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Insurer pressure prompts RMI environmental clamp down

Tough new measures to ensure vehicle body repairers are complying with environmental laws are soon to be announced by the RMI.

It follows assertions from insurance company Allianz Cornhill that some bodyshops could be avoiding total compliance just to save money or may be unaware of their legal obligation to implement environmental protection policies. The insurer has told the RMI it will not let its repairers dodge the regulations.

RMI bodyshop services director, Bob Hood, said: “Bodyshops have a clear responsibility to comply with the law. Insurers cannot be seen to be directing work towards quality repairers not complying with the law. So it is crucial that all repairers, especially those operating under the RMI QC repairers programme, adhere to current environmental legislation. The RMI's tougher QC inspection regime, to be released imminently, will ensure no non-compliant materials are being used.

“This issue will not be left by the wayside and will be brought up at the next Allianz Cornhill Consultative Group meeting. Moreover, I intend to take the whole subject of environmental regulation compliance forward to the QC Premier management team for its input. I will also be contacting the new environment minister in the next parliament to ascertain what the Government plans to do.”

Philip Brailey, manager of Allianz Cornhill's motor engineers unit, said: “Some bodyshops are alleging non-compliance with EPA regulations in the name of economic survival. Low labour rates have been cited as a reason for repairers not sustaining a proper environmental policy.

“Repairers must adhere to all current relevant legislation under the terms of our chosen standard, the RMI QC. Allianz Cornhill will not sanction the use of non-compliant materials. Any approved repairers found to be defying the law could be the subject of an investigation.”

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