The 15-point code outlines working practices for both accident management companies and bodyshops - including financial safeguards to protect creditors in the event of bankruptcy.
Hundreds of bodyshops lost almost £2 million when accident management specialist Fleet CARS went to the wall two years ago (Fleet News September 23, 1994) but if accepted, the new code should prevent a repetition. The document should also help protect bodyshops from the more unethical accident management companies which the VBRA says are 'feeding off the industry'.
For the code of practice to work, however, it needs the goodwill and support of the vast majority of bodyshops, accident management companies and possibly the insurance industry, which at present looks unlikely. The final details and more importantly - which companies are prepared to subscribe to it - will be published in the near future.