DRIVE ASSIST INVESTIGATION: A CONTINUED SOURCE OF FRUSTRATION FOR BODYSHOPS

Published 23/12/2015 00:00:00 in Press Releases

Since the collapse of the accident management company, Drive Assist, the National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) has been working closely with the Insolvency Service to bring those accountable to justice, but progress has been slow.

At the time of its collapse in December 2012, Drive Assist owed a reported £30.5m to body repairers across the UK. Three years on, NAB understands that some of the affected repairers have received only nominal payments against the outstanding debts, and administrator fees reportedly in region of £3m to date.

Meanwhile the issues in the aftermath of the collapse remain; Consumers are potentially being left unprotected during an insurance claim when dealing with intermediary companies such as Drive Assist, where the responsibility for the claim remains unclear, and bodyshops run the risk of not being paid for work they have carried out.

Progress has been frustratingly slow for a year now. NAB was previously assured that the investigation would near completion in early 2015, but have recently been informed that it will now be 2016.

Frank Harvey, Head of the NAB comments, “The pace at which the investigation has progressed is concerning and requires justification, during this period the industry has been left open to the potential of similar problems occurring in the future, and there is no obvious deterrent to those who are looking to exploit the good nature and professionalism of both our members and those who work within the wider bodyshop sector.”

Moving forward from this incident, the NAB’s goal is to protect the bodyshop industry from any similar problems that may arise in the future. They have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to understand and resolve the issues that have occurred in this case, and shall continue to do so until acceptable answers and solutions are offered by those involved.

NAB will be lobbying the Association of British Insurers and the Competition and Markets Authority to protect consumers' rights at all times during an insurance claim.  NAB believes that where an intermediary is introduced into the claims process by an insurer, that insurer should remain responsible for the actions of the intermediary in relation to any settlements associated with the claim. 

NAB also argues that where a vehicle is repaired on behalf of a consumer, through an intermediary nominated by an insurer, the cost of repairs, less any deductibles, should be paid directly by the consumer's insurer to the repairing garage, thereby reducing the risk and exposure of the bodyshop.

 

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Rupal Rawal, Press Officer
Tel: 020 7307 3412
Mob: 07528 977 157
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406

Web: www.rmif.co.uk  Email: rupal.rawal@rmif.co.uk

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.

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