– insurance companies don’t
Part of his work was certifying work from other repairers or DIY jobs.
‘‘ We are seeing a lot more inferior work because it is not coming through the mainstream system,’’ he said.
The Wellingtonian spoke to several panel beating business owners.
All declined to be named, but said it was extremely difficult to make money at the rates that insurance companies paid them.
All said there was no pressure to cut corners.
IAG New Zealand corporate communications manager Denise Bailey said crash repairers were not paid for time, so it was inaccurate to quote an hourly rate.
Repairers were required to have the correct equipment for structural repairs and welders had to be qualified.
The quality of repairs to customers’ vehicles was of paramount importance and any claims of substandard repairs were of serious concern.
A team of quality and compliance analysts carried out random inspections of IAG customers’ vehicles during and after repair, she said.
AA Insurance customer relations head Suzanne Wolton said the company believed in paying a fair rate for quality work, and wanted repair costs to be transparent and justifiable, because they were ultimately passed on to customers through premiums.
AA did not compromise on quality and repairs were carried out by its repairer network, and checked and approved by in-house trade assessors, she said.
Vero spokeswoman Vasantha Naidoo said the company paid fair and reasonable market rates to enable repairers to return customers’ vehicles to within manufacturers’ specifications and recognised industry standards.
Vero was an advocate of industry training and its assessors were fully trained, industry-qualified and had ongoing training in repair methodologies to keep up with the changing market.
‘‘We have a network of approved repairers that we monitor and audit on a regular basis to ensure quality of repairs and customer service remains high,’’ Ms Naidoo said.
Low-paid work: A panelbeating technician checks an owner-repaired vehicle against its manufacturer’s specifications. It was found to be misaligned by 15mm and had to be stripped, straightened and spot-welded back together before re-painting. The alignment machine cost about $70,000 and updating manufacturers’ vehicle specifications for it costs about $1000 each year.