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Insurance mergers blamed for 'chaos'

A leading industry expert has hit out at the insurance companies whose mergers have caused chaos in the bodyshop industry.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous, blamed insurers for creating confusion over approved repairer contracts, the terms of which are often rejected after a merger.

“A classic case is CGU, who just don't seem to know what they are doing,” he said. “An engineer can call at the premises and, depending on whether the policy was taken out with General Accident before the merger or with CGU after, will offer different terms and conditions. At the moment they are not even settling invoices until 70 days after the repair. It is extremely difficult for repairers to work under these conditions as we never know where we are.”

The source rapped insurers for “continually shifting the goal posts”, particularly with regard to estimating systems. “Eagle Star used to insist on using Audatex estimating systems, but since the take-over by Zurich they now specify Motex,” he said. “We have invested a lot of money in one system just to be told it's no good anymore.”

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