Essential role in claims process will be maintained, Copart reassures market
Copart, which supplies salvage services to most of the UK’s leading insurers, will continue to play its part in ensuring that motor claims are processed and settled as quickly as possible during the covid-19 crisis, UK managing director Jane Pocock said recently.
Her message to insurers comes as the body that regulates insurers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that the claims service provided to policyholders by their insurance companies is deemed essential under the Government’s Coronavirus Bill.
In addition, Defra has confirmed to the British Metals Recycling Association that front-line staff involved in the depollution and disposal of end-of-life vehicles are deemed critical workers. As a result, the British Vehicle Salvage Federation has confirmed that services supporting the management of end of life vehicles may continue.
Jane explained that Copart had received letters from Claims Directors and insurers’ legal counsel confirming that they classify the company as a “critical service partner”, and that Copart must therefore maintain services to protect the insurance claims supply chain and the interests of insurers’ customers.
“We work for most of the UK’s major insurers, collecting, transporting and storing accident-damaged vehicles on behalf of insurers, enabling them to be assessed so that claims can be processed and customers can receive payment as soon as possible,” she said.
“This is especially crucial during this time when so many people are facing financial challenges – for example many people have loans to pay for their vehicles and need claims settlements to repay those.
“We have a great relationship with our insurance partners, and we’ve been in constant communication with them regarding the new challenges we are all experiencing.”
Copart has set up a task force to collect all cars assigned to them by insurers as quickly as possible, but some damaged vehicles are now getting stuck in garages and body shops that have had to close. This means the vehicles can’t be repaired as they normally would be.
So some insurers have asked instructed Copart to collect some of these vehicles and to either store them, or put them into the total loss process so they can conclude matters with their policy holders.
“We also have a huge supply of vehicles that can be dismantled for repair, so we have adapted our processes to help here too. We have all pulled together to tackle the various challenges and our workforce has been incredible,” said Jane.
However she stressed that Copart is only operating those aspects of their services that are deemed essential.
“We began reshaping our business as soon as it became clear that coronavirus was going to have a significant impact, the majority of our staff are now working from home, and we have been pro-active in scrupulously following safety guidelines and taking every action we can to keep all our people and our customers safe.
“As part of a global US-based business we are especially aware of how we need to be prepared as this crisis develops.”
She added that continuing these core operations may help some small automotive businesses reliant on the supply chain to maintain a level of trading, as well as helping to maintain the flow of parts to feed repair garages – which have been deemed as essential to keep key workers’ vehicles on the roads – at a time when parts supplies from many sources is drying up.
Copart’s Operations Centres have capacity for 48,000 vehicles, which is key at a time when body shops and other places where vehicles may be stored are closed. They are in largely rural areas rather than in areas of high-density population.
Measures taken to protect Copart’s employees and customers include:
· Closing their Operations Centres to all visitors
· Converting services from collection by customer to delivery by Copart – these services do not necessitate any close contact with customers or business partners
· Removing the need for insurers to send engineers to inspect cars at Copart sites by making their own engineers available to do this