FORD is launching Ford Fleet Accident Management in August, which will be available at no cost to SME van operators, even if their business vans are a mixture of Ford and non-Ford vehicles.
Ford Fleet Accident management follows the July launch of Ford Accident Management and is available to all new and used Ford commercial vehicle owners. The service is free of charge, whether the accident is at-fault or not.
“The potential to save money is immense. Accident assistance programmes can cost between £1.25 – £1.50 per vehicle per month; the Ford scheme is fee-free,” said Paul McDermott, Ford’s manager of collision repair.
“Small fleets running five to 10 vans will like it the most, I suspect, because it takes away the hassle of dealing with the aftermath of an accident,” Mr McDermott added.
What’s more, Ford is keen to stress that its accident management service is ethically driven, rather than being funded by insurance industry kickbacks that have recently been exposed by former Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, in The Times.
Following an accident, Ford owners can contact the Accident Management hotline, which will be run by the Innovation Group. The Ford owner will then be directed to have repairs carried out at their nearest Ford Accident Repair Centre. The use of a Ford courtesy vehicle may also be made available, including some refrigerated vehicles.
For business van managers running several business vans, if it’s a non-Ford van then it will be sent to the relevant franchise for repair.
Mr McDermott said: “We are pleased to be developing a fresh approach to accident management which will benefit our customers, our repair network and the insurance industry.
“There are no personal injury referral fees or kickbacks involved in our system – it’s an ethical model.”
Mr McDermott said that the free scheme would be funded by a 10% repairer fee paid by the Ford Accident Repair Centre to the Innovation Group. Ford Rental would also pay a fee to the Innovation Group for non-fault vehicle provision.
“It’s important to stress that neither we nor our partners make any money from personal injury (whether referral fees or any other revenue stream) and the administration fee for rental vehicles is very low compared to the credit hire fees charged under the existing business model for accident management,” Mr McDermott continued.
“We at Ford want to look after our customers first and foremost, Our medium-term goal is to reduce motor insurance claims and thus reduce insurance premiums.”