The company estimates that up to 1.5m people are eligible to receive non-fault credit hire services, which include like-for-like replacement vehicles and claims management. Last year, 250,000 did, and Helphire handled just over 100,000 of them.
Over the past 12 months more insurance companies have started to look at credit repair. Helphire chief executive Mark Jackson says around one-third are already using services, one-third are preparing to, while the final third are still refusing to get involved.
“But insurers are not the only route to market,” he says. “If customers go to the dealership then they have the opportunity to sell the credit hire service. There’s a race on between the dealership, the bodyshop, the broker and the insurance company to get hold of the customer. Brand loyalty and creating the experience is key.”
The Automotive Division Salesforce (ADS) will help the company to be as prominent with body repairers and dealerships as it is in the insurance sector. A field team is being employed, likely to total 50 later this year, to sell Helphire’s services to potential customers, offering commission for referrals.
ADS is expected to bring in 20-25% of group volumes, which are this year forecast at 140,000 cases.
“We can organize an estimate for a dealership without a bodyshop and put the work through their subcontracted bodyshop so the dealer holds the customers, but we manage the repair,“ says Jackson.
“We also have an estimate conversion service for dealers who have their own bodyshop where we chase up estimates and try to convert the customer.”
Helphire is also working on an estimate request service where a call centre handles the claims process as part of a branded service for a bodyshop or dealer.