A Very Strong Argument why you should not use an Insurance Company Approved, Recommended or "Discount" Repairer
By Mark Boret - General Manager, Fleetline Accident Repairs
The following article is a "case study" in the Reportage claims focus section of the March issue of Insurance Age magazine:
Anthony (not his real name) works in one of the largest chains of car body shops and has been in the industry for 20 years.
"Major insurance companies now have contracts with the big body shop chains where they spend a little more than £1 000 with every job and that is the payment.
"It is then up to the body shop to complete the repairs to the vehicle within this cost.
This is officially called 'the average repair cost'.
"It is a figure that the insurance companies say will balance itself out over the course of the year as they are supposed to send the body shop both large and small jobs with the smaller jobs being of course overpaid.
"In reality and with the greed of the insurance companies we find that most of the small jobs end up being sent to the other body shops with which they have no such contract leaving us with all the larger jobs.
"When we get sent for example a standard size job that costs in the region of £4 500 to complete and we are only getting paid £1 000 for it something has to give.
"Firstly as much as possible is repaired and not replaced. Most jobs are simply beaten back into shape and filled with body filler broken headlamps and bumpers are plastic welded back together and the absolute minimum is done.
"Vehicles that in the past would have had the chassis measured are now 'chanced' with only the very worst jobs being put onto a jig system.
"As you can imagine the vehicle body repair industry is basically turning into a cost-saving exercise."
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