Direct Line is making a concerted effort for more accident repair business by stepping up TV advertising for third party repairs.
The ads, which have been running over summer, emphasise Direct Line's policy of seeking to repair third party cars if involved in a non-fault accident with one of its 3m policyholders. It is primarily intended to impress the non-fault policyholder into changing to Direct Line at renewal time, but also gives the insurer greater control over the claims process and related costs. The third party service has proved popular, achieving “encouraging” accident repair conversion levels and boosting business at Direct Line's approved bodyshops. A spokesman said: “We will contact the third party and offer to take their car to one of our approved repairers and deliver it back with the minimum of fuss. We are being more pro-active in this area.” He dismissed claims that Direct Line was incentivising its engineers to agree cash settlements with third parties in a bid to bypass potentially costly credit repairs. “We will always do the repair where possible,” he said. “We would only offer a cash settlement if the car had suffered previous damage that had been poorly repaired because we would not be able to guarantee the repair for the new damage.”