Autoforum Nov 2013
Get reimbursed faster by following processes
By Les Mc Master, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA)
We often hear complaints from workshop owners and managers that finance providers take forever to process reimbursements relating to mechanical breakdown insurance policies leaving workshops out of pocket.
So what’s the secret to a smooth and stress-free reimbursement?
Mechanical breakdown insurance is insurance against an actual mechanical breakdown or ‘breaking/failure’ of a listed covered component on a motor vehicle or truck. These insurance products are not extended warranties. They cover a set amount of components to a maximum limit or threshold as stated in the policy.
It is important to understand that finance providers and insurers have certain processes in place and it is key that you understand these processes and adhere to them closely. If all is followed correctly, finance providers promise a six to eight working day turnaround reimbursements time from receipt of invoice.
We spoke to Warren Fryer, a Dealer Relationship Manager at Motorite Administrators, who says two of the most common reasons for delayed payments are: invoices that do not have all the basic details needed to process payments and repairers who post or hand deliver invoices to be paid, delaying the process.
Willem van Rensburg, Audit Manager: Automotive for Innovation Group, agrees adding that repairers often don’t submit the relevant documents and don’t request the reimbursement authorisation needed to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Reimbursement processes are fairly similar for most insurers. We asked insurers for a guideline on the reimbursement process. Here’s what they had to say…
- Policy holders generally need to take their vehicles into an approved repair centre where the fault can be checked and a detailed quote provided.
- The repairer needs the customer to clearly stipulate they have a Mechanical Breakdown Policy and what the policy number is.
- The repairer then needs to contact the administrator of the policy via the contact details in the policy booklet.
- Make sure you have the following information on hand when calling to lodge a claim on behalf of the policy holder:
- Their repairer code
- Policy number of the covered vehicle
- Vehicle details eg. Make, model, registration number, vin number and engine number.
- Policy holder details
- Fault / Cause / Remedy of the failure
- Detailed quotation including costs split by parts and labour to complete the repair.
- Once this information has all been verified the repairs can go ahead and an invoice can be e-mailed to the insurer in a PDF format so the repairer can be reimbursed. It’s important to understand that the amount on the claim needs to be the same as that on the original invoice.
- In some cases the repair may be slightly different from what was quoted initially. In this case the repairer needs to call the administrator to update their order number with the changes. This prevents any short payments when the invoice is submitted.
It’s important to get familiar with the policies and processes provided by finance providers. If in doubt, contact the finance providers and ask questions. It’s the responsibility of all parties to get informed and ensure the process runs smoothly. If you are constantly encountering late reimbursements from finance providers without due cause or would like additional information on process training, be sure to contact MIWA on www.miwa.co.za.