Lightning data is great.
And hail warnings all the more so!

The car dealer hail-warning-service of AIOI/Toyota Insurance Services Germany*.

Since 2014, AIOI/Toyota Insurance Services Germany has been obtaining high-precision thunderstorm warnings from nowcast.

AIOI is not concerned with the lightning itself, but with the hail risk derived from it by nowcast and the added value for insured car dealers associated with timely hail-warnings.

Nowcast’s unique 3D-lightning-location-technology makes the high reliability of hail warnings possible and provides AIOI-insured auto dealerships with a smart and clear recommendation for action in the event of potential local hail risk.

Robert Lieb, who has been with the AIOI and Toyota Insurance Services Germany for seven years, is the manager of the Commercial Unit and is constantly looking at ways to further optimize customer service and minimize hail damage. AIOI insures its customers (car dealerships) holistically in the areas of vehicle, building, liability and environmental damage.

Today, Mr. Robert Lieb is available for an interview to explain this interesting use-case for high-precision real-time thunderstorm data in more detail.

Nowcast: Mr. Lieb, how would you describe AIOI’s focus in the auto dealership sector?

Robert Lieb:

AIOI Germany, or Toyota Insurance Services Germany, has historically been the insurer for Toyota dealerships in Germany. In the meantime, however, we have opened up our popular services to car dealerships of other manufacturers under certain circumstances and are pleased with the growing popularity.

Our multi-risk policies protect our customers against elementary and existential damage and thus cover a major risk for car dealerships. In addition to the actual settlement of claims, a special focus is placed on our loss prevention services.

Because even if the insurance company can cover a concrete financial loss that has occurred, there are still portions of the loss that cannot be covered by the insurance company, such as image damage, loss of time, or even simply value-reducing portions of a loss that a car dealership is left with.

That’s why we put a lot of effort into optimizing our prevention offerings. One important component is nowcast’s hail-warning-service, because hail is a very high danger for car dealerships.

Nowcast: How did the collaboration between AIOI and nowcast originally come about?

Robert Lieb:

In 2013, the German insurance industry faced one of the worst hail years in a long time. As a direct consequence of this “hail year,” we at AIOI put hail prevention at the top of our list of priorities.

While we were already covered with a thunderstorm warning service from another vendor, the accuracy and reliability of that service just wasn’t good enough.

We set out to find an alternative that could deliver the quality and precision we needed, and came across nowcast. As an international company based in Munich and an established and highly acclaimed lightning data provider to respectable companies and government services, nowcast appeared to be a highly attractive provider of such services.

It quickly became clear that nowcast’s sophisticated, patented technology would enable the accuracy and reliability needed so that hail warnings would not cause displeasure among car dealerships due to inflationary frequency, bringing a whole new level of credibility to this service offering.

Nowcast: How do you describe the objective of nowcast’s hail-warning-service for your customers?

Robert Lieb:

Our objective as an insurer is clear: We want to send our car dealers a precise hail warning that allows them to protect as many vehicles as possible. The added value for the dealers lies not only in a lower loss ratio, but also and especially in high customer satisfaction and image impact. Just think how disappointed you would be, if the delivery of your new car was announced for tomorrow and this joyful event was then massively spoiled by hail damage. Nowcast’s hail warnings enable car dealerships to store and protect particularly expensive vehicles or those about to be delivered in good time.

Nowcast: Can you also present the service from a number’s perspective?

Robert Lieb:

Perhaps this much: on average, hail damage with normal hail intensity costs the insurance company about 1500-2500 €  per car (not including the damage to the dealer such as depreciation, etc.).

If a medium-sized dealer with e.g. 50 vehicles manages to protect 20% of his vehicles in case of a hail event by our timely nowcast hail warning, this quickly results in approx. 15,000-20,000 € savings for the insurance company due to hail damage not occurring. And the dealer himself saves about 250 to 500 € depreciation per vehicle and also parts of the deductible. Thus, for himself a good four to five figure amount in total. In addition, there is the excellent customer service, the avoided image damage as well as saved trouble and time.

Nowcast: What makes nowcast’s hail-warning-service so effective?

Robert Lieb:

Our former provider of thunderstorm warnings was unable to offer warnings of the quality and accuracy required to reduce them to an absolute minimum. After all, if such an alert is transmitted too often without justification, such a service all too quickly degenerates into a burden, is ignored and misses the target.

With nowcast, credibility could be brought back into the hail warning service and raised to a whole new level.

Different warning levels provide the car dealer with an optimal basis for decision-making without having to make meteorological assessments and interpretations himself. Fast, simple and precise.

Nowcast: How would you rate the cooperation with Nowcast?

Robert Lieb:

Here I can say without reservation: excellent! Since the beginning, we have had an extremely cooperative partnership with a direct line. Despite its global presence, nowcast is very close to the customer, takes care of customer requirements quickly and in a solution-oriented manner, and always puts itself in our perspective.

In daily business, the cooperation with nowcast is uncomplicated and pragmatic. And that is also important for this service to run routinely and reliably.

Nowcast: What is particularly important to you when working with service providers?

Robert Lieb:

As an insurer, you are naturally very sensitive when it comes to handling customer data. Here, the highest standards of data security and data protection are essential!

Nowcast is also a professional and reliable partner for us in these areas.


Nowcast: Can you recommend the Nowcast service to others?

Robert Lieb:

With the best of my knowledge and conscience! In my view, Nowcast offers innovative solutions, made in Germany, with a strong cost-benefit ratio!

The hail-warning-service we use is an ideal self-runner with high benefits for us and our customers.

Nowcast: Thank you very much for your time and the interesting insights!

*Risk Bearer: Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company of Europe SE, Branch Germany; Toyota Insurance Services (trade name of  Toyota Insurance Management SE) is active as an insurance broker

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