He told the Audatex annual conference: 'If insurers are genuinely interested in providing improved customer service standards, higher customer retention and cost containment, it can only be achieved by establishing a close relationship with a repair network. Many insurers have started to develop this relationship through the approved repair networks. While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. If a close working relationship is to be established, there has to be trust between both parties.'
Wallace said the differences between insurers and repairers were highlighted following market research carried out by ABS. 'Insurers saw repairers as poorly managed, inefficient, unprofessional and unhelpful. Repairers saw insurers as dictatorial, inconsistent, not customer focussed and slow to make decisions. I don't think anyone would disagree that there is a good deal of work to be done to establish and build a working relationship.