Insurers must take repair-first approach to UPVC

8th May 2018
Repair to a damaged UPVC door

UPVC is one of Plastic Surgeon’s most popular repair requests within our work in the construction industry, however it’s interesting to note that, it is one of the least popular requests within the insurance industry, where a replacement approach is generally used.

Chris Edwards, head of insurance at Plastic Surgeon comments: “We’ve recently been working with an insurer assisting them in a triage capacity assessing UPVC claims that come in to see whether they are in fact repairable.

“It was really interesting to note that out of all of the UPVC claims that we assessed only 16% were unrepairable.”

Continued Chris: “What’s frightening to note is that with many insurers current processes that’s resulting in huge amounts of perfectly repairable UPVC being sent to landfill and HUGE wasted costs for insurers and their policy holders”.

The savings of a repair over a replace approach when it comes to UPVC are substantial.  As is the claim lifecycle.

Chris adds: “Typically for windows, doors, fascia’s and conservatories the repair cost is around a fifth of the cost of the replacement cost and the claim lifecycle is reduced by about a tenth!

So Why Is A Repair Approach Not Widely Used In The Insurance Industry?

Chris says: “The current approach to claims management, in many cases results in the insurer contacting a glazing company in the first instance, who, in the majority of cases will recommend a replace approach.

“In many instances, it is a lack of knowledge that results in thousands of tonnes of UPVC items being replaced every year, increasing landfill, driving up claim lifecycles and claim costs and reducing customer satisfaction.

“The work we do at Plastic Surgeon is to us simple, however we understand that to others in the industry, it’s hard to believe that this material can be repaired and back to its former glory so quickly and cost effectively.”

What Type Of Repairs Can Plastic Surgeon Make To UPVC?

The damage that the highly experienced finishers at Plastic Surgeon repair varies, from minor scratches and dents, to serious distortions, large punctures and even burns.  One of the most remarkable interventions our finishers make is where a UPVC profile has become distorted in shape due to heat or twisting.  Using a great deal of experience, the finisher is able to re-profile the UPVC back into it’s original shape, then complete a full polish to reinstate the surface so nobody would believe the condition it started in.

White has long been a popular choice of colour for purchasers of UPVC products, but in recent years there has been a trend towards coloured uPVC and there are countless variations, we’ve seen it all from grey, to green and many in-between.  Colour mixing and matching is an essential skill acquired by every finisher, to ensure that once the repair is made it is undetectable.

Our Results

In 2017, Plastic Surgeon saved 3,474 tonnes of landfill and 135,445 items saved from being replaced.

Concluded Chris: “We’d ask insurers to consider piloting a repair approach to UPVC, it’s in all of our best interests to look to new and modern methods to improve our approach to claims management.”

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