VACC and Insurance Australia Group join forces to deliver smash repair industry benefits package

Melbourne, 7 September – The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) today announced new benefits for Victorian smash repairers designed to streamline the repair process and fast-track payments to repairers authorised to fix vehicles insured under Insurance Australia Group (IAG) brands. 

VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, said the changes would eliminate unnecessary delays to commencing repairs and improve repairers’ cashflow, as well as providing a better customer experience. The benefits package, negotiated by VACC following similar support from the Motor Trades Associations of South Australia and Western Australia, includes:

• Abolishing the process of ‘cash settling’ subject to agreement with the terms of authority, minimum premises and equipment standards along with working relationships;
• Providing all repairers with access to the insurer’s Online Repair Management (ORM) system, which enables repairs to commence quickly and delivers prompt electronic payments to repairers for work completed; and
• A commitment to paying repairers within 48 hours regardless of their relationship status when using ORM.

Mr Gwilym said: “VACC commends the approach to encouraging the reduction of cash settlements in the body repair industry with a preference that damaged vehicles be repaired safely and competently in a body repair shop. 

“This type of initiative is improving operational standards in the industry which in turn means a focus is placed on getting the customer back on the road as soon as possible. Other industry-based initiatives, like shop grading, can work hand-in-hand with initiatives like this by recognising levels of accreditation achieved by individual body repair shops, which is a direct reflection of their repair capacity and quality performance.” 

IAG Head of Supply Chain Steven Bubulj said the initiative aligned with the organisation’s commitment to deliver an industry-leading, consistent repair model nationally. 

“These changes signify the partnership approach IAG has committed to with the industry’s key bodies,” Mr Bubulj said. 

“Today’s announcement demonstrates what constructive and mutually beneficial relationships can achieve for the benefit of all industry participants.” 

The abolishing of the cash settling process will also benefit Queensland smash repairers. 

The changes will come into effect from 6 October 2015.

VACC is Victoria’s peak automotive industry body representing more than 5,000 small business members.

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VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym
VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, says body repairers and motorists benefit from this package, which will help ensure vehicles are repaired to a higher standard