Vero SMART car accident repairs

SMART car accident repairs?  We warned earlier this year that Vero Insurance were planning to establish their “SMART” panelbeating shops in New Zealand, after years of “success” with the model in Australia. We say “success” because customers aren’t always the winners, in fact we’re reliably informed that there is a thriving industry in fixing “SMART” repairs in Australia.


Vero are now actively promoting two SMART panel & Paint shops in New Zealand and the objective is to influence customers and insurance brokers into supporting this basic-level service.  Refer to this link to review the very revealing 4 minute video:  There are a number of elements customers should be aware of:

  1. damaged panels are shown being repaired & painted in place, this is completely contrary to industry best practice which suggests that disassembly is essential for a quality finish
  2. the bumper has other damage in the area of the main repair. This may possibly be pre-existing and/or not accident related however the customer has been given no opportunity to make the tiny contribution that would be required in order to fully repair to a quality finish. Any quality collision facility in New Zealand would identify this obvious anomaly, discuss it with the customer and provide them with the opportunity  to return the WHOLE panel to good condition. This was not done by the SMART shop.
  3. no paint blending has been used from the guard to the bonnet, again this would be standard best practice in the wider industry. The alternative relies on an absolutely PERFECT colour match, something that would seem highly unlikely on a 10 year old gold car!  While the factory paint formula will no doubt have been used, a 10yr old car will have faded considerably in harsh Australasian sun conditions – good luck!
  4. the guard was fully painted, however the bumper is masked through the middle so is only half painted – half a shiny new bumper and half a chipped, scratched & faded bumper – not a good look! See point 3 above.

No high quality collision repair specialist in New Zealand would produce work to this standard.

The video boasts leading edge high-tech repair and paint refinishing equipment, but in fact everything illustrated has been in common use in New Zealand for many many years.   Vero also claims to cut repair times in half, citing the job in the video completed in two days – but we’d expect that for a Crash Management job anyway.  Delays are not in the repair process, but more commonly occur while waiting for claims processing and authorisation, and assessing.  All procedures controlled by the insurer NOT the repairer.

The SMART panelshops are of course only intended for bumps and scratches and other easy minor repairs, Vero is still asking quality collision repair specialists to undertake the technically challenging large scale work or any job involving any degree of complexity or parts supply delays. Specifically Vero SMART shops to not cater for any of the following either, so what they can do is very restricted and excludes:

–          Undriveable vehicles

–          Any air-bag deployment

–          Any leaking fluids incl radiator, air conditioning, engine or transmission, or brakes

–          Any broken glass, locks, or interior damage

–          Any job involving a mechanical component  (excludes the above, plus any suspension etc)

–          Any vehicle over 2.4m high


The other issue not covered by the promo video is convenience.  Vero have a SMART panelshop in Christchurch and one in far North Auckland at Albany.  We saw an instruction today that suggested a corporate car based in East Tamaki South Auckland should be served from Albany – a round-trip for the senior management driver of over 80kms on Auckland motorways.  Convenient?  Efficient? We don’t think so.

We’re also advised that Vero customers being directed to the “SMART” service are expected to PRE-PAY THEIR EXCESS BY CREDIT CARD.   This won’t sit well with private motorists, and will likely prove impossible for many fleet operators.  Conversely, Crash Management extends standard business terms  to company owned vehicles including invoicing facilities.

We’ve endeavored to review the promotional video with a neutral view to see where the value for Vero’s customers might be.  Apologies for our MISSION FAILURE in this case.

13 Responses

  1. Suze
    | Reply

    Watched the SMART collision repair video – Yep that’s bad! When does collision repair best practice turn into ‘worst practice”? When insurance companies start owning repair facilities and looking after their own financial interests instead of paying the a fair market price for a quality job. Thanks Vero – NOT! AA Insurance are doing the same. Be afraid NZ.

  2. Terri
    | Reply

    I agree, this does look concerning and would have to be a complete conflict of interests. If insurance companies are now in the panelbeating business, we’d have to assume they will soon be in the construction, plumbing & electrical business as well and I would be surprised if this is perceived as ethical, or perhaps even legal. Insurance companies first responsibility is to the policy holder to right the wrong to a high standard. An insurance model that is both the specifier and the service provider is dangerous ground and this should be made very public knowledge. I believe it is wrong and would certainly not insurer with a company that has also set themselves up as the repairer.

  3. Kerry
    | Reply

    Vero Smart Repairs – NO, Crash Management Smart Repairs – YES!

  4. JohnnyB
    | Reply

    Vero smart repairs what a laugh. Is this a joke? The methodology and repair standards in the video reminds me a back street panelbeaters 30 years ago. There’s nothing good about this for customers but it might save Vero a bit of money but not much based on the low hourly rates paid to top quality panelbeaters anyway. Just as well Vero smart panel shops can only do dents and scratches, it’d be dangerouos otherwise! I suggest they take a look at some ICAR courses and study up on best practice collision repair technology before they go into the panelbeating business!

  5. Ken
    | Reply

    AA Insurance have been doing these ‘smart’ (dumb) repairs for years so this is not new but I agree Vero car accident claims getting on the bandwagon is BAD NEWS for the panelbeating trade and a kick in the guts after years of honest loyal service to this work provider. Customers have to be made aware that they can chose their own high quality collision repairer and DO NOT have to be bullied by any insurance claims handler to accepting the ‘smart’ repair factory or any ‘insurance company preferred panelbeater’. I remember NZI being fined $120k about 10 years ago for telling customers they HAD TO use Smith & Smith for glass claims .That’s a lie and they got caught out. AA Insurance and Vero Insurance will start insisting small accident claims are repaired in the ‘smart’ factory shop so I look forward to seeing the court case about it. Remember customers you have the right to chose your preferred panelbeater so please support our investment in the trade and our loyal service to local communities, not some giant corporate factory that doesn’t care about you.

  6. Diana
    | Reply

    This initiative is not a positive from a broker or customer service point of view. It’s not popular with clients in Australia and it won’t be in New Zealand. I do understand the cost saving imperative but not at the expense of car insurance claim service and product quality please. We’ll continue referring our clients to Crash Management and always recommend for superior results – thanks for all the great customer-centric work Crash Team, we appreciate it.

  7. Steve
    | Reply

    Vero car insurance claims trying to eat your lunch Crash Management? Or may the whole panelbeating sector. Interesting horizontal integration strategy – what’s next, will Vero Insurance go into the tow truck business, or maybe they’ll buy the paint manufacturer!

    There certainly seems to be something going on the car insurance sector though – what’s with NZI replicating your business? Our company’s insurance broker notified us of “NZI FLEETFIT Crash Management” so we checked out It’s hard to see what they’e doing except calling the tow truck so it just looks like a watered down offering similar but not the same as the real one at but without the full accident management service and benefits?

    Insurers make so much money from car insurance claims you’d think they’d just stick to their knitting! I’d be interested in your feedback on this?

  8. Robert
    | Reply

    Be afraid NZ. Between IAG Insurance having total control every good quality panel shop and Vero Insurance operating their own panelshops it’s probably the end of the road for the trade in NZ. We can compete with giant corporates, we’ve tried to work in coperation with them and now they’re driven us out of business and they’re proud of it. Check this oout The writings on the wall, we can’t compete with these factories and the odds and the money is stacked against us. No wonder there’s a labour crisis who would want to work in the collision repair trade any more

  9. Juan Wood
    | Reply

    I genuinely found the blog very appreciating and informative, which was all about VERO comprehensive insurance. It basically provides fast quality repairs to the cars which is ranged from low to medium collision damage with a focus on service excellence by getting the customer back to road quickly and safely. Overall I can say that it is very useful for car owners which will help them in case of accidental repairs. Apart from this, it also provides personalized offer and solutions that suits to specific needs. But here I can say that if anyone has not insured his car and faced an accident then he can take the help of to give a new look and life to their car like BMW, JAGUAR, MINI etc. Thank you.

  10. Lachlan
    | Reply

    Yeah all pretty bad experience with the Vero crash claim but thanx for Crash Team explaining xs does NOT have to be pre-pay with their service.
    Not even my fault!
    Good help all the way and wheels back looking fine.
    Good advice on the Vero car claims page too
    Crash Team rocks!

  11. Justin Kane
    | Reply

    And it just gets worse. I see the latest PanelTalk says there are 3 ‘SMART’ shops in Auckland now as well as the Christchurch one and we hear Vero have been bullying customers into using them. Also hear from an Ozzie mate that half the jobs in his shop are ‘SMART’ shop fix-ups! The qualities rubbish so they have to get the job re-done at a private shop! LOL Vero

  12. Suze
    | Reply

    Anyone seen any difference in the amount of Vero jobs over the last 6 months?

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