Why do prestige and classic motor claims take longer?

We’re often asked how long it takes to fix a prestige or classic car following a claim. While there’s no hard and fast answer, one thing is almost certain – it will take longer than a repair to a standard car.

There are a few important reasons for this, which we outline below.

Sourcing parts

The first challenge for repairers when dealing with prestige and classic cars is sourcing spare parts. As Dawes Motor Underwriting Manager Chris Quick explains this can add considerable time to a repair.

“In the case of European vehicles, a lot of those parts are flown in from overseas which adds a fair amount of time to a claim, while with classic cars, parts can be rare and therefore harder to source,” he says.

Specialist repairers

While they can nominate their own repairer, Dawes customers also have access to a network of specialist vehicle repairers.

To be sure of a quality job, Chris says it’s important that the repairer has been trained by the manufacturer, and great care taken to ensure the workmanship is first class.

“There are no short cuts. You’ve really got to take your time to ensure a quality job is done on these specialist vehicles, and that may mean the repair takes longer, but the result will be outstanding.”

Case study

To illustrate these points, Chris cites a recent Dawes claim:

“A current model Bentley insured with us had been rear-ended and the repair took three weeks.

This was because Bentley only keep a minimum amount of spare parts in
Australia, so parts had to be flown in from Asia and Europe.

In addition, the bumper itself contained sophisticated equipment such as parking
sensors and blind spot warning indicators, all of which take time to fix. And to
ensure the repair was seamless, the paint blending to the adjacent panels was
matched outdoors and assessed at different times of the day.

We asked the repairer how long the job would have taken had the vehicle
been a Holden Commodore, or even a BMW 3 series. His answer was five days.

And the Bentley repair cost around $45,000-$50,000, compared to less than
$10,000 for the same damage to a standard vehicle.”

The impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 also has the potential to effect claims times.

Chris says the lead times for spare parts have increased from an average of one week to between three to four weeks, due to air freight delays and the shut downs of some foreign manufacturers.

The Dawes claims team is also allowing extra time for vehicle cleaning before and after repairs, and some repairers are working at a reduced capacity to comply with workplace social distancing.

On the upside, he says that claims lodgements are also down, with customers using their vehicles less thanks to COVID restrictions resulting in fewer accidents. The knock-on effect is that some repairers currently have extra capacity.

“We’re encouraging customers with claims to get their cars repaired now, especially as they are less likely to need their cars with the current restrictions in place. That way, they’ll be ready to hit the open road when freedom returns to our lives.”

First class service with Dawes

While the claims process for a prestige or classic car may be longer than for a standard car, we’ll keep you up to date on the progress of your client’s claim and ensure that they get a first class claims for their first class vehicles.

Visit our website or contact us on 1300 188 299 to learn more about our claims process.