The cost of repairing accident damaged motor vehicles has surged in recent years, presenting challenges for motor insurers and associated industries. A partnership between AAMC and Finity analysed over 80,000 motor accident repairs to identify some of the key drivers behind repair cost inflation.
Technology Advancements: A Major Factor
A major factor contributing to the repair cost inflation is the vastly upgraded technology inherent within a modern motor vehicle. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and other safety systems are now an integral component of a motor vehicle. When these components, that are mounted in vulnerable positions within the vehicle and therefore susceptible to damage in even minor impacts, they often require replacement rather than repair.
Part Cost Inflation
Most accident replacement parts have experienced price increases. Some components however and particularly those most commonly damaged in collisions have seen a greater level of part inflation. Some of this can be attributed to technological advancements in components such as headlamps and windscreen, which contain greater levels of complexity and due to advancements in vehicle safety technology.
Inflation Disparities by Vehicle Model and Make
Repair cost inflation is not at a consistent rate across all vehicles makes and types. Certain vehicle models have shown higher rates of repair cost inflation compared to others, and the design and construction of some vehicle types also can contribute to higher repair costs.
Insurers can mitigate some of the effects of cost inflation in repairing motor vehicles rapid advancements by identifying and choosing to engage repair facilities that are prepared to invest in skills development, new repair technologies and the latest equipment that mitigates the need to always replace damaged parts with new.
By creating a more dynamic range of repairers and specialist suppliers, staying up to date on advancements in repair capability on expensive components and incentivising partnered repairers to continually improve, insurers can navigate some of the factors contributing to repair cost inflation.
The comprehensive report is available here.