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Repairers and insurers talk shop

Insurers and bodyshops had an opportunity to explain their needs to each other during the annual Bodyshop Industry Conference last month.

In a presentation on behalf of insurers, Phil Brailey of Allianz Cornhill, Derek McMullan of Zurich and Phil Gledhill of Norwich Union discussed the importance of customer service and business practice for repair partners.

David Cresswell, chairman of the ABP Club, argued on behalf of bodyshops who believe their issues aren’t listened to. “It seems that the two parties in this industry are speaking two different languages,” he says.

The insurers agreed that great emphasis must be put on bodyshop staff behaviour, with professional attitude and regular communication with customers. “The way we behave sets the tone for the type of business we are,” says Brailey.

Cost control, timeliness, trust and diligence are also extremely important for the insurers, added McMullan. Stable, reliable repair networks give the insurer confidence that its repair volumes can be processed most effectively.

Cresswell responded that bodyshops need fair treatment and want to work with insurers and not for them. The relationship should focus on quality, satisfaction and customer service and not just be built on low cost.

“Most repairers don’t think that they are perfect, unlike many insurers who think they are,” adds Cresswell.

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