The yes and no of Insurance Companies Appointed Authorized Workshops.

Many motorists depend greatly on the list of Authorized Workshops provided by their insurance company in the event of a traffic accident claim. The insurance companies will always prefer the motorist to repair their vehicle at their appointed workshop due to only 1 obvious reason – Cost saving

An Authorized workshop have signed an agreement to minimize the cost of repair in exchange for the large volume of work. From the motorist standpoint this might not benefit the vehicle owner. Any form of cost savings involved using used parts, repairing instead of replacing and shortening labor hours or employing unskilled workers. By and large, most motorists do not get the personal un-bias recommendations or advise from the Authorized Workshop as it is clear that it is not in the interest of the insurance companies they are representing. This puts the motorist in the disadvantage position when it comes to inferior repair works.

Although Authorized Workshop scheme is helpful to many new motorists, it is very restrictive to most mother motorists. Workshops are like Dentists to most motorists. Once you are comfortable with one, you usually stick to the dentist for a long time. Many motorists will prefer to go to their regular workshop in the event of a repair work is needed for their vehicle. However due to the Authorized Workshop scheme, many were restricted to the panel of workshops appointed by the insurance companies in the event of an accident repair.

Motorists do have an option to purchase an any workshop motor insurance plan but these policies usually cost 20% more than the regular plan. What I find strange is that there were never any documentation on how these Authorized Workshops were appointed and rated. I know of many good quality workshops that have tried to apply to be included in the panel of Authorized Workshops without success and without any reasons of denial. This causes me to think that it might just be an inner circle kind of selection to protect their panel of workshops. But is this beneficial to the general motorists at all? Many times my regular customers wanted very badly to have their vehicle repaired by us and were rejected by their insurance company. This is even after we called up the claims department, with the agreement to submit repair cost in accordance to their repair costing to the Authorized Workshops. Further to this, there is no way we can inflate cost as all repairs have to be approved by their appointed surveyor which is the same surveyor if the vehicle were to be repaired at any Authorized Workshops. Hence the cost of repair will only be the same as if it is repaired at any Authorized Workshops. This raised many un-answered questions on this matter.

I do agrees that insurance companies should be selective on the quality and size of the workshops they are working with. However they should openly publish their criteria for becoming an Authorized Workshops and setting standards to meet for these. Having a larger pool of Authorized Workshop is beneficial to all their insured and creating a situation whereby workshops can serve their own clientele base. By being strict in the cost control, I see no disadvantages to the insurance companies for having a larger pool of Authorized Workshops. The only disadvantaged group is the current Authorized Workshops as they will not be protected and open to challenges from the new competitions.

Leonard Chiu
Auto Expert in Insurance, Claims & Market Analysis
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