16 February 2024

'Distinguished Gentleman' brings his passion to work

| Katrina Condie
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Man on motorbike

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride unites riders of classic and vintage-style motorcycles from all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. Photo: @gallpix – Graham Gall Photography.

When you can combine your passion with your job, you’re onto a sure-fire winner – just ask motoring enthusiast Steven Farmer.

The Allinsure account executive discovered his love of prestige vehicles as a teenager and now spends most days working with the owners of classic, modified and exotic vehicles in and around Canberra.

Steven’s infatuation with luxury wheels is matched only by his enthusiasm for men’s mental health, and he is revved up to run this year’s ACT Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on 19 May.

The event unites riders of classic and vintage-style motorcycles from all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health.

After taking part in the ride for many years, and helping run it for the past five as part of his previous role with Shannons Insurance, Steven has stepped into the top job for the 2024 event, which he hopes will attract around 200 riders and raise more than $50,000 for charity.

man on motorcycle

After contracting COVID-19 and missing last year’s ride, Steven Farmer is looking forward to leading Canberra’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in May. Photo: Steven Farmer.

Last year he was Canberra’s top fundraiser, despite being unable to take part in the ride after acquiring COVID-19.

“I did still put my suit jacket and tweed cap on and sat on my bike in my garage looking and feeling pretty dreadful,” he laughed.

Steven is excited about this year’s event, which will kick off at the Dairy Road Precinct near the Allinsure head office.

He said the charity ride was a lot of fun and the Canberra event “punched well above its weight” on the fundraising scoreboard.

“I absolutely love the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. It’s for a great cause, it’s a really nice day and promotes a lot of really valuable conversations between people that might not normally open up,” he said.

“We dress up in our finest threads and ride around the suburbs of Canberra on classic motorcycles – it’s very classy and a real spectacle for the community.

“The ACT event is not just one of the biggest in Australia from a participation perspective, but the amount of money that we raise is incredible. We consistently raise an awful lot of money for a really good cause.”

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Steven said fusing his passion for all things motoring with his insurance career made life interesting all day, every day.

“My first job out of TAFE was working in a car dealership and that’s where I developed a real interest in working with cars, and started building and modifying track cars myself,” he said.

“Then I went into finance and insurance and, a couple of years later, started with Shannons, where I was dealing with classic, prestige and exotic vehicles all day long.”

Steven made the move to Allinsure 12 months ago, and now specialises in finding the right insurance company and policy for Canberra motoring enthusiasts, with many of his clients holding car collections valued at more than $10 million!

“It’s surprising how many huge car collections there are in Canberra,” he said.

“Owning a prestige car is becoming a much more common thing. If you rewind the clock 15 years, it was pretty rare to see a Ferrari driving around the streets of Canberra, but now you see plenty of Ferraris and Lamborghinis with ACT plates.”

He said valuing modified and restored vehicles was not an easy job, and his years of experience helped him come up with realistic figures for his clients.

“Valuations for insurance for souped-up cars, like you’d see at the Summernats, can be a pretty tricky process,” he explained.

“It’s not easy to put a value on a modified vehicle when most of the value is sentimental to the owner. It’s interesting and fascinating to be able to put a dollar value on someone’s hard work.”

He said many insurance companies were “tightening up” their policies, with some avoiding cover for anything other than standard, run-of-the-mill cars, so shopping around could be difficult and frustrating for the owners of prestige vehicle collections.

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“One of the biggest things is finding the right policy and the right benefits so, in the event of a claim, the insurer recognises the true value of the vehicle and selects a repairer who has the expertise to do the job right,” Steven said.

“We have access to a number of insurers that don’t deal directly with the public and that are specialists in dealing with classic, modified and exotic vehicles.

“Having a broker involved in the process is particularly helpful to ensure the insurance company and policy is fit for the type of vehicle. We step in to advocate for our customers and take a lot of the stress out of the process of hunting around.”

Steven can advise the owners of large and valuable car collections in Canberra on how to best insure their cars using multiple insurance companies for the best outcome.

Contact Steven at Allinsure to discuss insurance options with a fellow motoring enthusiast who knows his McLarens from his Bentleys and his spoilers from his bonnet scoops.

To join the ride or donate, visit Gentleman’s Ride.

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