The subject of bodyshop repairs on electric cars is a tricky issue for the motor trade and insurers alike. The new generation of pure EVs don’t have engines of course, and the battery packs present a storage and fire hazard. Plus the sheer weight of some EV SUVs is substantially more than a typical big Merc, BMW or Japanese SUV running petrol/diesel. Then there’s staff training and potentially, new vehicle storage procedures and more complex vehicle recovery processes.
Then there is the matter of proving that your green parts supply chain doesn’t involve exploiting the world’s poor in Africa or Asia, who are employed picking apart old smartphones, cars or other electrical items for copper, palladium, gold or other materials. There are lots of challenges ahead for both the bodyshop sector and insurers on the choices being made.
Here’s the word from Allianz;
Allianz Insurance is appointing its new Approved Repairer Network (ARN) for motor claims, having selected repairer partners best placed to keep pace with the vehicle technology revolution. During the tender process, the commercial insurer looked closely at bodyshops’ facilities, equipment and skills to repair electric vehicles and to recalibrate ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems).
Allianz also carefully reviewed customer experience, in particular key-to-key times and progress updates, as well as repairers’ sustainability efforts. The new network, effective 1st November, is made up of two national suppliers and six regional groups to implement a more locally-focused approach.
To choose its new partners, Allianz analysed the challenges facing the repair sector, from parts inflation to skills shortages to technical innovation, and identified those bodyshops best equipped to take them on. Technological considerations were particularly important because lease vehicles make up much of Allianz’s fleet book and tend to be less than four years old. That is why all selected suppliers can repair electric vehicles and most sites have in-house ADAS recalibration.
Allianz also decided to work with repairer groups that are certified carbon neutral or working towards it, and whose methods prioritise repairs over replacement. The insurer requires its approved bodyshops to be able to offer green parts – when available and with customer acceptance.
Allianz hopes brokers will encourage customers to take advantage of the approved network. Repairers have delegated authority, which prevents delays. Competitive contractual rates are in place, resulting in reduced costs, and approved repairers guarantee the work for the lifetime of ownership.
Colin Davies, head of supplier services for claims at Allianz Insurance, commented:
“We know that our customers expect a high-quality repair with minimal vehicle off-road time and that’s why we placed such focus on technological capabilities and repairer processes. We’re confident our new partners, with their regional footprint, their skills, their ethos, will deliver a market-leading repair proposition and high customer satisfaction.”