During the virtual CCIF experience on February 3, Ryan Stein of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) suggested that provinces should establish mandatory certifications for body shops.
Ryan Stein, Director General of Auto Insurance Policy and Innovation of IBC, said the recommendation stems from the need to have a reliable network of body shops across the country.
Certification would ensure that more shops have the tools and expertise to repair cars, increase the rate of parts repair in favour of parts replacement, provide more consistency in repairs from shop to shop, and deliver safer repairs.
Stein’s main presentation focused on the impact of increased repair costs. He explained that while the average cost of a claim in 2010 was $4,597, in 2019 it rose to $7,266. We are talking about an annual increase of 7.5%.
During the same period, the number of claims remained relatively stable, rising from 3.18 claims per 100 vehicles annually to 3.57 claims in 2019.
Elsewhere in Canada, claims include costs related to personal injury and represent a significant portion of the amounts paid to those insured. According to Stein, vehicle repair costs will soon surpass them, as never before.
A steady rise
Stein expresses that average repair costs will continue to rise in the coming years, even though ADAS gradually reduces the number and severity of collisions.
“Repair technologies, longer repair times, the increasing use of OEM parts, the replacement of parts instead of repair, and the need for electronic data analysis of crashed vehicles will continue to drive up the bill. Add to that the popularity of SUVs, which are more expensive to repair.”
The bottom line is that even though collisions are dropping, the cost of repairs will continue to rise.
Ryan Stein would like to see a rapprochement between manufacturers, insurers, but also with body shops to reduce the bill that results in a steady increase in insurance premiums paid by consumers.
“From the design stage of the vehicle, repairers should know where they stand and prepare their shops to adjust to new repair processes. The insurer should also be on board to better adjust its claims management practices.”
The IBC represents all automotive insurers in Canada.