Aviva defends Irish network switch

Aviva says it doesn’t believe its decision to hand its repair operations in Ireland to Accident Repair Management (ARM) will have a negative impact on the industry, despite complaints from the bodyshops it has terminated contracts with.

Certain bodyshops have complained that Aviva stopped sending them work after six weeks instead of the agreed three-month period, while another expressed concerns for the industry once the new deal was in place.

Speaking anonymously to the Irish Independent, one owner said, ‘The existing providers give a very personal service that is localised and these repair shops are well known in their areas and trusted by the local communities. Also, these shops have a lot experience in dealing with people who in many cases have been through a traumatic experience.

‘That personal touch and trust now will no longer be available to those people because of Aviva’s decision to change.’

Many other bodyshops have also complained that losing Aviva’s work will make their business unviable.

In response, Aviva said, ‘Aviva has recently changed its arrangement for car repair so that it is now centrally managed through Accident Repair Management, known as ARM. As a result, Aviva has introduced new repairers and ceased using some repairers. We are using the same number of repairers; the difference is that they are centrally managed. It is normal that repairers carry out work for a number of insurers; their viability is not just dependent on Aviva. Repairers with a long history of working with Aviva continue to carry out repair work on our customers’ cars.

‘Customers continue to have exactly the same level of choice – they can use Aviva’s designated Motor Repair Service, which is ARM, or they can decide to use a repairer of their own choice. Aviva does not believe there will be negative implications for the auto-repairs industry in Ireland as we are still repairing the same volume of cars in the market.

‘Aviva is delighted to have established a market-leading and sustainable proposition that is delivering through a centrally-managed network resulting in higher technical safety standards, lower repair costs that in turn make premiums more affordable to our customers, and improved customer service and regulatory compliance benchmarks. This change was driven by our desire to deliver a better service to our customers.’