Feedback on Tripcover’s Low-Cost Car Rental Excess Insurance

(Generic email I have sent to some car rental companies in Australia) 

Hello Sir/Madam,

I know this is a bit left of field and I feel like I am entering into the lion’s den,
but I just thought I would seek out some feedback on our product from a
car rental supplier’s view point, such as yours.

I was thinking, why wouldn’t the suppliers want to finally get on the good side of
their customers and offer them the option of using two excess products.
That is, your premium  product and a low cost or budget product?
Low cost, because customers’ credit cards would be charged if they have an accident
and then they would have to make the claim through the insurer direct.

Instead of looking at it like eating into your market you could look at it growing the excess insurance market  (from less than 50% to say 75%) by offering the two products and become more endearing to your customers, and regulators to boot .

In the research I have done to date, there is not a car rental customer that I have asked about this issue that does not recognise it as the elephant in the room (or rental desk) .
Some car rental excess insurance customers comments:

Anyway, it seem to me that the winds of change are afoot here, in the context of excess cover,  (over the next 5-10 years) We all know what has happened to companies like Kodak, Fairfax, Sony (walkman), blackberry, and a  litany of incumbents that failed to see the writing on the wall until it was too late.

We had an article in the Age and SMH Traveller on Tripcover on the weekend just past:
Sherlock Cracks The Case

Anyway, thanks for your time and as usual any feedback would be much appreciated.
(it might be just interesting for us both to have this email on file over the next 5 years to see how close I was, after all it sounds far fetched today but then again that is the nature of change, I reckon)

Kind regards,

Des Sherlock
General Manager

Managed by Allianz Global Assistance

     Suite 243, 1B 192 Ann Street
Brisbane QLD Australia 4000

0417  712  601

Customer Comments:

Here are some of the comments from our latest customer survey, when asked about the high car rental company rates on reducing the excess:

“Great to see a product that’s been overseas come here. I think the excesses rental car companies charge are ridiculous and are just part of getting you to pay them more for the hire”
Suzanne N.

“Your policy provided me with the security of knowing I was covered if needed and will use it again. “
Bruce C.

Robert F.

“I never pay the high excess with the car rental companies. I have always purchased excess insurance as travel insurance with RACQ, until I got your information. “
Glenda L.

“They are ay too high. Your insurance is much better value. “
Donna L

“I usually have annual multi trip T.I. so this is the 1st time in several years that I looked for car hire only insurance. I am glad that I found your company,particularly as you are offering tyre and windscreen cover too. excess cover charges by car rental companies are exorbitant! “
David G.

“Your policy provides a good cost saving “
Keith M.

“The cost of the excess often determines which company I choose. “
Jim G.

Sherlock Cracks the Case

Smart Traveller article from The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald on Tripcover
July 7, 2012

Sherlock Cracks the Case
Desmond Sherlock is a thorn in the side of Australian car-rental companies. About six months ago, he started, the first insurer to specialise in car-rental excess insurance.

Car Rental Excess Insurance

“Our premiums are about a third cheaper than what you get with the rental companies,” Sherlock says. “Their insurance rates are usually from $22 to $27 a day to reduce the excess to $300. Our rates start at $9.30 a day.”

Sherlock says that some car-rental policies have excesses up to $6000. Of 6.8 million annual car rentals in Australia, between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of people opt to buy excess reduction.

He agrees many travel-insurance policies also provide car rental excess reduction, but claims his company (managed by Allianz Global Assistance) is the only specialist in Australia and soon hopes to offer an annual policy and expand to New Zealand.