In case of accident, we offer our customers a 360 degree service.
In this case we provide:
the accident may actually be:
active (when the customer is right)
passive (with total responsibility of the customer)
equal responsibility (part of the responsibility is the customer’s)
In case of passive accident the expenses are completely paid by the customer.
In the other cases, we may have accidents where:
the CAI form (jointly-agreed statement for insurance purposes) is signed by both parties.
There is a report written by the local authorities
There is irrefutable and objective evidence of the accident
In any case we may intervene without having the customer spend any money; we deal with the accident completely as well as with the direct compensation.
We can also give assistance in filling out the damage claim, and we offer advice on the administrative management of the insurance practice. In case of complex accidents we avail ourselves only of professionals who are ready to offer excellent assistance to our customers.
In case of equal responsibility accidents we can agree with the customer on the actual sum he/she will be charged with after having estimated the damage to repair with certainty.
Often insurance companies push their customer to present a report of the accident by three days from the event, stating that such period of time is compulsory.
The law actually states that entitlement to compensation expires two years after the accident occurred. The customer may not have sufficient time to fill in the report correctly (which is often missing crucial elements); the report might be made in an incorrect way, that is, like an equal responsibility accident (the insurance company will pay less for the accident and will rise the bonus malus). The expert is appointed immediately, while the customer is given too little time to be informed about the damage. Whilst the superficial damage is easily estimated, with the advent of plastic being used in building cars it is often difficult to estimate the damage correctly without disassembling some of the accessories. This happens because the external coating, like bumpers for example, are often extremely elastic and they don’t break but they warp with the bump and then slowly get back to their initial shape after the bump. The internal metal sheet though remains warped, often very heavily so. When you don’t have the time to go to the body shop, the company estimates the damage on the basis of a very low rate of labour, which often does not allow a perfect repair; moreover there is no VAT reimbursement (the VAT is reimbursed only when the tax documentation is produced).
One should always bear in mind that the insurance expert, even when he or she is not employed by the company, is paid by it, and controlled by it through statistical averages on damages. This system does not stimulate experts to carry out an impartial survey, on the contrary. Moreover, the insurance expert is paid little for each survey, so that he or she must work on the quantity rather than on the quality of the estimate. The survey therefore remains a partial survey, strongly affected by whoever must reimburse the damage.
The new norms regarding insurance companies, have lately allowed the diffusion of policies with compensation in a specific form in exchange of discounts on the premium payments. These policies theoretically compel the injured party/policy holder to repair the vehicle at workshops that are covered by the insurance, without having the chance to choose the family body shop, or to choose between the repair and a sum of money as a compensation for the damage suffered.
In view of very small discounts (because this is what it is, really) the scenario for the unbeknown victim is the following:
The RCA insurance is compulsory
The company compels the damaged party to take their vehicle to a body shop that is covered by the insurance
The company estimates the damage without cross-examination
The company compels the body shop to repair the damage at costs established by it
The company sends the spare part to the coach worker (often with great delay at the expense of the customer)
As we say in Rome, the company “plays and sings by itself”– meaning that it makes decisions independently of any other parties involved.
There is no reason why we should think that the company is not interested in making a profit by saving what is possible at the expense of both the customer and the coach worker.
Body shops covered by the insurance actually sign “particular” contracts, with very low rates of labour, very low payment for materials costs (with the risk of using poor quality materials), and they are compelled by insurance companies to provide free replacement cars, free recovery, free pick up and delivery from/to the customer’s home, in full compliance with the safety on the workplace, with the norms on pollution and toxic waste disposal, tax and law regularity; all of these weigh heavily down on small family run companies because of their extremely high costs.
When an accident is compensated in excess we talk about fraud, but when it is compensated less than it should be, we talk about good company management.
The last verdicts have allowed other body shops to manage accidents, even in presence of a policy with compensation in specific form – but the customer is rarely informed about this possibility.