First on the Scene: First Response, Powered by Bahamas First, Celebrates its 15th Anniversary
August 4, 2022
NASSAU, 2 August 2022 – First Response is celebrating its 15th anniversary as the first on-site accident assistance programme in The Bahamas. Launched on 1 August 2007 by leading general insurance provider Bahamas First, the programme was designed to provide on-location assistance at the moment of a motor vehicle accident and support throughout the claim and repair process. The service is offered at no cost to drivers whose vehicles are insured through authorized agents of Bahamas First.
The creation of First Response is a clear demonstration of Bahamas First’s leadership position in the insurance market and its commitment to create value for its authorised agents and their clients through innovative approaches to business. Fifteen years since its launch, First Response has become an industry-changer, redefining the way motor claims are handled locally and servicing thousands of accident scenes to coordinate tens of millions of dollars in automobile repairs and settlements.
“Back in 2007, we set out to provide a service that would offer a convenient and modern experience for the motoring public,” said Richard Darville, Bahamas First’s Vice President of Claims & Support Services. “First Response’s first-of-its kind process allows anyone insured with Bahamas First to receive relief and support immediately after the shock of an accident by leaving it to us to file their claim and organize towing, repairs, body work and other services. We are able to mobilize quickly to coordinate the otherwise time-consuming aftermath of an automobile accident and so over the last fifteen years, customers have been confident to give us a call, knowing that we will be able support them.”
The First Response team comprises five well-equipped and skilled motor engineers with vast automotive experience that qualifies them to complete critical on-site analysis of vehicle damage and assist with the smooth transition to a credible repair facility. Engineers are trained in accident reconstruction and have earned accreditations as vehicle damage assessors to ensure that they can provide accurate advice. The team has also had a wider positive impact on Bahamian society as a reliable source of aid and expertise to the Traffic Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Consultation and expert advice became an even more valuable resource when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered non-essential businesses in the country and changed the First Response on-site service model. “Up until March 2020, our leading-edge claims service meant being there in-person 100 percent of the time,” said First Response Claims Manager Travis Donald. “But when we got the call to shut down our vans, we knew that we had to be innovative and so we moved our services online. Through a heavier deployment of technology, our engineers were able to guide policyholders through the entire process just as if they were on the scene.”
The public’s rapid acceptance of a more technology integrated service has led First Response’s management team to retain a hybrid approach following the lifting of government’s pandemic-induced restrictions on physical gatherings. First Response now offers daytime onsite assistance with virtual helplines operating after hours. The company has been using this expanded reach to its advantage since April 2022to deliver exceptional service and assistance to Family Island policyholders. “From the initial call through towing, repair, and payment, we manage the process for our agents and their customers onsite and online,” said Donald.
First Response also interacts seamlessly with First Online, Bahamas First’s revolutionary self-service online insurance portal that allows individuals to get an instant quote, make payments, purchase policies and download documents. The integration also allows claimants to submit a claim online or through First Response and to track it through to settlement.
Donald added, “First Response changed the motor claims process fifteen years ago and now First Online has reinvented how Bahamians buy car insurance and manage their policies. What we share is the mutual effect of elevating the customer experience through innovation, expertise and professionalism. We came in with a unique product, developed it, and have now expanded. First Response has become a staple throughout the industry; we have gained the trust of the public and we’re here to stay.”
About First Response
First Response is the first on-site accident assistance service offered in The Bahamas by an insurance provider. Services include claim initiation, vehicle removal, vehicle repair estimate coordination, and expert advice from a professional First Response motor engineer. First Response is available 365 days a year at no cost to drivers whose vehicles are insured through authorized agents of Bahamas First General Insurance Company. First Response is a member of the Bahamas First Group. For more information, visit: https://bahamasfirst.com/first-response
About Bahamas First General Insurance Company
Bahamas First General Insurance Company is the first locally capitalized property and casualty insurance company in the Bahamian market and the largest P&C insurer in The Bahamas. It is the flagship company of Bahamas First Holdings Limited, a publicly traded company that carries out general and health insurance through its wholly owned subsidiaries in The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Since 1999, BFG has earned an AM Best financial strength rating of A- (Excellent). BFG is also the pioneer of First Online, the first full-service online insurance portal in The Bahamas. For more information, visit: https://bahamasfirst.com