News article from AM Online:
UK, OCTOBER 2017: Dealers working with Toyota and Lexus Financial Services (TFS / LFS) have seen a growth in incremental income of over £5m from selling minor damage cover in conjunction with SMART Insurance Services and Toyota Insurance Management.
Eamonn Warters, Head of Sales at Toyota Financial Services, confirmed that over 60% of dealers working with TFS / LFS are now seeing the benefits of offering minor damage insurance to their customers.
“The increase in demand from customers and the opportunity to provide them with a range of quality VAPs meant that we had to look seriously at the opportunities that minor damage cover offered,” he said.
“We asked ourselves three simple questions: Is there a demand for it? Does it give my customers value? Is it commercially viable? The answers to all three for us was a resounding ‘yes’,” said Eamonn, whose minor damage cover is provided by SMART Insurance Services.
SMART Insurance was the first company in the UK to interface all three aspects of the insurance claims process – claims administration, underwriting and repair. Their minor damage products are sold into dealerships all over the country such as Steven Eagell, RRG and Motorline and is white-labelled for OEMs such as Toyota and Lexus.
“Choosing the right provider was absolutely crucial because we are committed to offering value to the consumer. Customer retention is a priority for us and choosing a product for its value, rather than on price and margin is part of our commitment to them.”
Fuelling the growth in minor damage cover is the rising demand from consumers wanting to protect their cars from prangs, dents and scratches. In November 2016, a survey by the RAC revealed that two in three drivers had suffered car park damage.
These figures are supported by figures and statistics from leading provider, Smart Insurance.
“We have seen a growing demand from dealers, OEMs and consumers alike,” said Mark Boote, Managing Director of Smart Insurance Services. “The most commonly damaged cars are big 4x4s such as the Lexus RX, Land Rovers, G and GL Class Mercedes and the X range of BMWs, as well as large saloons such as those manufactured by Audi and Jaguar.
“The most commonly damaged area of cars is the front and rear wing – usually caused by people reversing into another vehicle – and door dents and scratches caused by people carelessly opening their doors into the car next to them. This problem has been exasperated by smaller car park spaces.”
“Increasingly, we have seen more and more customers asking for minor damage cover at the point of sale,” added Steven Eagell, Managing Director of Steven Eagell’s 20 Toyota and Lexus sites.
“This is usually on new cars, but has also been across a range of approved and pre-owned vehicles.”