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Germany: Allianz Begins Repairs with Used Parts

Two years ago, Allianz Insurance sparked a significant socio-political movement in Germany by promoting sustainability with the introduction of “green repairs.” The company’s latest announcement, however, came as a surprise: starting immediately, accident repairs will also include the use of used parts.


Germany: Allianz Begins Repairs with Used Parts p
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Earlier this year, Innovation Group integrated with the used parts platform ClaimParts. This partnership allowed IG partner companies to search for and utilize “GreenParts,” offering a solution to the frequent supply bottlenecks for new parts. The pilot phase proved successful, leading CEO Frank Sommerfeld officially activated the used parts repair process across the IG workshop network earlier this month.

Frank Sommerfeld elaborated on Allianz’s philosophy in a detailed statement, emphasizing the global insurer’s commitment to sustainability. He highlighted that Allianz’s goal is to ensure a livable and insurable planet for future generations. This commitment extends beyond capital investments to include reducing climate-damaging emissions through innovative products and services in car and home insurance, as well as corporate insurance.

At the 10th Allianz Auto Day on October 19, 2022, discussions centered on sustainable car insurance. Key topics included preventive and repair concepts for high-voltage batteries, reconditioning expensive aluminum parts, and solutions for “green, sustainable repair.” Christoph Lauterwasser, the then-managing director of the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT), highlighted that repairing vehicle damage using alternative methods significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to manufacturing new parts.

Allianz Versicherungs-AG spends around six billion euros annually on repair damages for customers. Sommerfeld’s approach to incorporating used parts aims to make a real contribution to the environment by reducing the use of new spare parts. Experts agree that repairing rather than replacing parts is more sustainable, with significant CO2 savings. For instance, repairing a windshield instead of replacing it saves around 99 percent of CO2 emissions and reduces costs by up to 1,200 euros.

A 2022 study by AZT and Carbon GmbH on a Ford Fiesta’s side panel repair showed a cost reduction of 1,700 euros and a 60 percent decrease in CO2 emissions. Similar studies have consistently demonstrated the environmental and economic benefits of prioritizing repairs over replacements.

Sommerfeld referenced calculations by Christoph Lauterwasser, noting that increasing the repair rate by just two percentage points in Germany could save around 5,000 tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to the energy consumption of 860 households. He emphasized the potential of used spare parts in reducing emissions and promoted the concept of an automotive circular economy, citing successful measures in countries like England, the Netherlands, and France.

While some vehicle manufacturers have begun offering used spare parts, Sommerfeld urged German politics to accelerate development through legal frameworks. He also called on insurers to help create a market for used spare parts in Germany, facilitating sustainable repairs.

Currently, insurers market total loss vehicles internationally to maximize revenue, limiting the availability of spare parts for vehicles aged three to eight years. This demographic is the primary target for used part repairs. Older vehicles, over nine years, often do not benefit from used part repairs, making the current focus on mid-age vehicles essential.

Allianz has decided to collaborate exclusively with certified recyclers in Germany to ensure that suitable total loss vehicles’ parts are prioritized for the domestic repair market. This strategy enables Allianz to carry out used part repairs through approximately 1,400 partner workshops linked to ClaimParts. The platform currently offers around 4.5 million used spare parts, a number that continues to grow.

Sommerfeld clarified that the focus is primarily on non-safety-relevant parts such as doors, mirrors, and headlights. The use of steering, axle parts, or wheels is excluded. This selective approach still results in substantial CO2 savings and cost reductions, with further potential in reusing engines and gearboxes after functional testing.

Sommerfeld concluded by expressing hope that other insurers would follow Allianz’s example. He emphasized the collective potential to repurpose undamaged parts from totaled vehicles, promoting sustainability across the motor vehicle insurance market.