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Fortis scoops initiative award

Fortis Insurance has won best claims initiative at the British Insurance Awards for its Solutions Centres initiative, which reduced repair costs and waiting times and improved customer satisfaction during 2007.

Since August 2006, the partnership-led scheme with its 139 bodyshops, known as Fortis Solution Centres, had allowed them more autonomy during repairs, said claims director Rob Smale. This included pre-approval of work.

Instead, repairers are visited individually to discuss ways to improve efficiency, reviewing longer-term progress rather than single repair jobs. This has helped cut administrative costs.

The centres are encouraged to tailor their service to their area, giving a more customer-facing approach to claims. The insurer is also encouraging body-shops to repair rather than replace where possible, helping to reduce average claims costs.

According to figures from Audatex, this resulted in repair costs that were lower than the industry average.

On average, customers’ cars were repaired eight days earlier than the industry norm. This has had a marked improvement on customer satisfaction.

Complaints have fallen from 5.92% to 4.71% bet-ween April and December, against a 14% rise in cases put through to the repairer network.

Smale said: “We’ve gone to a lot of effort to create Fortis as a company repairers want to work with. When there’s goodwill in the network, there’s less attrition and a better working relationship.”

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