SOUTHWEST NEWS (352)
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
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The Houston Auto Body Association is asking that members of the collision repair industry in Texas contact their Senators in support of SB 1300, which is up for committee hearing on April 12. SB 1300 will require more disclosure from insurers about their Direct repair Program policies and requirements. Please call and email the State Senators who will decide whether or not SB 1300 will go to the next phase in becoming Law as soon as possible. By making 8 phone calls you will make a difference when the Committee meets tomorrow.
To view the most recent version of SB 1300 please CLICK HERE.
James Brown and many others will be in Austin Tuesday April 12 at 7am to show support for this bill. Give James a call 832-515-9609 if you plan on being there. The latest version of the bill can be seen below. The Texas Department of Insurance is in full support of this bill as well.
On March 16, 2011 the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held its Annual Awards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Jersey. As always, the highlight of the event was the presentation of the SCRS Industry Awards, through which the Society recognizes those that demonstrate outstanding service and achievement within the collision repair industry.
The Houston Autobody Association (HABA) was honored with the Affiliate Association Award.
The Affiliate Association Award recognizes an SCRS affiliate that exhibits exemplary actions on behalf of the collision repair professional.
Fish are jumping, biting and ready to be hooked during the annual Texas Independent Automotive Association Scholarship Fishing Tournament at Port Aransas May 20, 2011, which is open to the public.
According to Louie Sirianni, TIAA state president, the annual fishing tourney on the coast is great fun and supports a great cause.
The entry fee for the tournament is $200 per person and food tickets are $20 each.
Harms said those who fish have a super time and usually return to the dock with plenty of fish to take home and fry. He said there are cleaning services available at the nearby marina.
The Texas Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 944 on March 24. The bill was introduced by Texas Senator Mike Jackson earlier this month before being transferred to the Committee on Business and Commerce. The bill now moves to the House for approval.
The bill would create an advisory committee for the Texas Insurance Commissioner that would make recommendations regarding automobile insurance claims.
The full text of the engrossed* bill can be seen below:
Service King Collision Repair Centers, a Texas-based operator of collision repair facilities, is acquiring Alamo Body and Paint, a collision repair service provider in San Antonio. The transaction is expected to be completed by May 1, 2011.
With the addition of Alamo Body and Paint Service, Service King has 42 locations throughout the San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston areas.
Service King Collision Repair Centers was founded 35 years ago by owner, chairman and CEO Eddie Lennox.
Alamo Body and Paint co-owner and President Mark Fuller will be joining the Service King team as operations manager. Alamo Body and Paint co-owner Dave Braun will continue to develop Nexsyis Collision Inc., the developer of NEXconnex, a multiple location operator-specific collision repair management system, where Braun serves as CEO.
The collision industry has lost several key players over the years, but their contributions continue to live on through their work.
In February of 2011, the collision industry lost an exceptional colleague in Jim E. Adams.
“Though a Louisiana native, he was known nationwide as a teacher, problem solver, product manager and most importantly a friend to all of the collision repair industry,” said coworker Bill Burnside.
Jim’s collision career began in 1980 when he opened Pioneer Automotive Paint and Body with his father. Jim enjoyed painting most and soon became the lead painter at a dealership body shop while continuing to work at Pioneer. He also helped to teach his two younger brothers the autobody repair trade.
Jim joined United Bumper Exchange in 1983 as a paint store manager. He oversaw two paint lines and serviced numerous body shops within a 150 mile radius of Shreveport, LA. James Hunter, owner of United Bumper said as a team builder, Jim helped assemble the ‘old’ and ‘new’ body shop managers to fulfill a need to repair cars differently.
Jim was instrumental in forming the Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) which is still active today. From this association the local I-CAR committee also formed and Jim served as an instructor.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association held their monthly meeting on March 1, 2011 at the Country Tavern Restaurant in Shreveport. NWLCRA President, Chris Fielder, and Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Burnside, hosted the meeting. First the I-CAR class schedule (on the NWLCRA website Calendar page) for Shreveport was discussed.
I-CAR courses will no longer be under the “points” system; once a student completes a course subject successfully, they will be credited with hours instead of points.
Burnside discussed the upcoming Louisiana Legislature that will convene in March and invited discussion on how the Collision Industry can become more involved in the Louisiana Legislature. He suggested anyone with ideas to promote involvement should come to the next meeting. Some discussions have mentioned a possible Auto Collision ad hoc committee.
The new Snapshot Discount device, which is an Event Data Recorder (EDR) aka “Black Box,” that Progressive insurance has introduced was discussed (see sidebar).
The EDR is placed in an insured’s vehicle and information is recorded. Data regarding speed, braking, sudden stops, etc. are then sent to the insurance company. The insured is given a reduction in insurance premium and a reduction in their deductible for their participation in this program.
Texas Representative Craig Eiland introduced House Bill 2276 to the Texas House of Representatives on March 10; the bill is aimed at restricting insurers from limiting the parts, labor charges and repair shop the insured may choose to use.
“An insurer may not directly or indirectly limit the insurer ‘s coverage under a policy covering damage to a motor vehicle by: (1) specifying the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products that may be used to repair the vehicle; [or] (2) specifying maximum labor charges for the repair of the vehicle; or (3) limiting the beneficiary of the policy to selecting a repair person or facility to repair damage to the vehicle from a list provided to the beneficiary by the insurer,” the bill states.
The bill also addresses full disclosure of an insurers repair policies and processes for claim payments through a direct repair facility and a non-direct repair facility to the insured. According to the bill insurers must also disclose to non-direct repair shops the processes and requirements to gain the DRP contract with that insurer.
Eiland, who is Vice Chair of the House Insurance Committee, introduced the bill to the House, while Senator Mike Jackson introduced a companion bill to the Senate.
The Alamo Chapter of the Texas Independent Automotive Association will be meeting this Thursday (3/17) at Nicha’s restaurant on Loop 410. Jennifer Reyes (David Sladek’s Daughter) of Blue Cross/ Blue Shield will be talking about Health Insurance. This subject affects us all and Jennifer has some powerful information for us!
Nicha’s Comida Mexicana
5059 Northwest Loop 410
San Antonio, Texas
Phone: (210) 680-4420
*The exit is Summit Parkway off Loop 410*
The social will be at 6:30 and the meeting will start promptly at 7:00. If you have any questions, please call the Alamo Chapter President: Gabe Mendez (GM Automotive) at 210-738-2277.
Caliber Collision Centers, operator of high-quality collision repair facilities in California and Texas, announced today its continued expansion into the Houston area with the grand opening of its 44th center in Texas. This new center is an 18,986 square foot, state-of-the-art collision repair center located in Bryan, TX. Bryan is the sister city to College Station where Texas A&M University is located.
Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer announced, “We continue to expand our capacity in the Houston/Bryan/College Station area to meet the needs of our customers and insurance clients across this high growth area of the state. The opening of this newest location supports Caliber’s continued expansion plans and offers best-in-class operational consistency, customer focus, and cost management.”
“The addition of the Bryan-College Station location further extends Caliber’s position as the largest collision repair provider in Texas. The opening of our 44th center is a testament to our commitment to meeting the growing needs of our clients in the South Texas area,” added Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision.
About Caliber Collision Centers
Caliber Collision Centers operates 81 state-of-the-art collision repair service centers throughout California and Texas. Caliber plans to continue acquiring and integrating additional high-volume collision repair centers while providing innovative collision repair solutions and automobile damage claims support. For more information about Caliber Collision Centers, visit our website at www.calibercollision.com.
The Houston Auto Body Association's labor rates surveys for Houston and the surrounding areas has gone live online. The survey is being conducted by CSi Complete. Please go to: http://www.csicomplete.com/haba/ to take the survey.