partners and attendees for believing in the new project. He said that from next year ARC360 conferences will be held quarterly to provide ongoing, high-level conversation that is centred around the repair industry. He also revealed an online communication platform will provide the key link for ARC360 supporters and delegates to maintain ongoing contact and discussion between events.

    Mark said, ‘Above all, ARC360 is interactive. We want people to join in the debate. It’s not about people standing on the stage talking to you – it’s a two-way exchange of ideas to support the industry in gaining ground together.’

    ARC360 is also backed by strategic partners AutoRaise, NBRA, RepairTalks and Trend Tracker.

  5. The Vella Group Cuts Two Days From Repair Time With New Replacement Vehicle Programme

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    The Vella Group revealed it has reduced its average vehicle repair time by around two days per repair by developing a more efficient and productive operation, facilitated by working with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to improve the provision of replacement vehicles to customers.

    The Vella Group has adopted Enterprise’s Full Mobility Programme at all six of its bodyshops around the country to support around 11,000 qualifying repairs per year. This means that all its replacement vehicles and logistics are provided through local Enterprise rental branches.

    The Group and Enterprise have worked together, focusing on ‘key to key’ times to reduce repair duration and vehicle hire periods. A key success factor has been the efficiencies created by deploying Enterprise’s suite of communications and rental management technology tools, which have enabled the reduction of two days on average.

    Vella has also been able to redeploy admin and office employees whose time had previously been burdened with all of the processes required of managing such a large number of vehicles, from procurement and valeting, fuelling, fines and other day-to-day requirements, through to the eventual vehicle disposal.

     

    The Group reports a number of other visible benefits as a result of introducing Enterprise’s Full Mobility Programme:

    • Work provision is now wholly based on bay and mechanic capacity rather than on courtesy car availability

     

    • The Vella Group has also been able to dispose of the fleet of several hundred courtesy cars required across its bodyshops to meet demand for mobility from customers

     

    • Admin employees are now re-focused on core bodyshop management work, and are no longer burdened with fleet management duties ranging from servicing, maintenance and cleaning to bookings, fines and damage claims

     

    • There is no longer a need to ‘double fleet’, when existing courtesy cars were being prepared for disposal while new vehicles were awaiting delivery.

     

    As MD of one of the UK’s largest independent vehicle repair groups, Vella Group managing director Marc Holding believes that bodyshops across the UK could benefit by rethinking provision of replacement vehicles with a provider like Enterprise.

     

    Marc Holding said:“Partnering with Enterprise to rethink how we provide customers with the mobility they need began with the realisation that the larger we grew, the more we were essentially becoming a rental car business. We were managing several hundred vehicles instead of focusing on repair.

     

    “We’ve done more than replace a courtesy car from us with a rental car from Enterprise. Because Enterprise supports work providers directly, who are booking cars on the same software platform, they are able to provide mobility at the most logical and efficient point after an accident – which isn’t necessarily when the vehicle comes into one of our bodyshops. This means we are only providing a car to a customer through Enterprise when that is the right decision and a vehicle hasn’t been provided elsewhere.

     

    “The costs we’ve reduced with the Full Mobility Programme are only the tip of the iceberg. We no longer spend time procuring, managing and off-hiring a large fleet of vehicles as Enterprise does all that for us. We know our customers will always have access to a car because Enterprise’s branches have thousands of them for hire exactly when they’re needed.

     

    “Enterprise looks after our customers exactly as we would, and we work in partnership to ensure excellent customer service. Our Net Promoter Scores have actually increased since we began working with Enterprise and the customer feedback has been very positive. We’ve recognised that Enterprise’s role in the repair process is to deliver mobility. Ours is to deliver repairs.”

     

    David Dickson, head of bodyshop at Enterprise UK & Ireland, said: “Mobility is an essential aspect of the service that motorists expect after they’ve had an accident. We created the Full Mobility Programme to enable repairers to ensure their customers get a replacement car in the most efficient way possible, so as to reduce cost and admin overhead as well as driving down repair days.

     

    “This means bodyshops can deliver 100% on their customer’s expectation that they will be provided with mobility while their vehicle is being repaired. At the same time, the programme frees up capital and time and enables bodyshops to focus on their core business, which is repairing cars.

     

    “The Vella Group’s experience can be replicated by any bodyshop that’s looking to provide excellent customer service while streamlining the business and improving performance. We worked closely together to ensure its employees are no longer burdened with any of the tasks relating to hiring and managing vehicles.”

     

    With a network of more than 470 branches located within 10 miles of almost 95% of the UK population, Enterprise has the network, vehicles, expertise and customer service commitment to serve bodyshop customers anywhere in the UK.

     

    As the company’s state of the art booking and communications platforms are used by work providers and repairers as well as many other organisations in the collision repair ecosystem, Enterprise can ensure that a replacement vehicle is provided at the exact moment that the customer requires mobility. Enterprise is also proactive in ensuring that vehicles are returned quickly when the repair is concluded to drive greater efficiencies throughout the supply chain.

     

     

  6. Sign Up for ILC Day 2020 & Join the Wall of Love

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    ILC Day is where ILC members across the country ditch their uniforms to wear red on Thursday 14 February to raise vital funds for ILC’s official charity partner, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

    Occurring always on the reddest day in the calendar, ILC Day is an annual event where we encourage everyone in the insurance claims industry to be our Valentine and show their love to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity by wearing red to work and making a small donation to the charity.

    All donations raised on the day will go to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. This will help them to continue to support the families with a seriously ill child that they care for, allowing families in unthinkable circumstances to make the most of their precious time together.

    In past years, companies of all sizes have signed up to take part, but their participation hasn’t always been limited to just wearing red. The amount of additional fundraising ideas people have adopted on the day has been staggering, from BBQ breakfasts to Office Olympics, and Raffles to Bake Sales, there is no limit to the fun you can have raising money on ILC Day.

    Sign your company up today by visiting Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity website or by emailing: louise.bingham@rainbowtrust.org.uk to register your interest and help us succeed in raising £1,000,000.

    Follow the social media buzz leading up to and on the day itself on Twitter and LinkedIn, using #ILCDay2020, and don’t forget to share your own photos and ideas!

  7. UK Crash Repair Costs Continue To Increase At Unprecedented Levels Placing Pressure On Motor Insurer Profits

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    THE FUTURE OF THE UK CAR BODY REPAIR MARKET 2019 – 2024

    • Insurance-related repair expenditure rises by 4% in the first half of 2019
    • New vehicle technologies accelerate accident related parts prices
    • Repair levels forecast to decrease slightly in 2019
    • For further information visit: trendtracker.co.uk

    The UK’s most comprehensive report on the UK Car Body Repair Market, originally released in January 2019 by independent research company Trend Tracker, has recently published an update.

    Analysis of the data shows the average repair cost trend for cars is continuing to rise in the first half of the year to a weighted average of £1,919 from £1,845 per repair recorded in 2018. This represents a 4% overall increase in insurance related accident repair expenditure, for all makes/models of cars, for the first half of the year.

    Looking at the longer term average repair cost trend for cars, the overall average cost repair has risen quite significantly; from a weighted average of £1366 in 2013 to £1919 for the first half of 2019 (a 40.5%, or £553, increase over the period).

    Parts make-up approximately 42% of a total average accident repair cost; a figure that has remained fairly consistent for the past six-years, which means that in the first half of 2019, the average parts spend on car repairs was £803, compared to £787 in 2018 and £721 in 2017. The cost trend continues upwards!

    “Working with one of our primary partners, Solera Audatex, we have analysed the latest repair cost data, both annually and over a six-year period1. The data clearly demonstrates that vehicle design and build complexity, including advanced automotive engineering technology system integration, has resulted in higher accident related parts cost increases and additional labour time being required to return a vehicle back to the road safely, leading to higher costs” says Mark Bull, Trend Tracker’s director and research analyst.

    Whilst car accident repair costs increase, motor claims frequency is expected to fall slightly in 2019.  The rate at which policyholders are claiming against their motor policy has continued its long term decline, reaching the lowest level on record in the second quarter of 2019, at 11.4%2.

    Notes To Editors:

    1:  The analysis comprises of 12 million insurance company authorised repairs transacted via the Solera Audatex platform since 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2019.

    2:  Source: Association of British Insurers, private car exposure Q2 2019

    About the report:

    The Future of the UK Car Body Repair Market, 2019-2024 Report updates Trend Tracker’s in-depth coverage of the structure, volume and dynamics of this sector of the retail motor industry. Like previous editions, this report is produced for vehicle repair businesses, vehicle manufacturers, motor insurers, accident management and claims solutions providers, investors, market analysts, fleet operators, trade associations, consultants, paint companies, paint distribution and parts suppliers and others who need to understand the risks and opportunities facing each of the key protagonists in a punishingly competitive market.

    It was published in January 2019 by Trend Tracker Limited (see www.trendtracker.co.uk) at £1,495 ex VAT, inclusive of printed report, pdf electronic copy and PowerPoint executive summary.

    For more information or further comment contact Mark Bull on +44 (0)7702 435629 or email enquiries@trendtracker.co.uk.

    Report partners include:

    3M, Solera Audatex, Auto Body Projects, BMS, CAPS, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Industry Insights, Innovation Group, Morelli Group, PPG and Thatcham Research.

    About Trend Tracker:

    Trend Tracker was formed in the UK in 2003 by experienced specialists as a company dedicated to providing accurate and informed automotive industry research. We undertake bespoke client studies and publish our own reports, and unlike most research businesses, have the automotive industry experience to help our customers implement business improvements predicated by the information we provide.

    The collective automotive industry experience of Trend Tracker’s directors and analysts spans over 30 years in * Aftersales service and repair * Body repair * Consumer satisfaction and retention * Motor retail management * Quantitative and qualitative market research * Automotive media and marketing * Industry networking events and awards ceremonies.

    Mark Bull, director of Trend Tracker Ltd and Auto Body Projects Ltd, Linkedin profile page:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-bull-07266114a/

  8. e2e launches ‘The New Standard’

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    e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management launched its company newsletter – ‘The New Standard’ at its AGM this month.

    The Autumn issue features a guest contributor article from Axa’s David Williams – ‘Reclaimed Motor Parts – Safety Risk or Customer Saviour’ and a thought provoking opinion piece from e2e’s NED, Rob Smale, on the future of total loss motor claims.

    The New Standard is one of the initiatives e2e is using to maintain regular contact with its members, customers and the market.  The mix of content is designed to provide company and member updates and examine issues and opportunities facing motor insurers and their supply chain partners.

    e2e COO, Neil Joslin, explains:

    “In line with our growth strategy we are working hard to support our e2e customer community and to add real value to that community.  We are establishing relationships with insurance industry bodies in order to bring the significant insights available from the motor salvage and recycling process to the table with regards to debates on vehicle safety, vehicle repair costs, new technologies and the environment.

    We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge and to help to inform future thinking.  The New Standard will help to keep our customer community informed on this and numerous other developments together with industry news and views.”

    The Autumn issue of The New Standard is available now by downloading this link and subscribing.

  9. ClaimsTech ILC Event Highlights Piece – By Paul Sell

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    We are pleased to be able to share with you this insightful and engaging piece by Paul Sell, Ex Aviva and now Director of Service Certainty & CCO RightIndem that he has put together off the back of our recent ClaimsTech event.

    CLICK TO READ THE EVENT HIGHLIGHTS DOCUMENT

    With 23 years at Aviva and 10 years’ experience in the claims market under his belt, Paul is not only an experienced claims professional but brings passion and energy to those he works with.

    He is equally able to help ambitious companies grow as well as helping all parties in the supply market with navigating change, embracing technology and creating new propositions.

    Read on for an overview of the recent ILC ClaimsTech event and his thoughts on the huge technological changes that are affecting the claims industry.

    CLICK TO READ THE EVENT HIGHLIGHTS DOCUMENT

  10. ClaimsTech 2019: Speaker Insight – Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner at BT

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    We were delighted to be joined at our recent ClaimsTech conference by Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner at BT.

    She explored the trends transforming digital customer experience highlighting the ‘3 Us’ test – useful, usable and used. However, quoting professor Alan Dix, Birmingham University, she declared ‘What is useful and usable isn’t always used!’

    To watch her in action on the day click here 

    Highlighting research – The Digital Customer 2017 – and the ever-increasing trend for digital customers, Nicola said, ‘Customers are seeking simplicity: digital customers want easy journeys – and that is likely even more relevant when it comes to insurance.’

    Nicola went on to focus on how smartphones are becoming more important in the digital experience and how apps have previously provided a ‘solution’ yet often missed the mark. To this end, Nicola pointed at how micro-apps were now becoming the ‘go to’ customer engagement solution, providing quick, personalised, omni-channel, fully integrated interaction.

    ‘Omni channel solutions are important because customers make decisions on engagement at each stage of the journey based on their motivation, context and attitude,’ explained Nicola. ‘Customers in crisis do not deal well with complexity – they want a simple and straightforward service which is more often than not a phone call, and that’s regardless of generational behaviours.’

    One area Nicola drew attention to as a real opportunity for customer engagement was video which she claimed can ‘transform the customer experience’. Referring to it as personalised video as a service, Nicola highlighted how one major financial services provider has achieved a 400% increase in loan sales by implementing such strategy.

    For another video clip from her presentation just click here

    BT itself has implemented SightCall, allowing it to deliver a ‘see what I see’ experience to the customer, saving on simple connectivity solutions.

    Nicola then described how ‘chat is where it’s at’, citing how 65% of the research participants want chat support when faced with a problem.

    She also referenced how 73% believe chatbots will help companies improve their customer service yet how 74% were in favour of human agents checking the more complicated responses.

    ‘Chatbots certainly have appeal but with checks and balances from human agents. They work for simple queries by steering customer through the ‘known knowns’ but currently struggle with complexity – intelligent routing is the key to customer experience,’ explained Nicola.

    Nicola rounded her session by pointing to how consumers are impressed by proactive service and more open to sharing information if it is of benefit to them but warned: ‘engage with customers but do not annoy them – too much contact just becomes creepy.’

    A highly informative and insightful presentation with some very positive delegate feedback post event.