Co-operative Insurance has joined forces with 3M to cash incentivise the repair of its plastic parts rather than their more costly replacement.
Repairers within the Co-op’s network who choose to repair a plastic part get a cash incentive equating to 50% of the cost of the new part.
So, if a repairer decides to repair a bumper with a £260 RRP, the Co-op will credit the repairer £130.
Another plus-point for bodyshops is that they can sell more labour hours without having to wait for any parts to turn up.
A spokesman for Co-operative Insurance said: “We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible.
“If a repairer identifies a damaged plastic component that would normally have been replaced due to having a split, crack or bracket broken off, then we will pay 50% of the cost.
“Once agreed and authorised by the image or field engineer the repairer includes the 50% plastic repair charge as a separate line on their invoice to the Co-op so they don’t have to claim it retrospectively.”
It has chosen 3M’s range of plastic repair products for the initiative.
The Co-op has only just started to collect information on the amount of plastic repairs its bodyshops are doing.
However, it is hoping to benchmark figures in the coming months in order to give feedback to repairers.
When asked why plastic repairs needed incentivising in the first place, the Co-op spokesman said: “It’s always been one of those taboo subjects.
“Historically, early plastic repair products and techniques perhaps were not that successful but plastic repair technology has moved on and has now made it possible to repair in terms of quality, speed and longevity of the repairs.”
One repair industry analyst said: “There’s nothing really new in this. A number of insurers have been doing this or something similar for years. However, it is a really good idea as the insurer saves money and the repairer should easily make more money as well.”