Webinar: Understanding the Challenges of Covid-19 to Credit Repair
The CHO, with the National Body Repair Association (NBRA), hosted a webinar on 26 May for CHCs and NBRA members to discuss challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and how both sectors can work to resolve these issues now and in the future.
The panellists were Paul Cunningham (Fix Auto Dagenham), Chris Weeks (NBRA), Peter Gomes (The CHO) and Sean Harper (S&G Response).
Topics included payment terms between credit hire companies and their repair networks; bodyshops indicated that the current payment terms, often 60-90 days, were too long, and caused bodyshops cashflow issues.
Payment lengths are often dictated by the terms of agreements between CHCs and third-party insurers. A suggestion was made to ease the cashflow concerns via interim payments, though any change would need agreement between the insurer and the CHC, given CHC payments are likewise dictated by agreement with insurers.
Post Covid-19 future
The repair industry is facing an uncertain future. A large number closed at the start of the lockdown and furloughed their workforce. Many of these have now started opening in some capacity, most with fewer employees in order to maintain social distancing.
A challenge CHCs often face is having to contact a repairer multiple times to get the information they require. There are concerns that fewer staff may create further contact challenges.
One suggestion was for greater use of technology to handle CHC communications as systems are able to provide information digitally, so reducing high call volumes between the two parties.
It is hoped this can lead to wider discussions between the credit hire and repair sectors, on this and other issues where mutual opportunities exist to work together smarter.
The full webinar is available to watch below.
NBRA executive director Chris Weeks commented “There are opportunities between CHCs and repairers that we can work on. If we think about it hard now, credit hire companies and credit repair could be an absolute white knight for the body industry and we would really want to help you in return.”
For The CHO, Peter Gomes added: “At the end of the day, the cash is going to flow from TPIs through CHCs onto the repairers. It makes sense for the two parties to work together to make that process as efficient and streamlined as possible.”
Over 70 members signed into the webinar, and both parties agreed it would be helpful to host further debates to better understand the opportunities and challenges faced by both sides, with the objective being to improve service to customers and better manage the claims cycle.
Matt Rowland, CHO head of marketing and business development, who introduced the webinar, said: “Webinars are proving very popular as a means of surfacing issues and creating awareness.”
“The CHO is actively seeking to build consensus across the claims industry, to improve transparency, build understanding of our industry and how it operates. The more we do to engage with other stakeholders, the better the outcomes for our members.”