Mon | 13.12.2021
Winter is almost here and paired with the Christmas holiday madness this can mean only one thing – the road incidents are at a rise. Keep on reading our interview with Dan Toma, Manager of Autonom Assistance, part of Autonom Group, if you want to learn how to protect your company’s car fleet in case of any unforeseen road events, lower the costs and stress levels.
What do the statistics tell us about road accidents in winter?
The challenges and risks to which traffic participants are exposed increase significantly in the cold season. A report by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) shows that on the roads of Romania, in 2020 - January, February and December - no less than 5672 accidents and in 2019 no less than 6308 accidents took place in the winter months.
What is interesting is that the number of insurance claims opened in winter is lower than in the rest of the year, but the damage is generally bigger which indicates a more severe series of incidents due to unfavourable weather conditions.
What is the impact on a company when a car from the fleet it is involved in a car accident?
Unforeseen events on the road can arise at any time and the larger fleet you have, the more common these situations are. For any business, a broken car leads to financial losses caused by the immobilization of the vehicle in the repair shop and unexpected costs that were not budgeted. Accidents are never planned, and they always cause interruptions in activity, having a direct negative effect on the business since the fleet is one vehicle short. Especially in the coming period of holiday rush, these immobilizations can be even more stressful, and adding the present environment, where finding a rental car became harder and more expensive because of the delays in delivery of new cars, due to the shortage of semiconductors.
To put it into numbers, if a Skoda Octavia is immobilized for 7 days in service for repairs following a road accident, in order for a company to benefit from a comparable vehicle, it should pay around 500 euros for car rental. Usually, the car rental is the fastest solution for such situations, but few know that this cost can be borne by the insurer, based on the RCA policy of the car at fault, and the claim can be submitted straight by the rental car company in the owner’s name.
What are the challenges for companies in the actual context of suspending the City Insurance Company’s license?
What we see as a direct result of City Insurance situation is that the process of filing and solving the claims, they manage is more prone to delays and headaches caused by the bureaucracy. This means that the drivers face a risk of immobilization of the vehicle in service for a much longer period. This on the other hand puts additional pressure on companies and also individuals to find quickly available and reasonably priced mobility solutions.
From your experience, is the car replacement a well-known solution for drivers?
Unfortunately, there is still a general lack of awareness in Romania about the right to claim a replacement vehicle in case of non-fault accident even though the settlement option based on the third party-liability (TPL) insurance policy has been around for a long time. Based on our own estimates, only a small minority of drivers, little above 10%, is claiming this right.
How can Autonom help the client in this context? What are the benefits?
Our team of consultants is ready to help companies to maintain mobility with on spot solutions or tailor-made fleet services and optimization of the cost. What is important is that we offer integrated mobility solutions with a large spectre: from consultancy in case of damage, replacement car, road assistance, guidance in submitting a claim, and even relocations services for your car. With Autonom solution, the need for mobility is covered immediately without costs, that being settled directly with the insurance company of the driver’s fault. What is important to underline is that we offer a car similar to the damaged one, without restrictions in terms of milage within Romania, and without any other deposits, taxes or fees.
What are your key recommendations for drivers in winter?
First and foremost, adjust the speed and slow down. Drive at a speed at which you can safely control your vehicle. Never use cruise control on wet or slippery roads. Look at least 15 to 20 seconds ahead and slow down if the visibility is reduced because it takes longer to slow down on icy roads. Always accelerate and decelerate slowly. Be particularly careful when approaching ramps and intersections because these are the places where the traffic generally becomes more congested. Make certain you have the right tires for the season and that are properly inflated and have plenty of tread, and in case of longer trips, always make sure to have at least half a tank full. Save our contact no., 021.9111 you never know when it might be useful.
This article was provided by our Mobility Partner, Autonom.