CRA Market News – South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa — U.K.-based Insurer Admiral Group believes intelligent repair routing strategies—which sees insurers triage collision claims to the “most appropriate” repair facility for the job—could have the power to transform key performance indicators and, by extension, customer reviews and perception.

During the IBISConnect Africa broadcast on July 23, Tom Avon, a procurement officer responsible for Admiral Group U.K.’s repair performance and strategy said, at its core, intelligent repair routing is about moving away from the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach currently present throughout much of the industry.

“Fundamentally, it’s about listening to customers and understanding their needs. Customers expect a unique experience and a collision claim is a very stressful time that they will rarely face—giving them that experience that makes them feel heard and makes the customer believe they made the right choice with their insurer, walking away from the bodyshop knowing they had their vehicle repaired experts.”

Avon said the U.K.-based insurer has witnessed several benefits to smart routed repair strategies, namely lower cycle times and better reviews among customers.

“If we are able to segment the way we do repairs and send customers to the most appropriate place to receive their repairs, we often see reduced cycle times for our customers—they’ll get their cars back quicker, which gives them a higher confidence in the repair and improved the customer service.”

Understandably, some repairers in the IBIS audience were concerned about the strategy eliminating customer choice in their repair facility—but Avon said that is not the goal.

“The customer should always have the ability to choose and be informed about the repairer they are going to,” said Avon. “Some are very informed, but others need a lot of hand-holding—they don’t really understand the repairs their vehicle needs—and need to a little more leading. I believe customer choice is always paramount, and I think insurers will continue to work with bodyshops to ensure customers are sent to the right facility.”

IBIS CEO Jason Moseley followed up on these concerns, asking Avon if Admiral Insurance uses tiering in its intelligent repair routing practices.

“There are different ways of doing it, and insurers would approach it differently than a network company or manager,” he said. “There’s always the goal of supporting repairers and helping them support their volumes, so when I look at tiering, I’m always considering that.”

Insurer-repairer relations were a big topic throughout the IBISConnect Africa broadcast, with Moseley proposing the ultimate question to Graeme Reid, programme executive for Lightstone Systems,

“That’s the million dollar question,” said Reid. “I think every MRP and insurer in the industry would like to see that.”

Credit to Collision Repair Magazine.