Specialist motor insurer joins the Gumball grid to get a driver’s eye view of customers
ERS goes an extra 3000 miles to really understand what drives their customers’ passions
Not content with insuring the drivers in this year’s Gumball 3000 rally, ERS, the largest specialist motor insurance syndicate in Lloyd’s of London, has announced that it will be entering a team into the iconic motoring event. ERS Sales Director Alex Hardy will be joining the starting grid alongside his co-driver and self-titled “car pervert”, Jonny Smith, best known for his work on TV series Fifth Gear. In their Ferrari 430 Spider, both drivers will gain a unique insight into the world of this group of prestige motor enthusiasts and what drives their passions.
The rally, which is in its 19th year, kicks off on 1stJuly in Riga, Latvia, and will reach a global audience of 100m households in 60 countries, as well as a live crowd of well over 1m en route. Alex and Jonny, along with 140 high-value, high-performance supercars – valued at an estimated £30m – and a host of celebrities and car fanatics, will begin their 3,000-mile adventure, driving on public roads through 10 countries and finishing up one week later in Mykonos, Greece.
Alex is about as far from a typical Gumballer as its possible to get. A senior insurance executive by day, he’s more used to helping ERS’s broker clients find the right motor policies for their customers’ individual requirements than sitting behind the wheel of the specialist cars he helps insure. He explains:
“I’m relishing the chance to temporarily switch from the business end of motor and trade my usual suit for Gumball attire and experience first-hand the thrill our customers feel when driving these exotic cars. I’m sure I’ll gain some fantastic insights into their world, that I can apply in my role in our business and with our broker partners when I return. I’m proud to be working for an organisation that has the capability and desire to cover an event of this scale where many others could not.”
Alex’s ‘Team ERS’ co-driver, Jonny Smith, is a seasoned global road tripper, taking part as both a driver and a journalist. Possessing a passion for motoring that spans all kinds of eras and genres, when Jonny isn’t writing about or reviewing cars for print media or online video he’s building them too – including a classic car in which he set a new record for world’s quickest electric vehicle in 2016. He notes:
“Taking part in Gumball has always been on my bucket list and I’m delighted to be working with ERS to bring the sights and sounds of this incredible spectacle to a new audience. Introducing Alex to the world of ultra-high performance vehicles from a driver’s perspective will be a highlight in itself. I am confident by the time we arrive in Mykonos he’ll be a true car fanatic and understand exactly why this eclectic mix of cars, drivers and spectators adore this event so much.”
Underwriting the Gumball motor policy, available through independent insurance brokers, PK Partnership, has involved months of painstaking research into the potential challenges and risks involved. The policy starts the moment each car hits land in Riga and continues until they leave Mykonos. To provide the best possible customer service, ERS claims specialist, Matt Gray, will be on the ground for the duration of the rally, ready to deal personally with any claims matters that should arise to help keep Gumball entrants on the road and give them the required support when they need it the most.
ERS is the UK’s largest specialist motor only insurer underwritten by Lloyd’s and rated A+. For over 70 years, we have worked directly with brokers to provide bespoke cover for their customers’ specialist requirements.
For these customers’ their vehicle is often at the centre of their livelihood or passion, giving rise to different or specific needs that cannot be met with one-size-fits-all insurance. At ERS we recognise and embrace this difference; it is why we employ teams of underwriters who are experts in their field to understand each risk individually to provide the ideal cover and it is also why brokers have told us that they trust us more than any other insurer with a specialist motor risk.
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