The Competition Commission’s Code of Conduct for Competition in the Automotive Industry, which is subject to final comments from stakeholders, will place tough new obligations on motor insurers who sign up.
Mark Griffiths, a director of law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, says although the code primarily targets manufacturers, it also places material obligations on insurers. He says: “The code is voluntary in nature but, once a party becomes a signatory, it will impose binding obligations that can be relied on by third parties, including service providers and consumers.”
He says that under the latest version of the code, insurers must:
- Fairly allocate work amongst service providers such as vehicle repairers;
- Broaden the allocation of work to entities either owned or operated by historically disadvantaged individuals;
- Publish a list of all approved service providers on their websites and/or other suitable media;
- Offer consumers a choice of approved repairers within their geographic area;
- Refrain from appointing any service provider for excessively long periods; and
- Refrain from continually renewing the appointment of a service provider.