Industrial strength protection

National Transport Insurance (NTI) is building on its long history in the transport insurance market and expanding into mobile plant and equipment cover through its latest service – Yellow Cover.From humble beginnings working out of a garage in a small Brisbane suburb to becoming a national leader in truck and transport insurance cover, NTI’s story is an admirable one.

Over 42 years, the company has grown into a recognised and trusted heavy motor insurer for the Australian transport sector.

It boasts a variety of award-winning features, including its Accident Assist Program, and the fact that 99 per cent of its customers would recommend NTI to their associates, according to its Accident Assist Research.

Michael Edmonds, NTI’s General Manager – Sales and Distribution, admits NTI services a niche industry, but one within which the company has been very successful and continues to grow.

NTI already covers big firms in the plant and equipment sector. However, in 2015 it launched a new product that would expand its services even further.

At the end of April last year, NTI announced that it had acquired the mobile plant and equipment portfolios of Lumley Insurance.

Combining Lumley’s and NTI’s experience and expertise, the company developed its new proposition for those in the mobile plant and equipment market – Yellow Cover – which it launched that June.

Named after the eye-catching colour construction equipment is traditionally known for, and aimed at owner-operators, earthmovers or civil contractors in construction, mining and even agricultural sectors, Yellow Cover provides comprehensive coverage from the smallest mobile plant item through to the largest and most complex infrastructure projects.

Yellow Cover doesn’t just focus on the equipment in the business – it also provides cover for operators and drivers involved in the operation.

“Due to the capital from Lumley and the staff that came across, it gave us that expertise to do something special for this industry, and the scope to introduce it,” says Mr. Edmonds. “It was also the first time we went outside of our norm and we really wanted to prove we could do it.

“We were thinking at the time: ‘should we have done this earlier?’ I now know we should have,” he adds. “The response has been seriously good.”

The company retained 86 per cent of the customers from Lumley’s portfolios and the amount of business written under Yellow Cover in its first year were three times what NTI had predicted.

“It has been quite suitable for us to introduce – it’s exceeded our expectations and it shows how well the market has received it,” says Mr. Edmonds.

NTI prides itself on working with its clients and tailoring its products to suit them based on their feedback.

“Every year we go to our customers and ask two questions: ‘how are we going?’ and ‘what can we do better?’” he says. “From those interactions we’ve had feedback that helps us see exactly how our products are perceived and what they do for our customers.

“When we were developing Yellow Cover we went to a lot of customers and raised a few questions with them, including: ‘what would this do for you?’” he says. “It was developed using this feedback, so our clients basically came up with the concept themselves.”

The idea of introducing a mobile plant and equipment service not only broadened the company’s market scope, but also provided a very important element for its existing customers – choice.

Mr. Edmonds says NTI understands that many customers have more than just mobile plant equipment, and Yellow Cover provides cover for the trucks and trailers also involved in their business.

“You forget that these people have lots of trucks too. Now, we’ve got both sides of transport insurance covered in those regards,” he says. “We had some clients actually shift from our traditional truck coverage to Yellow Cover because it serviced their business better.

“It gives customers more choice, and we’ve built on that again to launch a refresh of Yellow Cover over the next couple of months,” he adds. “I think a lot of its success so far comes down to that choice and our tremendous claims service.”

To help deliver Yellow Cover, NTI has put an expanded team of experts in mobile plant and equipment insurance across Australia.

The specialist team takes control from the get-go, beginning with complete scene management and continuing to the day the mobile plant or equipment is back in service.

By continuing to listen to its customers, NTI is receiving more feedback as to how to improve its latest cover service. The latest addition to Yellow Cover is business interruption cover for when its clients’ trucks and trailers are off the road after an incident.

“We are niche, but we have to do what we do very well. If not, it’s like McDonalds not being good at making burgers.”

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