Obituary Bert Huffener

Monday 23 May 2016
Bert Huffener (1988) On 19 May 2016, at the age of 73 years, Gijsbertus Leonardus Carolus Huffener passed away in his home in Wietmarschen, Germany. He had been ill for a number of months. Between 1981 and 2007, Bert Huffener was one of the driving forces behind the professionalisation of the Dutch recovery sector.

After a career as commercial manager in the water sports sector, Huffener joined the BOVAG organisation, the Association of Automotive Traders and Garage Owners in 1981, where he became a firm advocate on behalf of the affiliated recovery companies. During that period, they had no sector organisation of their own.

Together with Bauwke Kamphuis of the Insurers Assistance Service (VHD), Huffener played an important role in the establishment of the national system of districts. This division of the market meant that each recovery company was allocated a precisely described operating area. In that area, the appointed recovery operator had exclusive responsibility for all recovery work carried out on behalf of the insurers. The districts mapped out at the time still exist to this day. Their allocation to recovery companies was liberalised in 1999.

In the years that followed, Huffener was involved in practically all important new developments in the sector. In 1989, he was jointly responsible for the establishment of the first, and for many years, only sector organisation for recovery companies, the Association of Recovery Specialists (VBS). He served as director of this organisation until his retirement in 2007.

Within the VBS, Huffener contributed to the establishment and expansion of the VVSN - the Netherlands Replacement Vehicle Service, a subsidiary of the VBS - which was able to supply stranded car drivers throughout the country with a replacement vehicle, from depots held by the affiliated recovery companies. In 2002, the VVSN was sold to the Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB.

After his retirement in 2007, Bert Huffener dedicated his time to his grandchildren and water sports. He was a sailing coach and motor boat driving instructor.

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