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Collision repairers rate AMI & Vero top commercial insurers

29 August 2011

Collision repairers rate AMI and Vero the top commercial insurers

Motor Trade Association (MTA) and the Collision Repair Association (CRA) say recent results from the national 2011 Collision Repairers Survey of Insurers shows that AMI Insurance and Vero insurance were rated the best commercial insurers, with specialist insurer, Medical Insurance taking first spot. Zurich, Pioneer and AA/SIS placed last.

The annual survey carried out by MTA and the CRA collects the views of 250 collision repairers on the service delivery of 16 different insurance companies around the country. Respondents were asked to rank each insurer in three areas; efficiency of claims processing, financial and customer relationship management and also provided insight into activities such as claim completion times, fairness of assessment rates and labour rates, fairness of parts, paint and other margins.

Medical Insurance, AMI, Vero/AMP, Lumley and FMG ranked in the top five out of 16 different insurers. AA/SIS, Zurich and Pioneer scored the lowest, however AA/SIS improved their standing upon the previous year. AMI’s second place result was considered impressive given the financial difficulties they experienced last year.

Feedback from collision repairers indicated that they are feeling the pressure of low pay rates. This could be associated with low margins on new parts, rising energy and business costs and retaining the same pay rates.

Dougal Morrison, MTA Advocacy and Training General Manager said it is important that the safety of motor vehicles or occupant safety is not compromised by low level repair practices that are sometimes geared at keeping the cost of insurance claims down.

“Collision repairers should be chosen based on their skill, service, knowledge and equipment technology they provide. Low estimates often use cheaper parts and leave off important operations needed to properly restore vehicles to pre-accident condition,” he said.

“An important feature of modern cars is the new level of safety design and the use of sophisticated materials designed for occupant safety.”

Neil Pritchard, CRA General Manager said low cost repairs and cheaper parts were usually not in the best interest of the customer. When you consider the safety issues involved in collision repair, and the considerable investment in the safety systems built into the vehicle, the value of quality repairs becomes clear.

“A modern, well equipped collision repairer represents an enormous investment in equipment, training and people. Insurers need to recognise this investment when setting payment rates,” he said.

“We would like to see vehicle owners being able to have a more informed involvement in the decision-making on who is repairing their vehicle and what kind of parts are being used on their vehicle.”

Pritchard also recommends that consumers looking for the best insurers ask their local collision repairer for a recommendation. They have firsthand experience with insurers and can generally provide the best insight and advice as to which insurer delivers the best service.


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