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Insurer’s repairer vs. manufacturer “approved” repairer
m7891
post Thu, 27 Dec 2018 - 20:28
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Long story short - I need to get some accident damage repaired on my car (my fault, hit a stationary object...don’t ask).

The best quote I had was still over £1k, so I’ve decided to go through insurance and take the premiums hit for a few years. I’ve a £0 excess and protected NCD so no worries on that front.

My dilemma is that my car is still under manufacturer’s warranty and they, as you’d expect, are pushing me towards an “approved repair centre”. Not just for OEM parts, but also (they claim) the certified expertise, tools etc. The car is also on PCP, and the work will also be guaranteed to pass the condition check should I want to hand the car back at the end.

The insurer of course is pushing me to their authorised repair shop and assure me that OEM parts will be used and everything will be done to a high standard. If I do want to use my own repair shop there’s a £200 excess.

Neither viewpoint comes as a surprise of course but I’m struggling to decide what’s best.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to face this dilemma. It’s obviously a personal choice but I’d be interested to hear other people’s views.
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post Thu, 27 Dec 2018 - 20:28
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The Rookie
post Thu, 27 Dec 2018 - 20:49
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If the insurers kick back repairer doesn’t do an acceptable job you take it back and get them to fix it, otherwise the insurer will have failed to make it good....which is their contract with you.


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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 27 Dec 2018 - 22:21
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Take it to a decent indie who will do a better job for more than £200 less than either.

I only took my van to an "approved" repairer once as requested by an insurer for some dippy woman who reversed into me in a car park. They quite openly said the price would be a maximum the insurer would pay for it. Didn't do a good job. Never again.


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DancingDad
post Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 11:07
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Before the accident, your vehicle was covered by manufacturer's warrantee.
After an insurance repair that should bring it back to same standard, the expectation is that the warrantee would still exist.
If it doesn't then the insurance repair shop have failed and it is up to insurance to make it right.
They are trying to get you to agree to a cost that is rightfully theirs.
To me the answer is to tell the insurance to fix the car, including warrantee, how is up to them, they are the experts.
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cp8759
post Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 18:21
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 11:07) *
To me the answer is to tell the insurance to fix the car, including warrantee, how is up to them, they are the experts.

+1, if after the repair the warranty is affected, they haven't indemnified you.


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seank
post Sat, 29 Dec 2018 - 12:27
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 18:21) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 11:07) *
To me the answer is to tell the insurance to fix the car, including warrantee, how is up to them, they are the experts.

+1, if after the repair the warranty is affected, they haven't indemnified you.

Quite right, but I can tell you that authorised dealers are instructed to measure paint thickness accurately, in the event of warranty claims, so as to establish the presence of repairs.
If the paint is too thick or too thin and you need corrosion warranty rectification, good luck if the vehicle was previously damaged and repainted there.
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mickR
post Sat, 29 Dec 2018 - 12:58
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QUOTE (seank @ Sat, 29 Dec 2018 - 12:27) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 18:21) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 11:07) *
To me the answer is to tell the insurance to fix the car, including warrantee, how is up to them, they are the experts.

+1, if after the repair the warranty is affected, they haven't indemnified you.

Quite right, but I can tell you that authorised dealers are instructed to measure paint thickness accurately, in the event of warranty claims, so as to establish the presence of repairs.
If the paint is too thick or too thin and you need corrosion warranty rectification, good luck if the vehicle was previously damaged and repainted there.


The warranty of a repair not carried out by the manufacturer will not be covered by them and is down to the repairer, whoever that may be.
If you made a corrosion claim they would inspect the area for signs of repair as a first instance. It is easy for a trained body and paint expert to spot even the best of repairs. Should you choose to use manufacturers option, bear in mind most main dealers will be using an independent body shop in anycase and many base the "approved" body shop on price as opposed to quality.
Insurance Co "approved repairers are almost always approved on how much discount they give the ins co.
A large multi insurance approved repairer near me, owned by a large group dealership had so many faulty repair comebacks they contracted a nearby Indy to carry out all the rejected repairs. They closed down after a few years.

This post has been edited by mickR: Sat, 29 Dec 2018 - 13:06
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cp8759
post Sat, 29 Dec 2018 - 20:11
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QUOTE (seank @ Sat, 29 Dec 2018 - 12:27) *
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 18:21) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 28 Dec 2018 - 11:07) *
To me the answer is to tell the insurance to fix the car, including warrantee, how is up to them, they are the experts.

+1, if after the repair the warranty is affected, they haven't indemnified you.

Quite right, but I can tell you that authorised dealers are instructed to measure paint thickness accurately, in the event of warranty claims, so as to establish the presence of repairs.
If the paint is too thick or too thin and you need corrosion warranty rectification, good luck if the vehicle was previously damaged and repainted there.

That would simply mean that the insurance company would need to pick up the bill that would have been covered by the corrosion warranty. On the other than if the insurance company has put you back in the position you would have been but for the collision, the paint won't bee to thin or too thick, it'll be just right.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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glasgow_bhoy
post Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 15:51
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Who's pushing you towards the approved repairer? If its a dealership, I'd place money on it being because they have a tie to the approved one. If its the finance company, I have to ask why you've been in touch with them to tell them about the bump.

I'd use the one the insurers recommend. The insurers really 'ride' those garages hard, so if theres any problems you'll have the insurer backing you up all the day.

I do hate the additional excess being charged though- its not ESure you're with is it?

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Darkatmosphere
post Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 19:29
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I worked in the vehicle repair industry until I took a new career path, Insurers get referral percentages, they don't care if a vehicle is 10days old and under manufacturer warranty on paint and corrosion, they are trained to push you to accept a "approved repairer", trouble is a manufacturer can and will decline any corrosion repairs or paint claim due to the fact there is no guarantee that the paint supplies used were of manufacturer quality and repairs carried out to the specifications laid out in the manufacturers repair manual. The reason why manufacturer repairers such as VAG group or others, use really expensive paints like Dupont, or PPG trust me these pair of automotive suppliers of auto paints are eye wateringly expensive, and use high end spray guns and equipment such as SATA as required to by the manufacturer in order to be a franchised dealer and body shop as so as to complete the manufacturer quality standards they put out when you're a franchised dealer they also have strict conditions in which they can paint a car and what skill set they must have, how clean the body shop must be and emphasis on sterile and dust reduction etc.

Approved repairers can be a dealership such as Ford who take in all vehicles of shapes and sizes but do not have to adhere to the quality and standards of a franchised dealership contract outside of FORD vehicles but operate the service and repair code of practice by the NBRA on all other vehicles for the insurers repairs this isn't bad but isn't good either as usually the quality is of a rushed nature and skill sets and quality suffers as a result.

You will also find that independent approved repairers like Nationwide Crash repair just operate to business targets and profits and that NBRA, motoring ombudsman standards on repairs are usually just and afterthought, When you enter these places they are often carrying out repairs in dirty disgusting conditions painting should never be conducted in as a minimum basic, they have a high turn over of staff, mainly because skilled certified workers wont tolerate the conditions and quality they are made to paint in, and lots of apprentices working on cars that are outside of their skill set, whilst I appreciate that someone has to start somewhere in life, basic mistakes I saw often was sanding filler with wet and dry paper wet, foreman seeing this infront of him but yet sending the product up the line for paint due to time constraints.

I always have my car repaired via the manufacturer, it may seem expensive but your protecting the asset and its warranty terms and conditions and not lining pockets with back hand referrals for sending a customer to a certain repairer.


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mickR
post Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 21:19
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I'm my 40+ years in the vehicle repair business, including owning my own insurance approved and Manufacturers warranty approved bodyshop, I've seen and had to rectify, some very badly repaired vehicles by both insurance approved and main dealer/manufacturer approved shops.
You will not necessarily get a better job by the main dealer/manufacturer.

The thickness of paint within microns on a repair has no bearing on the durability of that repair, however The process by which it is done is of paramount importance.
SATA or Devillebliss or any other equipment is only as good as both the way it is set up and the person using it.

As has already been pointed out the only benefit you may get would be if you used the manufacturer in that should you have a corrosion issue within warranty period you only have them to deal with.

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Jlc
post Mon, 31 Dec 2018 - 09:47
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QUOTE (glasgow_bhoy @ Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 15:51) *
I do hate the additional excess being charged though- its not ESure you're with is it?

I had a run in with eSure but it all turned out well.

They told me my nearest repairer was over 50 miles away! They were going to come and collect it on a low-loader but wouldn't tell me how long they'd have the car - and this was only for an inspection.

After a bit of haggling - they agreed I could use a local repairer. Nipped the car over for a quick inspection and even got a hire car which they claimed I wouldn't if I didn't use their repairer. The only downside is they gave me a Citroen Cactus; the ones with the interior on the exterior - god damn awful gutless car but ok SatNav.

I accused them of 'steering' which seemed to do the trick. My understanding is they cannot 'force' you to use their repairers but other factors such as excess levels and hire cars can become an issue. Not sure if this link is 100% correct but proved useful for me.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Mon, 31 Dec 2018 - 09:48


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PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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mickR
post Mon, 31 Dec 2018 - 11:02
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Yes the choice of repairer is yours. We used to include a leaflet from the VBRA with all our estimates stating customer rights.
The instigator of many of these problems was Direct Line.
Their policy of free courtesy cars etc forced repairers to cut corners to save money on the opposite end of the scale was NFU who were always very fair with agreeing costs.
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hcandersen
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 11:14
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The OP has £0 excess, therefore there is no cost, and therefore cost difference, to them directly.

They have a contract with their insurance company. This requires them to carry out a repair, in this instance FOC. It does not allow the OP to direct which repairer. If it does, then they should point to this in their policy.

But it will not be there.

IMO, the OP cannot insist on the one hand that repairer A is used and then expect the insurer to take the repair liability risk, in this case also including any overlap with the manufactuer's warranty, see below. (reminds me of PFI contracts: one party specifies outcomes and is not permitted to micro-manage how they're delivered)

The OP also has a warranty from the manufacturer. And this will have Ts and Cs which prevent such a broad discussion. What do the warranty conditions provide as regards coverage and exclusions? You don't get a warranty for accidents. You might have one for corrosion, and this might come into play if the fabric of the body is affected by the accident and repair - as would be the case if, for example, a wing had to be replaced where the precision of welding and, as another poster pointed out, paint application might be different from the manufacturer's.

But if the warranty covers only major mechanicals, then the issue is not relevant because there would be no conflict. And a repair costing only £1k is not major mechanicals.

But without detail??

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m7891
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 16:08
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

After considering what was said here, along with other advice people gave me in person, I opted to pay the £200 excess to have a Reanult approved repairer do the work.

I appreciate what was said about the insurer ultimately needing to make sure the job is done properly so as not to invalidate any potential future warranty-based claims, but life is never that simple. The anti-corrosion warranty was mentioned further up, which was the main thing that came up when telling other people my dilemma.

I was told a story of someone who had a dispute over the cause of subsequent corrosion after an insurer-appointed repair job. There might of course be an element of “send reinforcements we’re going to a dance” but does strike me as something that could happen: corrosion in the same general area as the repair: who’s responsible?

The terms of my warranty are that if accident repairs are done by a Renault approved centre, then the fault for any warranty-related problems is seamless (i.e. it’s either an inherent fault, or fault with the repair - either way, Reanult are responsible). Again, the most relevant part being anti-corrosion which is potentially a big deal because that’s something you ideally want rectified ASAP before it gets any worse.

I had considered paying the £1k privately for the repairs, so I’m not too annoyed at £200. My chosen repair shop is also literally 5 minutes down the road as opposed to the one the insurer wanted me to use 20 miles away. Even with a courtesy car it’s not exactly convenient (time off work to drop off and pick up etc.).

And yes, it’s esure.
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mickR
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 17:26
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 11:14) *
They have a contract with their insurance company. This requires them to carry out a repair, in this instance FOC. It does not allow the OP to direct which repairer.

Sorry hca you are wrong, Yes it does. The ins co indemnified the loss it does not have title to the vehicle. The Vehicle Builders and Repair as Association were very clear on this as was our solicitor.

QUOTE
If it does, then they should point to this in their policy.
But it will not be there.

No it won't because they don't want you to go to someone who won't give them a discount BUT it does not mean you can't.

QUOTE
IMO, the OP cannot insist on the one hand that repairer A is used and then expect the insurer to take the repair liability risk, in this case also including any overlap with the manufactuer's warranty,

Yes there may be some issue over the liability of any fault, I would suggest it would be the repairer. All insurance led repairs should have a warranty equal to the manufacturer.


QUOTE
The OP also has a warranty from the manufacturer. And this will have Ts and Cs which prevent such a broad discussion. What do the warranty conditions provide as regards coverage and exclusions? You don't get a warranty for accidents. You might have one for corrosion, and this might come into play if the fabric of the body is affected by the accident and repair - as would be the case if, for example, a wing had to be replaced where the precision of welding and, as another poster pointed out, paint application might be different from the manufacturer's.

The relavant warranty would be anti perforation and paint defect. As ive already made clear The manufacturer would carry out an inspection of fault. If evidence of a repair is found it would be reported to the owner. If this was found to be non manufacturer repair they would void the waranty on that panel.



This post has been edited by mickR: Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 17:32
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mickR
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 17:47
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QUOTE (m7891 @ Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 16:08) *
After considering what was said here, along with other advice people gave me in person, I opted to pay the £200 excess to have a Reanult approved repairer do the work.

I appreciate what was said about the insurer ultimately needing to make sure the job is done properly so as not to invalidate any potential future warranty-based claims, but life is never that simple. The anti-corrosion warranty was mentioned further up, which was the main thing


We were a Renault Warranty approved shop. Authorised to repair brand new unsold vehicles from such as shipping and transporter damage. Any major structurally damaged vehicles were returned to the import centre.

Renault were very strict on all processes and materials. Only Renaults own Ixell paint products were allowed.

Check your main dealers body shop is bona fide Renault.
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hcandersen
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 21:58
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The relavant warranty would be anti perforation and paint defect.

Would it? All the OP stated was it had a manufacturer's warranty. No idea what this covered and indeed no idea of the damage. Such is the stuff of lengthy discussions.

And an insured can elect which repairer and expect the insurer to pick up the tab and liability? Pl refer me to something to support this.

All insurance led repairs should have a warranty equal to the manufacturer.


Should or do? What is the actual as opposed to preferred or theoretical position?

OP, you posted: ', I opted to pay the £200 excess to have a Reanult approved repairer do the work. '

So this was part of your policy i.e. the insurer would allow you to select a repairer of your choice alone subject to them charging you £200. A flat £200 even if you'd used Bodgit and Co and no input or veto by the insurer?
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Fredd
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 22:17
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 21:58) *
So this was part of your policy i.e. the insurer would allow you to select a repairer of your choice alone subject to them charging you £200. A flat £200 even if you'd used Bodgit and Co and no input or veto by the insurer?

This is a term in my LV policy schedule:
QUOTE
Not using an LV= recommended repairer - you’ll pay an extra £200.00 excess
Applies to accidental damage, fire and theft


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hcandersen
post Tue, 1 Jan 2019 - 22:22
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But does this exclude their input?

The reference has to be set within a context in the Ts and Cs, it cannot just stand alone.
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