The use of smart repairs - from paintless-dent removal to scratch-and-chip repairs - is being stifle...
The use of smart repairs - from paintless-dent removal to scratch-and-chip repairs - is being stifled by insurers as there is no financial incentive for bodyshops to opt for repair over replacement.
That was the view of Malcolm Tagg, director general, Vehicle Builders and Repairers' Association, who explained that if bodyshops offered policyholders a smart repair, which is cheaper, they would still lose out financially from the margin they make on parts.
Delegate Gary Holmes, senior divisional director at broker Towergate, said he was staggered by the cost and time differential between smart repair and normal repair work, especially for paintless-dent repair, and urged the industry to work together for the benefit of the policyholder and not simply put profit before service.
Smart repairs, added David Cresswell, chairman, ABP Club, are presently mainly used in the used-car market for pre-sale work, by auctioneer companies and by private customers following an upsell by a bodyshop. It is also used by new car dealers.
The majority of smart repairers are "franchise-based, man and a van type operations", concluded Mr Cresswell.
The Health and Safety Executive is finally looking closely at paint-smart repairs and will be clamping down on smart repairs performing open-air re-sprays. VBRA director general Malcolm Tagg said he believed the HSE was presently looking to define what size of paint job could be performed by smart-mobile operators.
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