Allianz Truck Warrior – roadside assistance/towing for goods vehicles up to 7.5t with a RM120 policy add-on

When it comes to vehicle breakdowns, there’s no distinction to a vehicle’s size. Most people are familiar with tow trucks and the scope of assistance they provide when a mishap or breakdown happens, but this is usually from a passenger car viewpoint, simply because the numbers make it the most visible.

Less noticed is that involving commercial vehicles, specifically goods-carrying vehicles, but with around 670,000 of these plying the roads nationwide, you’d expect that there would be quite a number needing roadside assistance of some form, at some point.

While breakdown services are available for them, it’s usually done on an ad-hoc basis, with costs having to be borne by the truck/lorry operator or owner, and this can be an expensive affair. As such, the idea of offering dedicated roadside assistance coverage for goods-carrying vehicles on a 24/7 basis should sound like welcome news to commercial vehicle operators.

The neat thing about this is that it won’t cost the earth, not when it is an extension of an insurance coverage on the vehicle. That’s precisely what Allianz General is offering with its newly-launched Allianz Truck Warrior, a supplemental benefit programme for its goods-carrying vehicle comprehensive policy holders, much in the same vein as that provided by its Allianz Road Rangers for cars and motorcycles.

Allianz Truck Warrior – roadside assistance/towing for goods vehicles up to 7.5t with a RM120 policy add-on

Through a mere RM120 add-on on top of an Allianz goods-carrying vehicle comprehensive insurance policy, policy holders opting for the Truck Warrior supplementary coverage are eligible for roadside assistance up to three times a year.

This includes towing for goods-carrying vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes for round-trip journeys of up to 100 km, which are provided by Allianz’ own dedicated fleet of tow trucks. The extension also covers on-site repair service for breakdowns, as well as a flood relief allowance of up to RM5,000 per flood event.

The company says that the RM120 per vehicle extension more than pays for itself, should the untoward happen. “The cost of a breakdown is not cheap. If you don’t have such coverage assistance, towing will cost anywhere from RM450 to RM900 on average, which a customer would have to pay for out of his own pocket. As for minor roadside repair, aside from parts, the labour could be around RM400,” said Allianz General deputy chief sales officer Sazali Abdul Rahman.

The idea behind the Truck Warrior service is to offer potential cost savings to commercial operators in the event of a vehicle failure. “In terms of coverage, motor insurance is usually the same, whichever company you buy a policy from. Allianz has come up with something that makes us different, which is a service you cannot get from others,” he explained.

“We are the first insurance company in Malaysia to develop such a service, not just for cosmetic purposes. We believe this will really help goods-carrying vehicle owners to get coverage in the event of a breakdown and for minor roadside repairs,” he added.

To qualify for Truck Warrior coverage, the insured goods-carrying vehicle must fulfil the following criteria – it has to have an ‘A’ and a ‘C’ permit with comprehensive insurance cover, be up to 7.5 tonnes in gross vehicle weight (BDM), and the truck must be no more than 20 years old, Sazali explained.

At the heart of the Truck Warrior service is the company’s fleet of 80 tow trucks, of which 50 are located in Peninsular Malaysia and 30 in East Malaysia. These consist of specially-outfitted Scania P380s with heavy-duy winches and truck-mounted cranes, with lifting capacities of 8.5 tonnes to 10 tonnes, depending on vehicle. Each truck is manned by two personnel, a driver and an operator.

While 80 tow trucks for the whole country doesn’t sound like much, Sazali said the company is very confident that the number of vehicles are more than sufficient to provide coverage based on the portfolio that it has, stating that not every breakdown will require the need for towing services.

“When someone calls to say there is a breakdown, we will usually dispatch our Bike Warrior motorcycles to the location first to find out what the issue is. It has been proven that the bikes get to the scene very quickly, and so they are very efficient in determining what action is required.

If say it is a dead battery, and that can be replaced on site, then we will replace the battery, and so there will be no need for a tow truck. I would say not many (breakdown) circumstances will require a tow truck,” he said, adding that should the fleet require more vehicles, then these will be added.

The motorcycle units, of which there are 50 stationed around the Klang Valley alone, don’t just serve as advance units in a call-out, they also provide an official Allianz presence should any opportunistic party, or callman, present themselves.

Despite just being a few months in (it was launched in January), response to the add-on has been positive, according to Sazali. “Since it was introduced, response has been very positive. The numbers right now are very encouraging – we can see very good traction in the attachment rate to the extension,” he said, adding that a more complete picture of numbers and percentages will shape up when the six-month mark is reached.

Allianz Truck Warrior – roadside assistance/towing for goods vehicles up to 7.5t with a RM120 policy add-on

Not surprisingly, the company says that it has also seen an increase in insurance policy take up since it began offering the extension. “This is because there’s no such other service out there. It’s a bold step taken by an insurance company to have tow truck roadside assistance on this level,” he stated.

Sazali reiterated the point about Allianz continuing to distinguish itself from others through Truck Warrior. “It’s quite common when you talk about motor insurance, be it for private cars or motorcycles, and now, goods-carrying vehicles, that you can purchase it anywhere. There’s really no difference, save maybe in cost of the premium.

Otherwise, coverage is more or less standard, but what makes the difference in say, company A or company B, is the service, not just in terms of claims and how fast and efficient they are, but in the level of service they provide, and through unique value-added propositions such as this. These are the things that we put in to make sure we are different,” he said.

Put together in under a year, the Truck Warrior programme completes the portfolio of insurance add-on extensions offered by Allianz – it now covers cars, motorcycle and goods carrying vehicles in comprehensive fashion.