Automotive technology making repairs more expensive, says AA Insurance

Automotive technology making repairs more expensive, says AA Insurance | Insurance Business

Automotive technology making repairs more expensive, says AA Insurance

Highly advanced automotive technology is making car repairs a lot trickier – and more expensive – a major motor insurer said.

Due to the large amount of advanced components in modern cars, repair costs can be much higher than many people may expect, Aaron Dickinson, AA Insurance’s head of product, said in a news release.

One often-cited component is the bumper. On older cars, bumpers did not have specialised coats of paint and didn’t have inbuilt electronic parts, making them relatively straightforward and cheap to replace.

However, Dickinson said that today’s bumpers can cost several thousand dollars to replace because they now contain electronics such as blind spot sensors and parking sensors.

AA Insurance presented repair costs for two vehicle models, just five years apart. In the first case, a Mazda CX-5 2012 model with a damaged bumper was repaired in 2012, with a bill of $1,852. Meanwhile, a Mazda CX-9 2017 model underwent repairs for similar damage in 2018, but its repair costs reached $3,449.

The extra costs were mostly due to replacing the damaged blind spot sensor for $790 and re-applying the ceramic protection coating to the car body for $429.

Repair costs for modern windscreens also often take car owners by surprise, Dickinson said, due to newer models containing sensors and cameras for the car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

“Repairing cars used to be purely about fixing metal,” said Dickinson. “Now it is just as much about repairing computers. New car technology, especially for safety, is fantastic but expensive. So, it’s important to do research on your model before deciding on the level of cover for your car insurance policy – and what additional benefits, such as excess-free glass cover, you may want to include.”