Drive Assist pursuit continues

The National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) has been informed that the investigation into the Drive Assist collapse will be concluded in 2016.

Since the collapse of the accident management company, Drive Assist, the National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) has been working closely with the Insolvency Service to bring those accountable to justice, but progress has been slow.

At the time of its collapse in December 2012, Drive Assist owed a reported £30.5m to body repairers across the UK. Three years on, NAB understands that some of the affected repairers have received only nominal payments against the outstanding debts, and administrator fees reportedly in region of £3m to date.

Progress has been frustratingly slow for a year now. NAB was previously assured that the investigation would near completion in early 2015, but has now been informed that it will now be 2016.

Frank Harvey, head of the NAB commented, ‘The pace at which the investigation has progressed is concerning and requires justification, during this period the industry has been left open to the potential of similar problems occurring in the future, and there is no obvious deterrent to those who are looking to exploit the good nature and professionalism of both our members and those who work within the wider bodyshop sector.’

NAB’s goal is now to protect the bodyshop industry from any similar problems that may arise in the future. It has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to understand and resolve the issues that have occurred in this case, and shall continue to do so until acceptable answers and solutions are offered by those involved.

NAB will be lobbying the Association of British Insurers and the Competition and Markets Authority to protect consumers’ rights at all times during an insurance claim. NAB believes that where an intermediary is introduced into the claims process by an insurer, that insurer should remain responsible for the actions of the intermediary in relation to any settlements associated with the claim.

NAB also argues that where a vehicle is repaired on behalf of a consumer, through an intermediary nominated by an insurer, the cost of repairs, less any deductibles, should be paid directly by the consumer’s insurer to the repairing garage, thereby reducing the risk and exposure of the bodyshop.