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Chasidy Rae Sisk


Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance writer from New Castle, DE, who writes on a variety of topics.

She can be reached at crsisk@gmail.com.



Thursday, 21 May 2020 18:57

Most Insurers Reimbursing for COVID Clean Up Most of the Time

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Regardless of their individual experiences with specific insurers, most collision repair professionals around the country agree on one thing: insurers should be paying for COVID cleanup.


“We can’t get in the vehicle without doing [the sanitization] so if they don’t pay it, they can’t get the estimate and the photos,” one technician pointed out.

Jack Lundberg, former executive director for the Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Collision Repairs, wrote, “Insurers absolutely should be paying for a government-mandated order to disinfect repaired vehicles, either via an add-on or alternately, via a higher hourly rate. It's an unavoidable, and thus due and owing, expense.”


When shops encounter objections to the COVID cleanup line item, they have several common approaches to dealing with it. A common opinion expressed was shops should charge the customer, demonstrate other insurers are paying for it and ask the customer to file a complaint with the state’s insurance commissioner.


“GEICO, Progressive, State Farm and USAA are offering help with the cleaning for our shop; however, they are all DRP and tend to offer blanket positions,” said Jon Whitaker, estimator at Classic Collision in Georgia, suggesting, “Non-DRP adjusters most likely have been told use discretion on case-by-case, so be nice to your adjuster and offer 100% documentation and you’ll get it.”


A more extreme option proposed would be to quarantine the vehicle, though it seems unlikely that customers would choose this option instead of paying the nominal charge out of pocket.


Some repairers are not charging for the COVID cleanup for fear it poses a liability issue if the sanitization process was not effective.


The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) addressed this concern in a statement advising repairers to use caution regarding how they communicate vehicle sanitization to customers.


“We’ve also seen examples of businesses promoting services to ‘clean’, ‘sanitize’ or ‘disinfect’ customer vehicles,” SCRS wrote. “SCRS urges caution with the language used in your promotion of services. For instance, your facility can assure that you ‘apply disinfectant’, but there is no testing protocol to ensure that you ‘disinfected’ the vehicle. In our interaction with other industries, this has been a repeated caution; describe only what you performed, rather than a promise of what it accomplished.”

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