AA INSURANCE collision repair centre – be afraid

AA Ins depot

Who’s in favour of powerful insurance companies repairing policy holders’ cars themselves? Insurance is a product, collision repair is an entirely separate product – why would insurance companies want to fix the cars they insure?

It’s a valid question being asked by many industry observers who are watching with interest as AA Insurance builds their mega-repair centre in Penrose. This is a first for NZ. The concern raised is that the chosen operator of AA Insurance repair shop is Assie company Capital SMART which is almost entirely owned by SunCorp who in turn owns the majority share of AA Insurance (the other third is owned by the Automobile Association).

The other concern being voiced is one of disclosure – it’s believe AA Insurance will soon be specifying their repair centre to all claimants BUT will they be advising those customers that in effect they own and operate the shop?

Finally, there’s the issue of motive. Independent repairers say they advocate for and act in the best interests of the customer when repairing the car in order to produce the best quality job in the fastest possible time. They also say they can’t be sure that the party paying the bill (the insurer) will be motivated to deliver an equal or better result due to the obvious conflict of interest. We’ll reserve our judgement until the proof emerges, but one side-effect is certain – all those “AA approved” repairers who dedicated themselves to AA business and played by the rules of visiting the AA depot to multi-quote/underbid their competitors to get the job, may soon loose all that business and the scale they needed to make that model work. Smells like another nail in the coffin the the collision repair industry. Let us know what you think?

2 Responses

  1. Steve Johnson
    | Reply

    I agree there is a major problem for the panelbeating trade and its caused by insurance companies because they totally dominate. I understand that they are the ‘customer’ and pay the bills but it’s gone too far with the way they now dictate how a panelshop is run and hold the labour rates down lower than any other trade especially mechanical which can charge a fair rate of around $100 an hour when good quality collision shops are told they have to accept half that. NZI got control by halving their authorised repair network and now Vero are doing it. The biggest problem now is that we’re doing all their admin for them including all the work assessors used to do and they don’t pay us anything for doing it, they reckon $60 per hour covers the lot including 2 or 3 hours quoting, photos and admin it takes for every job. This is the major problem the collision repair association should be fighting for us

    • Hammer Head
      | Reply

      Totally agree all the way on your comments Steve the panelbeating trades been pushed to the wall and all insurance companies are to blame. AA Insurance has routed their own approved repair network and NZI will be next to set up their own SMART REPAIR SHOPS just wait and see.

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