Specialist transport and trucking insurance brokerage O’Connor Warren is seeing a rising number of enquires as operators deal with the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
Director Eamon O’Connor says following the move from level 4 to level 3 on April 29, his office saw a record number of claims as the rush to get back to work was under way.
This involved around $1.5 million worth of claims for accidents and damaged loads over a period of just two days.
O’Connor says it’s the busiest he’s ever seen from an insurance point of view.
“We’re just spending the extra hours dealing with clients across the transport sector and supporting them and providing general advice, not just around insurance,” he says.
O’Connor says it’s “a real mixed bag right now” for transport operators. There are some businesses really struggling, while others are reporting record demand.
“When they are doing well it’s like record months and the downs are real down, so there’s lots of inconsistency across the various sectors,” he says.
Logging operations, for example, are now back up to speed following previous declines, although wet weather in areas such as the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast has slowed operations a bit, he says.
Some insurance companies have stepped up to provide support and reduced rates during the tough times though.
“It’s been interesting to watch … our biggest thing is making sure we’re available for the phone calls to provide support around any matter, that is key for us,” O’Connor says.
Government investment into infrastructure is starting to buoy certain sectors and provide some business confidence such as some of the larger crane operators.
Although not all sectors are feeling the confidence right now, any transport business involved in infrastructure should be picking up soon, he says.