As the effects of coronavirus in regard to health and business continue, it is ever more important that we work together to ensure these affects are reduced as much as possible.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, yesterday stated how crucially important it is that we maintain social distancing, but equally that we go to work where we can't work from home to maintain the country's finances.
Vizion and a number of insurers have been working tirelessly in the background to help in every way we all can, from small changes to make processes easier to financial assistance. We are also working on a number of projects to help our wonderful NHS staff. No matter what we do it will never feel enough but in these unprecedented times, unprecedented action we feel should be the norm.
We have been working very closely since the start of this situation with Aviva, Hastings and NFU Mutual to change our combined processes and we would all now like to brief you on several more important changes.
There has been some general confusion with Mr Johnsons announcement on Monday, so before we start and because so many of you have been asking for clarification, we think it prudent to go over the current position.
The current position and the purpose of this note is to clearly and succinctly articulate our position in respect of Government advice and our combined strategies to support the network and the repair industry.
Firstly, Governments advice. It has been clearly stated by the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary that restrictions apply in relation to, 'travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home'. Vehicles cannot be repaired at home and the NHS, support staff, food industry staff and 1000's of other people need transport, our combined operations are a critical part in maintaining these services.
Where there may be confusion is that car showrooms and auction rooms are not exempt as these are not essential services. For clarity these are the specified exceptions published by the Government:
- Supermarkets and other food shops
- Health shops
- Pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies
- Petrol stations
- Bicycle shops
- Home and hardware shops
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Garages and Repair Shops
- Car rentals
- Pet shops
- Corner shops
- Post offices
The showroom ban has had a disproportionate effect on dealerships. Although this does not necessarily affect any conjoined repair centre or parts distribution, in some cases entire operations have been closed.
With more than 90% of the UK vehicle repair sector still operational we recognise that for some this will now present additional problems sourcing some parts, and will require changing suppliers and sourcing parts elsewhere and in some cases from a number of sources including directly from the manufacture on a VOR basis.
So in addition to some of the other measures we have collectively taken we would like to announce, with immediate effect, the following changes to our commercial agreement to support you;
The parts discount applied at estimation on behalf of any listed insurer partner will be reduced by 10%, (for clarity, currently 10% = 0%)
Replacement vehicles will be provided by each insurer to all confirmed NHS staff via their approved hire providers free of charge to the repair centre
A Covid-19 charge to allow for additional cleaning in relation the handover of customers vehicles during the period of contagion. This charge will include the sanitisation of keys and areas of the vehicle where contact is possible. This COVID- 19 charge should be entered under Specialist as an "Operational Overhead" at a cost of £10.00 on each Audatex assessment.
Aviva, Hastings, NFU Mutual and Vizion are working hard to make payments as fast as possible with 90% of all payments are now being made in under 8 days.
We are collectively ensuring that as many repairs as possible are made available to the network and distributed evenly, based on each site's operational capacity. Measures for possible next phases could include even faster payments, a number of financial strategies, also an adjustment to how total losses are calculated to generate more volume if required.
These changes should be applied to any estimate submitted from Monday the 30th of March for each participating insurer working with Vizion, this initiative will run until the 30th of April, at which point the position will be reviewed.
The additional functions relating to payments and total loss limitation will progress when more information is available, and processes can be defined. All parties wanted to release these agreed elements without delay. The Vizion Network team will shortly email you a document listing all participating insurer partners at this time and the applicable network codes.