Allianz Cornhill is to centralise its operations later this year at a national call centre as it bids to double the number of repairs carried out through its approved network.
The insurer, which has traditionally operated through brokers, aims to increase 'captured' claims and direct them towards its own network by promoting a central accident phone number for policyholders. It is also thought to be considering expanding the network of repairers in certain locations to meet the expected capacity.
Bob Hood, Bodyshop Services director for the RMI, who has helped Allianz Cornhill plan the call centre, believes the move has a longer term aim.
"With so many bodyshops disappearing, over the next five years there will be a clamour for quality bodyshops," he said. "Allianz Cornhill is building up a good network and relationship with repairers now so it won't be caught out further down the line.
"Allianz Cornhill recognises the importance of a good working relationship and is paying some of the best labour rates in the country."