Another big up for women during this Women’s Month is that independent financial services business, the Apio Group, is expanding its insurance offering with the development of a trucking insurance division – and the division is being led by Sharné Liebenberg, a lady with over 12 years of experience in the trucking insurance industry having initially started her career in the claims department of a trucking brokerage.
She has worked as a senior account handler for a number of transport divisions within the insurance industry, notably Santam Heavy Haulage and Hollard Trucking and brings all this experience to the Apio team.
According to Richard Hood, co-founder and director at the Apio Group, Apio is always looking at expanding its in-house expertise by developing pockets of excellence in specific industry segments to serve its clientele. The trucking industry has been identified as one such segment.
“The greater reliance on road transport in South Africa and the growth of online shopping, due in large part to COVID-19, has resulted in significant growth in this sector. We believe this is the perfect time to expand our offering and are delighted that industry expert, Sharné Liebenberg, has joined the Apio team to plot this new and exciting course,” says Hood.
“I have joined the Apio Group to develop the trucking insurance division with the aim of building custom-built products and risk management services to provide the ideal solution for each individual client,” says Liebenberg, adding that the risks in trucking are unique and a specific suite of products and expertise is required to meet the increasing demands of these clients.
“The range of offerings will include both conventional as well as non-conventional products from market-leading, reputable insurers (both direct and broker-only insurers), ensuring innovative structures that fit the clients’ needs and cater for the company’s specific risk profile. The aim is to provide a holistic view of managing risk coupled with a sustainable insurance programme where the overall objective is to reduce the cost of risk over the longer term,” she says.
Liebenberg is passionate about trucking insurance and this passion comes across strongly when you talk to her. She’s like an excited steam train charging down the tracks. She also talks fast so you have to listen fast.
“It is about helping business owners understand their unique exposures and providing an adequate solution and not merely providing a cheap product. Whether they have a fleet of 100 trucks or only one – they deserve the same level of service and effort when it comes to handling their insurance portfolio”.
She reckons that the one thing she’s been taught from the start of her career is to tackle each challenge from the point of view of how she would like her own query to be handled.
While currently not part of any of the women in trucking forums, Liebenberg says that being part of these in the future will ensure Apio is firmly established as a player in the trucking insurance space. She applauds the various initiatives currently driven by original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) to train young female drivers, and financiers extending credit to female-owned trucking companies.
“I’m excited about the recent transformation in the industry with women playing more of a role in this sector” she adds.
From all of us at FleetWatch, we extend a big congratulations to Sharné on this appointment. The insurance sector is critical to truckers and as she says, there is far more to it than just providing the cheapest price. We’ll catch up with Sharné later to see how it’s all going as she steams down the tracks.