Navigating the future of commercial motor

Delta NZ lifts lid on how it can deliver claims savings and superior claims handling for clients

Navigating the future of commercial motor

Motor & Fleet

By Bennett Richardson

This article was produced in partnership with Delta Insurance New Zealand

The exciting news for those considering commercial motor insurance is that Delta Insurance offers innovative solutions designed to keep premiums competitive for clients through its claims handing processes, and choice to not participate in knock-for-knock, all of which are designed to benefit fleet operators with strong risk management practices. 

In a world where everything is increasing in cost, commercial motor insurance premiums are under the same pressures, so we investigate what is happening in the market and how these costs can be best managed.

The increasingly large number of complex features in vehicles that were once reserved for luxury cars are now standard in most modern vehicles. As a result, if a vehicle needs repair, not only are parts more costly, but more specialised and skilled repairers are required, which can lead to increased costs and longer repair times. 

“These features going to continue to increase repair amounts and time as they become more complex and standard in most vehicles. They also require continuously evolving skill sets for repairers that adds cost,” Delta Insurance head of commercial motor Michael Hookham told Insurance Business recently. 

Luckily, Delta Insurance is ahead of the curve.

“We have a product and claims proposition which, by design will mean that where costs can be reduced by the claims recovery process or through less time off the road, it will benefit commercial clients with good risk management and prior claims performance.”  

Revolutionizing insurance traditions

Breaking away from over a century of tradition, Delta has chosen to operate outside the ‘knock-for-knock’ agreement, which traditionally allowed insurers to pay claims for their own clients regardless of fault. 

“The knock-for-knock agreement reduces the need for insurers to recover costs from the at fault party. Forgoing the recoveries from one insurer to another reduces the administration costs, and removes the requirement to establish liability when settling a claim,” explains Hookham.

“Over time, these costs become evenly split between the insurers, so neither party are disadvantaged by the agreement.”  The time and cost savings that accrue within a knock-for-knock arrangement helps to keep premiums for motor insurance for parts of the market down. 

“Customers who work to reduce at-fault claims don’t always benefit with premium benefits under the knock-for-knock arrangement. Our approach ensures that these clients benefit from their investments in safety and risk management,” Hookham explained.

This can mean savings along with better service for Delta clients.

Streamlined claims process

From January this year, Delta brought all claims handling operations in-house, ensuring proactive and efficient claims processing. From Delta Insurance Auckland HQ, Claims Manager Neil Grote emphasised, “We focus on finding ways to pay claims quickly and efficiently, ensuring our clients get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

Delta’s integrated approach to underwriting and claims handling means clients receive personalised service, with a dedicated team working towards the same goal. This results in a claims ratio significantly lower than traditional insurers, leading to faster resolutions and a superior customer experience.

Looking ahead, Delta is committed to staying ahead of market dynamics and evolving client needs.

“We are already planning to bring external loss adjusters in-house to maintain our high service standards.”

Navigating the Path Forward

Repairers are evolving to meet the growing complexity of modern vehicles. Delta empowers clients by offering the freedom to choose their trusted repairers and actively collaborate with parts distributors and manufacturers to understand future trends and needs to develop solutions for our clients.

The Delta Commercial vehicle policy already incorporates cover for EV’s / Hybrids / Hydrogen vehicles and autonomous vehicle features.

Delta’s mission is to ensure vehicles are restored to the highest standards in the most cost-effective manner, consistently delivering exceptional value to customers.

New Zealand’s diverse vehicle landscape, particularly with imports, has led to fewer general repairers and a rise in specialists focused on specific types or makes of vehicles. “The level of training required for repairers has exponentially grown, with the fast adoption of new motor vehicle technology. Ongoing training is crucial and must be continually updated,” noted Grote.

Instead of maintaining an authorised repair network, Delta allows clients to select their preferred repairer, ensuring they can rely on a trusted professional.

“Our relationship isn't just with the repairers, but it's also with their suppliers, so that we can front foot any distribution or industry challenges that might affect parts supply, availability, or cost.”

Delta’s role is to support the manufacturers’ approved repairer networks and the members of the Collision Repair Association (CRA) who have already gone through a stringent process. The CRA hold their members to high standards and actively encourage members to upskill. 

All CRA member are screened to ensure they have the correct equipment, workshops, processes in place, to realign a vehicle to a manufacturer's specification. These specifications are essential for the cars safety features to function properly again if involved in another collision. Another benefit of using a CRA repairer, is that the association also has a quality assurance disputes procedure, to give clients peace of mind. 

Delta was established in 2014 to answer the call for insurance in new or specialised areas, with exceptional customer service - all underpinned by transparency and integrity. Today we cover over 30,000 risks in New Zealand, Singapore and Australia and are proud to have won ANZIIF’s Insurance Underwriting Agency of the Year award for the last five years for our continued focus on customers. As well as resolving claims we focus on prevention using a range of risk mitigation strategies, partnerships and solutions.


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