BTA study: Insurers forced to seek for solutions to speed up the arranging of cost estimates with car repair shops


When occurring at a car repair shop, according to the study of BTA, the car owner most is interested in the time, when the car is done and ready, and the quality of repair. This statement is uphold also by Dmitrijs Skripņiks, the marketing director of Senson Paint car repair shop, emphasizing that insurers and car repair shops should keep on working on solutions to reduce the time required for drafting and approval of repair works cost estimate.


"When at car repair shop, the client naturally is stressed out and anxious, especially, when it has happened right after the accident. The client is anxious, for how long he will have to do without car, the quality of work, how much the repair is going to cost, will there be a warranty. Although, above all is the question of time, which often also depends on how fast the car repair shop and the insurer agree upon the cost estimate of repair works. As the most essential for both the repair shop and the insurer is that the client was happy, this direction needs to be further explored," says Dmitrijs Skripņiks, the marketing director of Senson Paint car repair shop.


This is echoed by Ilmārs Džeriņš, the Head of Expertise Division of BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS Insurance Claims Handling Department, who admits that a recent study conducted by BTA it was the length of repair works that was recognized as the question most often asked by client to car repair shop. "The study encompassed anonymous survey of 89 car repair shops across the entire Latvia. 64% of them admitted that the duration of repair works is the main issue of customer concern in MTPL and CASCO cases. Besides, analysing factors deciding the level of success of cooperation between car repair shop and insurers, repair shops named the length of cost estimate review and approval to be the most essential parameter. Both these facts suggest that insurers should look for solutions to speed up the cost estimate coordination process with car repair shops," believes Ilmārs Džeriņš.


The client expects a solution within a couple of days


BTA conducts the anonymous car repair shop survey once a year. The main purpose of it – to keep on improving the customer service quality. "Our partner opinion matters to us, their vision of things that we can yet improve," explains I.Džeriņš. Cost estimate consideration and approval is the first essential factor that will decide, whether the car repair shop will be capable to repair the car well and fast. "We see that speed is the most essential factor, that the client – car owner, is interested in. Therefore the cost estimate process is of priority to BTA, also bearing in mind the speed of accomplishing works. The survey results suggest that car repair shops in general are satisfied with the cooperation model developed by BTA. We have implemented a range of solutions that considerably improve cooperation and ease up the process. As a result of this, in 35% of cases at present the final decision is made within 24 hours, while in more complex cases it does not take longer than three days. Nevertheless, we are happy that car repair shops reveal some things in the survey, suggesting that there is yet room for improvement in this process. It gives a boost to keep on going with improvement," says I.Džeriņš, making conclusions from the survey data.


Cost estimates produced by car repair shops often need to be corrected


He admits that corrections are often required when going through the cost estimates made by car repair shops: "There are cases, when we see that the repair shop has become too much excited regarding the spare part and work prices in the cost estimate, shifting them up. Although, there are cases just the opposite – a repair shop shoots itself in the leg, hoping to accomplish a repair at prices that are lower than the market permits. The interest of BTA is to take care that repairs are of good quality and the client is happy in the outcome, therefore there are sometimes cases when we suggest that a car repair shop should increase the cost estimate amount, by changing the repair technology to make it compliant with the manufacturer’s requirements. The study indicates that the quality of repair works is the second most important question asked by clients at car repair shops – 45% of repair shops indicated that the quality of work is inspected by all or nearly all clients, and another 40% of repair shops responded that the quality of work is inspected by 51-90% clients," said the Head of BTA Expertise Division.


Still rising interest in replacement car in MTPL complementary cover


The repair of the car causes considerable discomfort in the daily life of the client, causing headache with getting around and extra expenses for taxi services and car rent, therefore lately clients yet increasingly inquire about the availability of a temporary replacement car. According to Dmitrijs Skripņiks, the marketing director of Senson Paint car repair shop: "There are car owners, who have made sure of including the temporary replacement car cover for cases, when their car needs to be repaired, already at the moment of purchasing their insurance policy. And, there are also ones that have not included the temporary replacement car cover in their insurance policies and rent a replacement car here right on the spot, at the repair shop. Because of the high demand for this service we just recently increased our replacement car fleet by new vehicles."


The interest of clients in inclusion of temporary replacement car cover in MTPL and CASCO policies has not gone unnoticed by BTA as well. "The number of car owners obtaining MTPL policy just because that it is compulsory, is gradually decreasing. Clients give more consideration to policy covers, requesting to include complementary positions there, also including the Roadside Assistance, which also furnishes the MTPL policy holders with the option of temporary replacement car for the time of repair. It indicates a change in attitudes, an increased sense of responsibility and BTA is happy about it," says Ilmārs Džeriņš.


While it is true that insurance cover enables clients to avoid financial losses, but accidents also entail other consequences, including inconveniences and lost time, which keeps becoming increasingly valuable for a contemporary individual. This is why precise and quick coordination process and smooth cooperation between the car repair shop and the insurer is becoming more crucial for a successful development of services. Simpler insurance claims reporting procedure and streamlined tools of internal cooperation are aspects that have moved to the foreground in development plans of BTA and its cooperation partners.


About BTA

BTA Baltic Insurance Company (hereinafter – BTA) is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltic States, providing all types of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA is also one of the largest indemnity payers in the Baltics – in 2016, BTA disbursed an average of 300 thousand euros each business day in insurance indemnities in the Baltic States or approximately 38 thousand euros every business hour.

The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG, one of the leading insurers in Europe. More than 50 companies in 25 countries constitute a group with a solid brand, with 190 year experience in the insurance field and close cooperation with customers. VIG employs 23,000 employees and is a clear leader in its core markets. VIG is a group with the best rating of all companies in the ATX, the leading index of the Vienna Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on the Prague Stock Exchange.


More information:
Linda Upeniece
Director of Marketing and Public Relations Department
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS
e-pasts linda.upeniece@bta.lv
phone: +371 67025676, mobile: +371 26756841