Previously, Fortis had 112 repairers and 54 contracts. Now it has 135 repair points – many of which are new – following agreements signed with 88 companies, chosen from 686 applicants.
Fortis calls the appointed bodyshops ‘solution centres’, though the term is unlikely to be displayed, and promises they will deliver “an extraordinary customer experience”.
Rob Smale, Fortis Insurance claims director, says: “We chose the terms because we want to transform relationships with customers, both in the standard of work, and the way claims are handled.
“Some of our former repairers were disappointed not to be chosen in the first phase but we hope to work with them in the future. We are looking for long-term relationships with repairers, which is in their interests – because of investment in equipment – and ourselves.”
Contracts range from 12-month agreements to five-year commitments.
Smale says that during the recruitment process, he was looking for “a new way of doing things”, something that would revolutionize the sector in much the way EasyJet did in the airlines industry, but did not find it. He did, though, find “the seeds that might grow into something”.
Fortis wants to increase business by cutting out unnecessary costs for its bodyshops, their customers and itself. It claims to be the UK’s third largest insurer of private cars, covering 1.4m vehicles.