The National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) is calling on the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) to consider an emerging practice in the body repair industry whereby insurers and claims management companies are requiring data outputs from specified bodyshop management computer programmes that are currently not capable of being linked to each other.
Bodyshops are saying data systems suppliers are competing to get their bodyshop management products specified by insurers and claims management companies in the same way that estimating systems have been mandated in the past.
This approach is leading to increased cost, data input duplication and major frustration for bodyshops, but refusal to comply can put repairers’ relationships with work providers at risk as increasingly contracts and tenders are stipulating different data systems to benchmark repair networks.
Frank Harvey, head of NAB said: “This is just another in a long line of examples where intermediaries in the insurance claims process are creating market dysfunction and added frictional cost by using the power of insurance companies and others work providers to mandate their products and services. It does not add value for consumers, in fact it adds cost!
“We plan to raise this issue with the CMA and, as part of our ‘Treating Bodyshops Fairly’ campaign, invite the various parties to meet with us to discuss integration, rather than duplication of systems, thus eliminating any need for them to be mandated or the need for multiple data keying”.
NAB believes an independent market watchdog is required to ensure legal, ethical and moral behaviour is maintained in the bodyshop and motor insurance claims sectors. As part of its submissions to the CMA’s ongoing Private Motor Insurance investigations, NAB has proposed the establishment of The Motor Insurance Conduct Adjudicator (MICA) to clamp down on market dysfunction, abuse and unwarranted interference.