NBRA launches investigation

The National Body Repair Association (NBRA) is launching an investigation into insurer treatment of the body repair industry.

The aim of the investigation is to understand which insurers act responsibly in true partnership with the industry and those who may be taking advantage of their power.

Chris Weeks, director of the NBRA commented, ‘In the last 20 years the working relationship between insurers and body repairers has changed drastically. Originally consumers selected their own car body shop who estimated the time to complete the repair and charged what they thought was a fair rate following negotiations with a motor engineer.

‘Over time most repairers joined insurer networks with fixed contracts and regular work volumes which worked well for both parties. Eventually as insurer supply chain management became more advanced and repairers became so reliant on the work, the overall balance of power between the two entities has arguably shifted firmly towards the insurers.’

In the first stages of NBRA’s investigation, it will ask repairers to complete an anonymous insurer attitude survey, beginning in August. By September, NBRA are hoping to have enough responses that can be collated.

NBRA’s aim is to work together with insurers in the interest of the repairers in order to increase and maintain prosperity, standards and relationships between the two.

Chris continued, ‘By working in a positive way and building on best practice already out there we have already seen insurer willingness to engage, listen and change in a controlled way when presented with honest opinion. This is an important piece of work and we are calling on the whole repair industry to get involved.’