Blog: Getting a new perspective on prestige motor insurance

ERS Gumball Alex and Jonny

Team ERS completed Gumball 3000 and lived to tell the tale. Now it’s time to share their learnings for brokers.

Taking on the challenge of insuring, participating in and filming the Gumball 3000 rally was always going to be a mammoth undertaking, but Team ERS’s epic adventure across Eastern Europe proved more exhilarating and exhausting than they could have ever imagined.

“It was nothing like I expected”, says co-driver Alex Hardy, whose day job is sales director at specialist motor insurance firm ERS.

“The challenge of driving a Ferrari 430, which was basically unsuitable for most of the roads we drove on, for 10 or more hours a day, was extremely tough.

“It was hot, uncomfortable and tiring, but pushing through all this and getting to the end was amazing. The sense of achievement when we reached the finish was incredible.”

His driving companion, renowned motoring journalist and car enthusiast, Jonny Smith agrees.

“It was a huge challenge, we seemed to pack a month’s worth of experiences into a week.”

Even for Jonny, who has competed in many rallies before, Gumball was a class apart.

“It’s like a moving, colourful car circus that takes centre stage when it rolls into town,” he continued.

“I was blown away by the local reaction and attention it created.”

Car lovers
One of the reasons behind ERS’s decision to enter a team into Gumball was to get under the skin of the event and discover more about the car lovers and high net worth individuals taking part.

“Being on the inside, I feel I have a much better understanding now of the people and vehicles involved,” says Alex.

“I’ve also witnessed just how much these drivers care about their cars and the attention they lavish upon them.

“We experienced a tyre blow just a few kilometres from the end grid in Athens. Our standard recovery procedure would have been to tow the car to the grid, but having driven all that way and nearly reached the end, we were determined to find a replacement tyre and drive there ourselves.”

Adding: “For these enthusiasts, nothing is more important than driving, so it’s really made me think about our European Recovery Network and what the most appropriate response should be.”

ERS Gumball Alex and Jonny

So, is there such a thing as a typical Gumballer?

Both Alex and Jonny agree that there really isn’t.

“It attracts all sorts,” reflects Jonny.

“There are people there who want to show off, make a lot of noise and enjoy a few minutes of fame and there are others who just want the chance to drive their amazing cars and give them the freedom that they deserve.”

Alex adds: “At first glance, many insurers might shy away from some of the more colourful characters.

“But having met them and seen their passion, I know just how much driving their cars means to them and how protective they are of them.

“While on the outside it may seem an unbelievable risk, the expertise we have within ERS enabled us to see the event differently, as we would write the individual aspects anyway. To then be able to witness the rally from the inside as a participant only cemented this.”

ERS underwrote the motor policies on behalf of lead broker PK Partnership.

So, would ERS take on this challenge again?

“Absolutely!” enthuses Alex.

“Gumball and ERS share similar values in a passion for motoring and the joy of driving. We wanted to demonstrate how we differ from other insurers and you don’t get much more different than Gumball!”

To find out more about Team ERS’s adventure visit 

Catch up on the rest of the series

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have an Insurance Age account, please register now.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an indvidual account here: