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Insurance companies and accident repairs

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I have a major gripe with how insurance companies treat their customers 'behind the scenes'.  It is a natural assumption to think that after an accident, your insurance company will pay for the full cost of repairs done by the body shop, but sadly this may not be the case any more.

Here's a brief explanation of how the accident repair process works to the best of my knowledge.  Major insurance companies now have contracts with body shops whereby they send a little over £1,000 with every job, and that is the payment.  It is then up to the body shop to complete the repairs to your vehicle within this cost.

I think this is officially called 'The average repair cost'.  It is a figure that the insurance companies say will balance itself out over the course of the year as they are supposed to send the bodyshop both large and small jobs, with the smaller jobs being, of course, overpaid.

This might work out well on paper, but in reality, and with the greed of the insurance companies most of the small jobs would end up being sent to the other body shops with whom they have no such contact.  I suppose it's understandable as they wouldn't want to pay their £1,000 contracted cost for a £200 repair job.  However this leaves the original body shop having to fully absorb the cost of any repair.

Car repair body shop Now think about it.  If they were sent, for example, a standard size job that costs in the region of £4,500 to complete, and only getting paid £1,000 for it, something has to give.  Firstly, as much as possible would be repaired and not replaced.  This is because the cost of every single new part comes directly out of the £1,000 cost.  Could it be that most jobs are simply beaten back into shape and filled with body filler, broken headlamps and bumpers are plastic welded back together and the absolute minimum is done?  Basically, as you can imagine, the vehicle body repair industry must now be turning into a cost saving exercise.

...have slipped right back to the bodging 70's again

I personally think the whole process is disgusting.  People pay a lot of money for their insurance policies and the least they expect is a decent job done on their vehicle if they ever need to make a claim.  We are living in the 00's but have slipped right back to the bodging 70's again, and its all due to the greed of the insurance companies.  We are not talking about the smaller insurance companies here, but the main names (I'm sure you know who we're talking about!).  No wonder they can offer such cheap insurance.

By: Andrew


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collar

collar

Although, what I don't understand is why insurers assume you have to be odd to want a Proper job done on your pride and joy.

I too worked in a body shop, though my job now is a more hands on one. I wouldn't consider anyone odd for wanting a decent job doing on their motor car what they want to do is shop around perhaps, whether it be dealing with the insurers or garage.

I know a few people who work in the insurance department at our local brokers and they are far from cheap skates, they have the most responsible sense of work ethic and are a right honest bunch.

I too can't understand the need to cut corners at repair shops. If people want to see quality, parts and hard-working people, why don't they watch a welder or even a panel beater in the City. If I have to drive an accident damaged car then I keep my hands straight ahead upon the steering wheel. I've been in many situations caused by repairers not watching what they are doing and going on tea breaks ahead of time and causing another bodge up.
collar
22nd Aug 14 07:08

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idleise

idleise

My car is in the bodyshop at this moment due to some guy who rear ended me at traffic lights last week. I'm rather worried now reading all this! Not only would the value of the car come down because of an accident but having a rubbish jb done too is going to make my car worthless. Its so unfair, especially when it's not your fault.
idleise
21st Aug 14 03:08

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sprayman

sprayman

Hi there couple of years ago i worked in a big repair shop and the repair work done to customers cars was to a very high standard to my disgust the average repair cost started to creep into our garage there is a fine line between cutting costs and customers getting value from there insurance policy unfortunately my boss would not drop his standards and he was the one who eventually lost out when the business went down.its about time more people were told about this as i think more people would not use these insurance company's and this seems to be the trend with good body shops closing every week this my opinion someone who has worked for 31years in the motor trade and have never seen it so bad
sprayman
2nd Nov 13 08:11

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anon

anon

@gregg. The simple answer to both parts of your post is, No, unless you are the chairman of the insurance company.
anon
11th Mar 13 11:03

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gregg

gregg

hi
somebody went in to my brand new car yesterday and they have accepted liabilty. my door and the arch near the wheel is dented. nothing major. but the car barely did over 50 miles. now instead of getting the car repaired i want new parts to be fitted or even better can i demand another brand new car?
gregg
11th Mar 13 05:03

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Mr Ripped Off

Mr Ripped Off

Have any of you actually looked at what the paint shops charge, just been quoted £550 for the labour charge on a one wing spray job.
This is a shop who work with all the insurance companies and the actual cost will be a fraction of this, yet the insurance company are happy. Funny how the owner drives an Audi R8.
I don't believe a word of the original story, the major paint shops rip everyone off but the insurance companies don't care because they pass the cost on to you and me. Its what the crooks call a victimless crime but really its against all of us!!!
Mr Ripped Off
31st Jan 13 04:01

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Darren

Darren

Best thing to do Is buy an extra product which covers you for genuine parts and labour at your local dealer centre I did for Audi only £40 extra for year
And like the last comment the insurance company only agrees to pay out when they know legal court proceedings are guna happen
If you go to ombudsman it's the company between £250 to £200k
Just for the consumer to enquire
If any things breached then company could be looking at £m fines and brand damage
Darren
10th Jan 13 01:01

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mrs m zafosnik

mrs m zafosnik

Why are rbs car insurance engineers allowed to abuse their position by using rbs computers to get credit checks on people that are not even insured by them is this not a abuse of their postion plus breaking data protection regs then to add insult to injury they then go about telling anyone that will listen all about your personnel details.
mrs m zafosnik
13th Nov 12 09:11

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rossi

rossi

Looks like Nationwide could be doomed as Just car clinic are now growing fast and getting
their contracts R.B.S and lots more the rate £ 21/ £22hr Lookes like panel beaters, painters have to work faster and harder
rossi
30th Sep 12 05:09

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Phatguy

Phatguy

So thats another 5 or more small to medium sized bodyshops that have shut down in London alone this year :( Victims to the Bigger shops that have stolen all the insurance work through the disease that is fixed price repairs/Average repair!!. Just hope that the remaining shops cling on long enough to see the big boys explode leaving the insurers trying to rebuild the burnt bridges that are not there anymore.. R.I.P to the fallen!!!
Phatguy
13th Sep 12 04:09

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Doneitnow

Doneitnow

I have just come back fro going to pick up my car after a non fault claim, I was quoted for a new door and cill and the rest to be repaired etc, I was told there was no way they would repair the door as it would be a bodge, I was pleased about this as I did not want the door repaired and made it quite clear to the body shop. Anyway the car went in for repair they waited a week for the third party engineers to visit which they did not, I phoned a week later and asked what was going on and got told they were starting the repairs anyway as per the estimate, he assured me the panels would be new ones. Three weeks later I turn up to collect my car to find out they have repaired the door because the insurance company would not agree to a new one, I have now refused to accept the car as I gave strict instructions that the door was not to be repaired and they have ignored it and not bothered telling me what was happening with the insurance company! Where do I stand? I think it is down to the body shop to put the problem right now as they have failed me.
Doneitnow
1st Sep 12 04:09

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ricky

ricky

This is the tip of the iceberg, RBS and all major insurance companies are looking at sub £1000 fixed repair costs. I have been in repair industry for 30 years and want out as some is going to gat hurt, quite frankly we are bodging cars at the owners expense.
ricky
13th Jul 12 01:07

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rossi

rossi

I could show you pic of cars i have seen being repaired for l.v insurance
full of filler and i mean filler, top of the doors to the bottom and thats on new cars
and parts stuck on just to save money because the insurance did not want to pay for
new parts if it was my car i would not want it back
rossi
10th Jul 12 04:07

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Glue gun

Glue gun

All the average repair cost comments are bang on and obviously from someone with first hand knowledge. I know.... I'm one too, and would love to shout from the rooftops but that would be commercial suicide
Glue gun
19th Mar 12 06:03

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Phatguy

Phatguy

Most garages now have to adhere to BSI kitemark (PAS125), This costs repairers between £30K-£60K to get, Its not easy to attain and shops often have to change their entire work practices/processes, Consumables, Welders and paint schemes to comply.. Spot audits are carried out about twice a year. Make sure that your chosen bodyshop has this accreditation and that it has still been followed to, Even in the case of a fixed price repair (average repair cost), As the repairer will still be expected to conform to BSI standards.. PAS125 is overseen by Thatcham who most of you have heard of when you take out your insurance as a form of vehicle security, In fact Thatcham have been crashing and rebuilding vehicles for probably over 40 years (sorry guys if its longer!!) PAS125 is a kitemark designed to ensure all vehicles are repaired to the manufacturers standards and recommendations!!!. On the subject of going outside your insurers approved repair network, Some insurers double your excess payment if you do not use their approved repairer so watch out for that!!. Also SOME insurance companies that have an average repair cost contract, Do have an agreed clause with a repairer in that if a repair comes to over a certain price, Say £4000.. The repairer is then entitled to the full repair amount, So if the repair comes to £5500 the repairer will get paid £5500!!. If its £3999 he gets £1000 or whatever the price is set at.
On a final note.. Please do not lay the blame entirely at the door of the insurance companies for average repair costs. This idea was designed and offered to all Insurance companies by 2-3 or more of the uk's biggest bodyshop companies themselves as a way of becoming magnates in their own rights and capture all of the insurance work countrywide!! Of course the insurance companies were going to agree to it, Saving on repair costs????!!!! Just do the maths on the above figures for the thousands of claims made in a day!!!
Phatguy
15th Mar 12 05:03

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