Read the links below for the full story on the entry of Cycle Claims Management into the bike trade, and the subsequent deal with the Association of Cycle Traders where the CCM service was offered to ACT members only.
£55 000 worth of claims have been processed by CCM so far, with another £20,000+ in the pipeline for imminent settlement. But with only 5 percent take-up, CCM could very well decide to get out of the bike market.
This would be a terrible waste, believes ACT president David Wilsher, who tied up the CCM deal after reading about the product on bikebiz.co.uk.
"The problem is that IBDs have become used to writing out insurance valuations and then waving goodbye, generally realising less than 10 percent of estimates issued," said Wilsher.
"Standard insurers practice has been to redirect cycle claims away from independents and towards national chains. IBDs are not equipped to deal with multi-national insurers, the claimant procedures are time consuming and administratively demanding, distracting retailers from core business. Insurers are looking for dedicated insurance administrators to ease their processes and although a few IBDs have invested in such operations some have latterly lost contracts and volumes, having to rebuild their business formats.
"ACT therefore signed up with CCM, an organisation with extensive experience of claims handling and established relatonships with all leading insurers, providing for quick settlement."
IBDs to have used the CCM service have been well satisfied but there aren't enough takers to make the service a viable concern long-term. So, to attract IBD takers, CCM is offering a ‘welcome aboard' rebate of £25 to all those non members of the ACT who join the ACT and sign up for the CCM service.
CCM handle the paper-work of all claims. There's a 10 percent management fee but, of course, it's better to have 90 percent of something than 100 percent of nothing.
The ACT claims that the CCM scheme secures insurance retention rates of over 90 percent.
Estimates are issued at full RRP. Cheques are issued to the IBD, with the customer having to use the shop to realise the credit. This service is free of charge to the customer.
"There's increased turnover for the shop, plus a chance to sell up," says Wilsher.
"It's a very simple system, one fax to CCM, they do all the rest. It's also a selling point for all new cycles, keeps your customers coming back."
Garland Cycles of Bristol has had four claims to date, all settled within seven days - one in less than 24 hours.
Steve Smith of Angus Bikes in Arbroath was amazed when his first claim was settled within five days:
“This is the first success I have had with insurers for years. My customer was delighted and actually chose a higher price bike as a replacement, yet I only had to pay 10 percent of the cheque raised. This is a fantastic service.”
Dave of Cyclesense in Tadcaster is also impressed by CCM:
"Since the scheme started, I have submitted six claims and these have resulted in cycle sales to the value of £5000 plus two personal injury payments of £75 each. This is income which I would have not seen before the scheme started.
"In the past, a customer would come in the shop, ask for an estimate to send to the insurance company, grumble over the £5 charge for administration and, in nine cases out of ten, we never saw the customer again. Now when customers come in asking for estimates, we ask whether they would like the claims handling on their behalf to ensure that they get bikes at the correct size, to their specification, and fully assembled by a qualified CyTech accredited cycle mechanic, including the accessories which usually went missing at the same time the bike was stolen. Inevitably the customer is delighted with this and the next step is as simple as sending a fax with the customers name,address, tel number, insurance company details and bike details to CCM and within a few days the cheque for the replacement bike is received through the post.
"Now every single insurance query results in a sale. What more can anybody want?"
ACT members can contact Cycle Claims Management on 0870 444 6856.