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Is it time to integrate the motor claims supply chain?

With mounting vehicle repair costs and inflationary pressures, the use of reclaimed or recycled OEM vehicle parts is an obvious choice, not just economically but environmentally too. Therefore, why is it that their use still remains far from standardised and mainstream. Jim Loughran, CEO at e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management, questions why?

 

Is it time to integrate the motor claims supply chain? f
Jim Loughran

Motor insurers are expected to report a higher combined ratio in 2022 as they struggle with claims inflation and premium deflation. The cost of replacing and repairing vehicles continues to climb and the knock-on effect of extended claims life cycle, key-to-key times and credit hire costs due to delays in sourcing parts add to the commercial misery and all whilst delivering an underwhelming customer experience. Claims frequency, meanwhile, is increasing as it falls more in line with pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, insurers’ hands are arguably tied when it comes to introducing premium rate rises to offset mounting costs. In such a highly competitive market, where consumer buying decisions are predominantly driven by price, premium hikes are a surefire way to lose customers at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is already squeezing household budgets. Faced with this perfect storm, how can motor insurers reduce the impact?

Use of reclaimed or recycled OEM vehicle parts, which offer savings of circa 70% on retail prices for new OEM parts are an obvious win, and the derived CO2 savings support the environmental aspect of insurers’ ESG policies. Stocks of catalogued reclaimed parts, warranty assured and quality graded to the UK Standard, are available, stored and ready to be dispatched from centralised hubs and the individual warehouses of automotive recyclers across the UK. Unsurprisingly, it’s true that there has been an unprecedented increase in demand over the last 12 – 18 months. And yet, even though reclaimed parts clearly represent part of the solution to address the described perfect storm, their use still remains far from standardised and mainstream, with the exception of a few progressive motor insurers. Why?

The use of reclaimed and recycled parts is in itself becoming the driver of technological need. It stands to reason that companies that can make informed claim/repair decisions swiftly are the ones that will best ride this storm. Existing discrete and often regionalised arrangements between insurers, vehicle recyclers and repairs work well. The concerns arise when considering the ability to scale and fulfil escalating demand. The entire motor claims process, its associated technology and users need the ability to access centralised data on the availability, cost and location of reclaimed parts. An eco-system model allowing information exchange between all parties involved in the claim supply chain would enable parts availability and cost to be fed into repairers’ estimating systems at the front end. Currently, there are ‘point’ solutions available, but nothing that is joined up, offering an end-to-end seamless approach. And this is the challenge. If you break down the motor claims supply chain into its component parts, each has its own effective technology. The key to unlocking the maximum potential is connectivity between those discrete solutions.  

But even more importantly, before addressing technological integration, the supply chain has to address process integration. Understanding the workflow from FNOL through to claim fulfilment will enable all parties, insurer, repairer and vehicle recycler to identify the pressure points and bottlenecks and re-engineer the process to better reflect today’s operating environment. Mapping out the workflow will provide the insight needed to identify how technology can be used to improve it. In short, it’s not just technology legacy systems holding back motor claims supply chain integration, it’s legacy processes.

A collective approach and appetite to address ways to better integrate processes and technology between insurers, repairers, and vehicle recyclers is a prerequisite for progress. Encouragingly, conversations have already begun, including a recent meeting hosted by e2e and attended by representatives from the National Body Repair Association [NBRA], the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association, and I Love Claims. Early themes arising included the opportunity for insurers to contractually agree protocols with repairers that facilitate them making the decisions on how they repair the vehicle, including the use of reclaimed parts, under a fixed price arrangement and without the need to refer back; the development of an industry standard to evidence the CO2 savings derived from reclaimed parts; the development of an insurance industry standard providing clarity around when and why to use reclaimed parts; continued consumer education on the benefits of reclaimed parts.  Research is needed to establish benchmarks and identify priorities and steps are underway with cross-industry participation. The appetite to better integrate the motor claims supply chain unquestionably exists, and if not now, when?  

Visit www.e2etotalloss.co.uk

This article was originally published at www.postonline.co.uk

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction www.salvagemarket.co.uk drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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