Bikers dont deserve their reputation and need a fair break

03 May 2006 Susan Ford

Two insurance professionals who are personally passionate about biking have designed South Africas first specialist bike insurance, BikeSURE, in partnership with Hollard Insurance because they believe bikers arent getting a fair deal. South Africa's first specialist bike insurance launches today.

The majority of todays bikers dont deserve their high risk reputation because the biking community has changed over the past two decades, says Terry Terblanche, MD of BikeSURE and innovator of the new insurance with Deon van Wyk, BikeSUREs Sales Director.

Todays machines are expensive weekend toys, affordable only to affluent professionals. Yet the Biker Gang image persists in the minds of many and means the insurance premium calculations of bike owners is out of synch with todays reality. Hollard and BikeSURE will be using individualised underwriting criteria, based on in-depth research and reality rather than outdated bogus group reputations.

This means low risk policyholders will enjoy massive premium savings and not be subsidizing high risk individuals which is the current practice in the industry. To be fair, we know that there are some bikers, just like there are some car drivers, who are careless and are high risks. But they are a minority and it is unfair to penalise low-risk policyholders to cover high risk minorities.

Hollards CEO, Paolo Cavalieri, says: Terry and Deon are smart insurance professionals and have spotted a need in a specialist area that they understand in their own blood. With 244 000 registered bikes on the road in 2005 and about 70 000 bikes purchased in the same period, there are obviously specialist consumers who need thorough bike knowledge from his or her insurer coupled with a fair deal. We will deliver both through their broker via our new Underwriting Manager partner, BikeSURE.

Terblanche explains further: Our core business is to insure only bikes, accessories, riding gear & motorcycle trailers with a call centre open 24/7 to give instant confirmation of cover. This eliminates delays and frustrations before the bike can be driven out of the showroom. Obtaining quick confirmation of economical bike insurance, especially over weekends, has been a source of high frustration and time-consuming inefficiency for dealers and customers in the past.

We have no intention of removing business from brokers. This is why we have created an Underwriting Manager channel where brokers can place a clients motorcycle insurance only. We fully understand and respect that clients build relationships with their comprehensive brokers.

We also know, from personal experience, that knowledgeable advice is vital to ensure that bikes and costly accessories are properly listed to ensure adequate cover and hassle-free claims. Leathers alone can cost R15 000, a helmet R6000 and impressive chrome exhausts as much as R15 000. In the motor insurance industry accessories have become well understood, but this is not the case when insuring todays magnificent machines and it is the consumer who suffers if inadequately advised. BikeSURE has the expertise to tell brokers and consumers all they need to know about bike insurance.

The top features and benefits of the new BikeSURE cover are:

* Individually underwritten comprehensive insurance for all road, off road & quad motorcycles
* Speedy claims process through in-house admin. & claims
* There is no six-week waiting period in the event of a theft claim
* Increased speed and efficiency through state of the art voice recording system
* Unbroken service through call centre, 24/7, 365 days a year
* Low risk clients do not subsidize high risk clients
* Premium guaranteed for 12 months, in spite of a claim, unless cover is changed
* Insured value is based on retail price
* New Vehicle Replacement if a bike is stolen or written off in the first year
* Fixed excess of R 2 500 with no additional % excesses in the event of a theft or total loss
* Non standard accessories, riding gear and apparel and trailer can be specified
* Optional Cover: Credit shortfall, violation, deposit protector.
* Cover includes operation at approved track schools - Classes A, B, C & D - with additional excess R 5 000. BikeSURE will be represented at the track at approved meetings.
* Extensive accident and roadside assistance is included 24/7.

We have created a product that addresses all the needs of the biking community as we know them personally and from research and are confident we will be filling an urgent need in the industry, says Terblanche.

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