Norwich Union ann-ounced last week that it will require its bodyshop partners to have the Kitemark by August 2008.
The announcement follows Esure’s recent decision to mandate that its repairers must adopt it by April 2008.
The decisions will prompt hundreds of bodyshops to push ahead with their Kitemark accreditation.
A source close to the scheme said: “Now we’ll see large numbers of repairers come on board as their insurers require it. We’ve already got Just Car Clinics and Howard Basford rolling it out to their centres.
“So far Nationwide Accident Repair Services has been sitting on the fence, but it’s a major repairer for Norwich Union so we’d expect it to go for the Kitemark next year.”
RBS Insurance, Zurich Insurance, AXA, Provident and Groupama are expected to follow suit in mandating Kitemark next year, with RBS putting emphasis on its own accident repair centres passing first before rolling out the requirement to its approved independent bodyshops.
So far 14 repair centres have gained the Kitemark, including one of Norwich Union’s Solus bodyshops.