Imagine a world where bodyshops no longer have to carry out estimates for insurance companies; instead, they are trusted to repair the vehicle correctly and for the right price.
Far fetched? Not according to Fortis, which says this will become reality with some of its approved network this year.
The company wants to revolutionise the bodyshop-insurer relationship to reduce costs, raise efficiency and, ultimately, give its policyholders an enhanced level of service.
Rob Smale, Fortis claims director, wants to sign binding, comprehensive five-year contracts with bodyshops, but claims that the sticking point has been the bodyshops themselves.
“Some are becoming more sophisticated and recognise that they have an opportunity to set obligations on me as a provider – that’s never happened before,” he says. “Five-year contracts are a two-way thing – there are obligations on both sides.
“But there’s a wonderful opportunity, especially when financing gets tight, if you can take a signed contract from the third largest insurer of cars in the county; it will open doors with bank managers. Now the insurer can walk away and so can the repairer.”
- Read this story in full in the 6 Feb 09 AM. To subscribe to AM magazine click here or call 01733 468659.