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esure's recommended repair network launches with 'transparent' contract

esure's first recommended repair network will launch on 1st December 2003, initially with 14 repairers, many of whom have collaborated in the design of both the contract and systems that form the basis of the network arrangements.

The company – which intends to expand the network to over 150 repairers within the next year - has developed a new 'transparent' contract and a bespoke web-based management information system which will form the basis of an enhanced relationship with the network.

The esure repairer contract will give greater control to repairers by enabling them to make informed choices about the repairability of cars and the use of OE or non-OE parts in individual cases. The structure of the contract is the result of several months of discussion with six repairers who have contributed to the new approach.

The contract will also standardise the charging on aspects of the repair process which are often contentious in the insurer/repairer relationship - such as Wash & Vacuum, de-nibbing, road testing and EPA compliance. These will be paid in addition to the standard labour rate. By allocating fixed prices this will remove negotiation friction between esure and its repairers, while cutting administration time in the process.

esure's standard parts discount will be 12%, with the company accepting OE retail prices even where non-OE items are used in order to improve the repairer margin. This will enable repairers to balance the elements of parts discounts and labour rate to the best advantage of repairer, customer and insurer. It will also help to increase the number of borderline-repairable cars that are repaired.

The creation and management of esure's network has been undertaken by John Pritchard, esure's National Technical Services Manager.

Gordon Hannah, esure's Head of Claims, said: "Our vision is to give a better balance of power to the repairers we work with by giving them more control over the repair process and the choice of parts, with incentives to repair rather than replace.

"We have built new web-based systems which will speed information flow and payment for participating repairers. We have also introduced a unique contract for this industry that creates a true business-to-business relationship between insurer and repairer, free of friction and common points of conflict.

"esure intends to build a network which is based on mutual respect and understanding – with those qualities hardwired into the relationship."

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