IDRs and Section 4 of the Code

This article continues on from last fortnight’s article on Definitions in the Code. If you didn’t get a chance to read the previous articles, they are still available for you to review.

Summary of Section 4 – Insurer and Repairer Relations

This is one of the most active sections of the code. Some reasons for this are contained in section 4.2 (b) that says an insurer will: in their dealings with repairers (ii) consider estimates in a fair and transparent manner and will not refuse to consider an estimate on ‘unreasonable’ or ‘capricious’ (sudden or unexpected) grounds.

Other sections relate to areas that have delivered real IDR successes following reported breeches against the code. These include:

  • Pay the agreed amount for all work completed (from section 4.2 (b) (iii))
  • Not removing a vehicle from a repairers premises without providing notice in writing and compensating the repairer for any ‘legitimate’ or ‘reasonable’ or towing storage costs (from section 4.2 (b) (iv))
  • Consider estimates and commence assessor communication within an average of 5 working days from receipt of the repairer’s estimate (from section 4.2 (c)).

Learn this section and use it! This will enable you negotiate with an assessor to ensure that if they don’t get on with it you will lodge an IDR. You might be surprised at the: ‘Change in Insurers Behaviour’

Here are some of the IDR templates that relate to this section:

Section 4 INSURER AND REPAIRER RELATIONS of the Code of Conduct:

4.1 Repairers:

(a) will provide estimates and carry out repairs that are in accordance with: (i) the documented manufacturer’s technical specifications including those supplied by other Industry recognised authorities; or (ii) any lawful mandatory specifications and/or standards; or (iii) methods that are consistent with standard Motor Vehicle warranty conditions; or (iv) current Industry practice; while having regard to the age and condition of the Motor Vehicle.

(b) will in their dealings with Insurers in relation to Repairs: (i) prepare estimates that provide for an appropriate scope of Repairs, ensuring that all Repairs are carried out in a safe, ethical, timely and professional manner and in accordance with the method of Repair and the parts specified by the Insurer and/or its agent; (ii) not dismantle a Motor Vehicle for the purpose of preparing an estimate or report unless requested or authorised to do so by the Insurer; and (iii) not hinder or prevent the Insurer or Claimant from seeking to obtain an alternative estimate.

(c) may take clear digital images of the vehicle and all damage on the vehicle estimated in accordance with any CAC prescribed guidelines. The CAC may develop guidelines associated with the taking, submission, storage, data security and supply of digital images.

(d) will not commence any insurance Repair without having the relevant Insurer’s agreement and authorisation to proceed, excluding emergency repairs subject to a customer’s PDS, Legitimate Repairs Expenses Payment Breach (Prior to Issuance of Repair Authority).

4.2 Insurers will:

(a) not require Repairers to provide estimates, or carry out repairs that are not in accordance with:

(i) the documented manufacturer’s technical specifications including those supplied by other Industry recognised authorities; or (ii) any lawful mandatory specifications and/or standards; or (iii) methods that are consistent with standard Motor Vehicle warranty conditions; or (iv) current Industry practice; while having regard to the age and condition of the Motor Vehicle.

(b) in their dealings with Repairers in relation to Repair work: (i) provide Repairers with relevant details relating to the insurance claim that the Repairer reasonably requires in order to prepare an estimate or undertake the Repair, including their Parts Policy, details of Sub-let Repairs and payments by Customer including any excess or contribution charges, Parts Policy Breach; Forced Use of Parts Breach by the Insurer

(ii) consider estimates in a fair and transparent manner, and will not refuse to consider an estimate on unreasonable or capricious grounds, Fair Repair Estimates & Authorisation Breach; Paint Sheet Fair Repair Estimates Breach; Unsafe or Unroadworthy Vehicle Breach; (iii) pay the agreed amount for all work completed, that has been authorised or requested by the Insurer, Legitimate Repairs Expenses Payment Breach (After Repair Authority was Issued); Unfair Cash Settling; Fair Freight Payments Breach; Requested Estimates Payment Breach

(iv) not remove a Motor Vehicle from a Repairer’s premises without notifying the Repairer in advance and in writing, and compensating the Repairer for any legitimate or reasonable towing or storage costs associated with the Motor Vehicle and in compliance with relevant law Failure to Pay for Legitimate Storage Costs; and (v) not knowingly ask Claimants to drive unsafe or unroadworthy Motor Vehicles, Unsafe or Unroadworthy Vehicle Breach; Wheel or Rims - Repairer and Insurer Issue (Victoria Specific).

This Text Appears on Page 8 of the May 1 2017 Code

(d) If the time period in clause 4.2(c) cannot be achieved for an estimate/s due to vehicle location, repair complexity, periods of high volume or staffing shortages, the repairer must be notified of the delay and the reason for the delay, and a new assessing timeframe agreed, Vehicle Assessment Delays; Refusal to Conduct a Vehicle Assessment.

Click below to download all of Section 4, including section 4.3 and 4.4.

Section 4
(Adobe PDF File)