How the insurer helps reduce the bill at the body shop

How the insurer helps reduce the bill at the body shop

When a motorist uses his insurance, he pays the amount of the deductible and relies on his insurer to settle all of what is due to the bodybuilder. It is only by comparing the amount of what he paid with the actual cost of the repairs that he is happy to get off so lightly. The motorist then develops a feeling of impunity, which comforts him in the illusion that his wallet is protected from the increase in repair costs: it does not matter that the bodybuilder always charges more for his services, as long as the insurer pays.

Parts are half the repair bill

This attitude leads the motorist to forget that the amount of the insurance premium (or the contribution to his mutual insurance company) increases at the same time as the cost of labor at the bodybuilder, the price of spare parts and energy. The gas and electricity consumed by paint booths? “Their prices increased by 49% and 50% respectively since the beginning of the year”, testifies a professional of the sector, who has no choice but to pass on this inflation to his prices. Inevitably, premiums and contributions are affected.

Read alsoThe truth about the explosion of spare parts prices in France

However, “spare parts still weigh at least half of the amount of the invoice to the bodybuilder,” recalls David Thévenot, Covéa Auto Technical Service Manager. This is one of the consequences of French regulations which grant our national manufacturers a monopoly on the distribution of parts for which they hold the rights and designs. As a result, French motorists pay for their replacement bumpers, doors, fenders and mirrors almosta quarter more expensive than their European neighbors which can lead to competition. Because they have the choice to prefer “equivalent quality” parts that are much cheaper. The only difference ? The absence of the car manufacturer’s stamp.


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