The UK-based National Body Repair Association (NBRA) recently announced it is launching an investigation into insurer treatment of the body repair industry. The aim of the investigation is to understand which insurers act responsibly in true partnership with the industry and those that may be taking advantage of their power.
Chris Weeks, Director of the NBRA said, “In the last 20 years, the working relationship between insurers and body repairers has changed drastically. Originally, consumers selected their own car body shop, which estimated the time to complete the repair and charged what they thought was a fair rate following negotiations with a motor engineer. Over time, most repairers joined insurer networks with fixed contracts and regular work volumes, which worked well for both parties. Eventually, as insurer supply chain management became more advanced and repairers became so reliant on the work, the overall balance of power between the two entities has arguably shifted firmly towards the insurers.
“As a first step, NBRA is initially asking for members and non-member repairers to complete a detailed and confidential insurer attitude survey, which began in August, with the results to be collated by the end of September, depending on how quickly the NBRA gets a significant response back,” Weeks continued. “We have been liaising with representatives from the top insurers and our aim is to lobby and collaborate with them individually and work together in the interests of repairers to increase their long term prosperity, standards, and importantly, the ongoing relationship between the two entities. By working in a positive way and building on best practice already out there, we have already seen insurer willingness to engage, listen and change in a controlled way when presented with honest opinion. This is an important piece of work and we are calling on the whole repair industry to get involved.”
This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com