Expect delays to cellphone, car repairs as stock depletes due to Covid-19

19 March 2020 - 15:02 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Insurance companies expect delays in repairs due to stock shortages as the coronavirus affects imports from Asia.
Insurance companies expect delays in repairs due to stock shortages as the coronavirus affects imports from Asia.
Image: 123RF/lightwise

Delays in repairs to electronic devices and vehicles are anticipated, as stock is set to deplete over time due to the coronavirus pandemic, an insurer has warned.

MiWay sent out a letter to its clients informing them of the effect of the pandemic on operations.

“The effects of the coronavirus outbreak are having a devastating impact on the operations of our partners and service providers, who rely on the supply of parts and equipment necessary to effect repairs on most vehicles and electronic devices,” said the insurance company.

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“The biggest impact is being experienced on parts manufactured in China, Japan and South Korea, as well as electronic devices such as Apple, Huawei, LG and Samsung.

“We are going out of our way to find alternative ways to keep to our service promise. Please bear with us during this period,” it added.

Discovery Insure said while it had not experienced any delays in repairs, they were anticipating stock depletion in the near future.

“We have not experienced a backlog of repairs as yet, and are in daily contact with our suppliers in order to mitigate any challenges.

“We would expect that over time there will be delays as existing stock is depleted, and delays are experienced in supply chains. This is especially true of electronic items (including mobile phones) and vehicle parts,” said Discovery Insure CEO Anton Ossip.

“We would like to reassure our clients that our service providers, partners and call centres are operating as normal and we have all taken actionable measures to mitigate risks.”

He said they were watching the situation closely to see how they could manage it. “Should any delays be experienced, we will advise clients accordingly.”

An employee at a cellphone repair shop in Johannesburg, who did not want to be named as she is not authorised to speak to the media, said they were experiencing shortages of Macbook and iPhone XR parts.

“We have not been getting any spares for the past two weeks. Some customers understand, others don't,” said the woman.

“We have been told it is the whole coronavirus pandemic that is causing the delays.”