Andre Stols, principal of Tcepma CC in Johannesburg, who has 41 years’ broking experience, believes that telematics accounts for 70% of trucking risk management – but it’s the other 30% where Highway Heroes really matters.
Hollard Trucking’s Risk Management Bureau, which uses telematics to track thousands of trucks daily, is “absolutely excellent” and has generated claims savings of about 15% for his clients, Stols says. But Highway Heroes addresses the human element of the transport sector.
“If you let someone develop [their skills], they will be good for you and your business,” Stols says. “Highway Heroes is a very good incentive for drivers.”
Mark Holdsworth, of Pietermaritzburg-based Clanfin, knows the transport and logistics industry well: he spent 21 years in it before turning to insurance.
He says Highway Heroes is transforming drivers and fleet owners alike. Drivers are being empowered by the competition, and their employers are increasingly seeing the benefits of better risk management.
“Now the mindset has changed. There’s been a lot more compassion between the two parties,” Holdsworth says.
For Holdsworth, the ultimate reward is “the transporters who have bought into the concept and have drivers who are better on the road, and who are happy”.
“We brokers really do believe in [Highway Heroes],” he says.
Aldus Becker, of PSG Insure Vryheid, agrees, saying the competition has given road users better insight into what truck drivers have to deal with. “We see the trucks and we don’t always know what the drivers are going through,” he says.
Becker says participation in Highway Heroes has “definitely” led to fewer accidents for his clients, mostly because drivers have a greater incentive to be cautious.
Paul Fernandes, of Pro Brokers in Johannesburg, was introduced to Highway Heroes in 2016 when it was still being staged by Regent Insurance (which was acquired by Hollard in 2017) – and the word was getting around about the competition.
“The immediate benefit was that transporters were hearing of this from other drivers, specifically about the prizes to be won. I took the opportunity, and moved some existing clients with other insurers to Regent,” he says, adding that one client was so impressed with Highway Heroes that he started his own, internal competition.
“I have personally – as a broker – seen the benefit for the clients. They have in turn become more aware of their procedures – to improved driver safety and fewer losses,” says Fernandes.
George Lötter, of Traxcom in Pretoria, who has been in truck insurance for around 30 years, says Highway Heroes is a unique programme that shows those who insure trucks or fleets with Hollard are “with the best truck insurer”.
“It helps the client to focus on risk management and it’s an incentive for drivers to perform. Hollard Highway Heroes is the type of value that other insurers don’t offer and, as brokers, we try to add value,” he says.