The average time taken to repair a vehicle in New Zealand could be reduced by a third if insurers reduce unnecessary red tape according to a survey released by the Collision Repair Association (CRA), an industry body representing hundreds of panel beaters across NZ.
The survey results show the average time taken to repair a vehicle is around six days -- of which more than two days are lost in administration between the insurer and vehicle repairer.
CRA general manager Neil Pritchard said: "Under the current model, the typical repair process requires the insurer to accept a claim for repairs, assess the vehicle, then authorise the panel beater to quote on the repairs. Once the estimate is accepted the panel beater can begin repairs.
"The issue is, there is no industry standard covering the documentation required for an insurance claim and some insurers are regularly making requests for additional information after the estimate has been submitted by the repairer.”
Mr Pritchard says some of the country’s largest insurers have the longest administration time with IAG, NZI, State and AMI group considered by respondents the most bureaucratic.
He says these insurers required documentation after the claim was submitted, making more additional requests for digital images and copies of invoices.
He also says the study shows that Medical Assurance, FMG, Allianz and AA/SIS received the most favourable rankings.
The survey was conducted jointly by the CRA and the Motor Trade Association from December 2016 to January 2017. A total of 231 members of these associations completed the survey.
However, the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has blamed a shortage of skilled panel beaters for delays.
ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton, said that more skilled staff who know how to work with high-tech cars is needed. More staff is also needed in repair shops in major cities.