Angry repairers have condemned Zurich Insurance for refusing to make labour rate improvements to approved contract terms following this year's assessment.
The decision, which disregarded recommendations from the Motor Vehicle Repairers Association, was taken due to “intense pressure” to control repair costs, said the insurer.
In a letter to repairers, motor engineering network manager Charles Long claimed Zurich was concentrating on enhancing relationships with approved repairers by increasing work volume and speeding up payment cycles.
“At this stage I cannot offer any prospect of a review to the contract terms,” he said.
The MVRA, negotiating on behalf of its Zurich-approved repairers, distanced itself from the insurer's actions. Mike Monaghan, MVRA managing director, said: “This decision was not supported by the MVRA. We strongly recommended an increase in the labour rate.”
He urged repairers to write to the association setting out their position on the new contracts and specifying areas where operating costs had risen since the last review.