Painting, under the current insurance rules, is reimbursed for the entire amount it costs the consumer. However, the insurance regulatory and development authority is now considering categorising painting under the same definition as plastics, vinyls and rubbers, as it is also a polymer. That means that a paint job will cost you half the total amount, just like replacing a part made of plastic would mean that you've got to pay 50 per cent of the cost.
This is being considered because of insurance companies getting an inordinate number of claims to repaint entire cars. The companies suspect the zero cost of painting when making a claim encourages the person making the claim to grab the opportunity to get the entire car repainted free.
The way the new regulation will work is, the customer will end up paying 50 per cent of the material cost, which cannot exceed 35 per cent of the total cost. That means the customer will have to pay around 17.5 per cent of the total painting cost. This is still significant, as painting makes up 55 per cent of the total repair cost of a panel.
We think this is a good move on the insurance companies' part, all things considered, as it will bring down their losses, benefit used car buyers as they will realise the true worth of a car that has been in a shunt, and make more owners opt for zero depreciation.