Prime Mover Magazine

Going the distance: Zurich

The operation of heavy equipment is contingent on protocols and safety guidelines but not all insurance cover is about the vehicle and third parties. Zurich offers services tailored to the well-being of the driver that covers medical and related expenses, journey disruption and even psychological counselling.

Duty of care for operators of commercial vehicles nowadays goes beyond the daily tasks of piloting trucks through traffic, uncoupling heavy trailers and delivering goods in a timely, safe manner. A healthy driver is usually happier and with their well-being improved, productivity, as has been proven in several recent studies, also increases. Accidents, however, do happen and driver well-being after an incident should be of paramount importance to their employers. While most fleet insurance primarily focuses on moving assets like trucks and trailers Zurich offers risk management for transport companies dedicated to the well-being of drivers so that they are provided aid before and after any incident.

Zurich provides online solutions to assess and coach drivers on improving their driving style, as part of the service it offers which the company considers goes beyond that of a usual insurance claim. This is to help reduce their risk of being in an incident, injury and potentially experiencing temporary loss of income as a result says Mervyn Rea, Zurich Head of Risk Engineering.
“Our Risk Engineering Assessments for Motor Fleets are strongly focused on the driver. We determine how an organisation recruits, manages and retains their drivers, comparing these with current best practice,” he says. “We can help our customers improve management controls, which ultimately proves beneficial to the drivers.”

A mentor app, an optional product offered in the service, continually monitors key driving behaviour characteristics such as acceleration, braking, cornering, speed and mobile phone use, and offers coaching and safety tips to help improve driving style, and ultimately, it is anticipated, avoid a crash.

Emergency responders are available to help drivers 24/7 says Craig Sandy, Zurich National Underwriting Manager, to secure assets, minimise time off the road and treat, if needed, injury. The Heavy Motor Accident Assist program supports customers who operate vehicles over five tonnes for an insurable incident.

“Heavy Motor Assist ensures that the vehicle is recovered and dispatched to repairers promptly but also ensures that the driver is cared for, and repatriated to a place of safety,” he says. That might mean a hospital, work or home. “They will engage the necessary resources to attend the site of the accident, secure assets, deal with spills and clean up, arrange towing and emergency accommodation if necessary.”

A dedicated Heavy Motor claims team, with 155 years’ experience in the category, was formed three years ago to accommodate the sometimes complex nature of transport claims. Zurich, according to Craig, recognised that a different skill set was required to manage heavy motor claims in contrast to light motor claims.

“The team is uniquely placed to manage these types of claims so that customer expectations are met,” he says. “The time is also taken to understand our customers and their business. By applying this allocation method the required skills, technical capabilities and behaviours are aligned to those of our customers.

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