NBRA is disappointed at the scale of the Audatex 9.9% price increase announcement which is another unplanned inflationary cost for repairers to absorb.  Although the market is changing with competition emerging, repairers are somewhat of a captive market when it comes to estimates so have little option but to accept the increase or upset stakeholder relationships.  Inevitably this will open Audatex up to criticism as it will be hard to justify.

However, interestingly we don’t make the same complaints when paint increases as it inevitably will.  That is because ironically Audatex pass this increase on in retail paint rates as quickly as possible for what is one of the very few reliable rate increases repairers receive.

More importantly, NBRA thinks it is time to ask the questions:

  1. Who pays for the estimate?
  2. Who chooses the system?
  3. Does every type of incident require the same estimating process?
  4. What value are repairers creating from data collection via the assessment?
  5. Are repairers being exploited through the use of estimating systems?

The answers would be simple if an insurer or work provider paid for the assessment or even contributes half!

Two notable insurers at some point look to have pondered these questions and decided to pay the estimated fees for processing their claims.  A move that puts clarity on benefits created for all parties and possibly secures a favourable negotiating position with added integration strategies.  The cost of estimating is controlled.

Repairing a vehicle correctly requires a fully costed blueprint.  It is time for insurers for work providers to pay the correct fees associated with this requirement with index-linked increases once and for all.

Chris Weeks – NBRA