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NBRA studies insurer and repairer relationships

NBRA studies insurer and repairer relationships

A new survey undertaken by the National Body Repair Association (NBRA) has found that the relationship between repairers and insurers is on a firmer footing, although there is still significant room for improvement.

Chris Weeks, director of the NBRA, said, 'The NBRA is encouraged to see that repairer feedback was fairly positive in our first Insurer Attitude Survey, which aims to look at the relationship between repairers and insurers.'

The survey was one of the main focuses for the association last year, and was designed to find a position for how the body repair industry perceives its relationship with the various insurers on a range of different business areas. The feedback will provide the sector with a better platform for constructive insurer discussions that will help encourage improved working relationships and terms.

When looking at the overall satisfaction about the insurer contract, no insurer scored above eight points, with Ageas the highest valued insurer with a rating of 7.58 points and Saga the least valued insurer with a rating of 2.44 points

Insurers fared the worst when asked how well insurers compensate repairers for providing their fault customers with mobility, with an average of 3.20 points. The survey clearly showed that repairers want to see an end to what is often described as a 'free' service, but in reality holds a significant financial burden for them.

Meanwhile, insurer profitably was a key area of concern in the survey with an average score of 4.50 points. Over the last decade, the overall RPI UK rate of inflation has been 31.8% and there is an argument to say that due to a shortage of skilled labour, bodyshops have seen even greater cost inflation. Over the same period labour costs on repairs has increased by just 17.3% and this is before any overall invoice discount has been applied.

Chris said, 'It is clear from our findings that repairers recognise most insurers value their customers highly and consumer safety is a top priority for them. However, the financial pressure that a lot of repairers are under, means that investment in equipment and training is a challenge. A reduction of that pressure would make future safety issues less likely.

'There is still scope with certain insurers to develop their relationships with their repair networks as some still fall well below average in many areas of the survey.

'We will now work closely with insurers and repairers and hope to see our comments and recommendations taken on board, and significant improvements across key questions in our next survey.'

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