Fleet Auto News Caroline Falls talked with James Frape, Managing Director, Compass Corp., about his company’s work in providing accident replacement vehicles and accident management for fleets in Australia. Compass Corp. is 60 percent owned by Growth Fund, a business investor with some $400 million in managed funds and with stakes in GoGet and Homyped among others.
FAN: Compass Corp specialises in providing accident replacement vehicles for those damaged in accidents. How do you differ from hire car companies like Hertz and Budget?
FRAPE: Those companies are predominantly known as business and tourism hire car companies and they are very good at what they do. We came in and saw a niche in the market to be a specialist provider in the insurance sector. It’s a huge business in the UK, to the extent that Hertz bought a business very similar to ours.
FRAPE: We solely concentrate on the world in which people need vehicles after accidents. The others try to and do an okay job but they won’t necessarily deliver a vehicle to someone, whereas we deliver. As a consumer you are entitled to certain rights, so basically if you are in an accident and it wasn’t your fault you are entitled to be put in the position you were in before the accident occurred.
FRAPE: Only 13 percent of the Australian population know this. We are making customers aware of their rights which insurance companies don’t tend to do all the time. Insurance companies don’t like our industry because we are adding costs to their bill. We tend to get our business through the smash repairer, word of mouth, insurance brokers, dealers and manufacturers.
FRAPE: Then we pursue the insurance companies to recover the costs on behalf of our clients. Some insurance companies are great to deal with and some just go: “No, we don’t want to pay it,” so we have to litigate to get our clients’ money back. They might argue the customer could have gone into a smaller car, the customer didn’t need the car, or the rate should be $20 instead of $40. But people involved in no-fault accidents are entitled to go back in the car they were in pre-accident, but you can only claim at market rates.
FAN: You also have an accident management unit. How does that work?
FRAPE: We have Indigo Vehicle Solutions, which provides a tailored accident management program for fleets. The main benefit of accident management is cost control and risk analysis. We collect all this information from accidents and advise clients on ways to mitigate risk and reduce costs. We provide a conduit between the fleet and the insurance companies to aid both sides in being as efficient as possible. We sit in the middle and organise everything.
FAN: Can you give us some idea of the size of the market you are in?
FRAPE: We estimate there are about 100,000 accident vehicle replacements a year in Australia and that we help in about 35-40 percent of them. Our main competitor in the vehicle replacement space would be Right2Drive — they are owned by Eclipx. In the accident management arena, our main competitor would be Innovation Group.
FAN: So you are running your own fleet of vehicles? How big? What is the range of vehicles in the fleet?
FRAPE: We run over 2,000 vehicles, all sorts from a Yaris to a Porsche to a people carrier. We have motor bikes and vans. We have replacement vehicles for courier companies. We don’t have trucks. We have 18 locations around the country and a staff of over 300. We are open 24/7. If people call us before noon we guarantee them a car on the same day.
FAN: Do you gauge customer feedback?
FRAPE: We survey every single customer to see how satisfied they are and whether they would promote us to family and friends. We run an NPS (net promoter score) of 78. We do that because the service we provide is quite frankly amazing.