Sunday, 30 September 2007 10:00

CRA Celebrates Its First Anniversary

The Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) celebrated its first anniversary by challenging members of the collision repair industry to take a “reality check exam.” The ten-question test is aimed at warning owners of California collision repair businesses about the bleak future that awaits them if they refuse to understand why they are losing control of their operations.

“We are through waiting for the results of studies, committee reports and other stalling tactics that have been thrown at us by the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Insurance Commissioner,” stated Allen Wood, CRA Executive Director. “We have strong laws to protect consumers and repairers. Steering and capping by insurers are simply illegal acts, but the bureaucrats answer our complaints by calling for more rules to clarify what they are supposed to do.

“We sued the Bureau of Automotive Repair over its failure to stop Progressive Insurance from operating without an automotive repair dealer’s license. We will go to the courts and the public with a loud voice and plenty of documentation to defend our right to earn a fair profit for doing high standard repair work. The future of collision repair is to take action now, not a year from now.”

Wood released a partial list of CRA’s accomplishments during the first year:

•CRA was the only trade organization to take aggressive action against the BAR and Progressive’s Concierge Program.

•A new website reflects the CRA’s increased commitment to waking up sleeping state regulators who have failed to enforce existing laws directed at preventing unfair and illegal insurer business practices.

•Held a two-day legislative conference at the state capital to educate public officials on collision industry issues.

•Produced a consumer information brochure for members to give to their customers.

•Convinced regulators that insurers cannot arbitrarily cap what they pay for paint and materials.

•Successfully convinced the Department of Insurance to provide clear direction on how labor rate surveys may be used by insurers and led the campaign to squash the use of labor rate surveys by insurers as a method of capping payments.

•Provided services to members subjected to unfair and misguided regulatory decisions.

•Developed a comprehensive plan for the Insurance Commissioner to use in protecting consumers during the vehicle repair process.

•Won commitments from state legislators to review insurer practices that are unfair and illegal.

•Doubled the membership of the CRA and in doing so, raised the professionalism of the vehicle repair industry.

To stand up and be counted, visit www.cra-ca.com to learn more about the organization.



CRA Reality Check Exam

Answers are either “yes” or “no”


yes G    no G   1. I would rather increase my DRP repair work than walk-in work.         

yes G    no G     2. The insurer has the right to cap its payment for paint and materials.

yes G    no G     3. Compared to three years ago, my repair revenues are up while overall profit is down.

yes G    no G   4. Progressive Insurance has the right to engage in partial teardown of vehicles before it sends a damaged vehicle to a contracted.

yes G    no G   5. The Department of Insurance is the best place to go to report steering by an insurer. 

yes G    no G   6.  An insurer has the right to select the methodology for determining the cost of paint and materials.  

yes G    no G   7. Legislators know what “steering” means.

yes G    no G   8. Consumers know their collision repair rights.

yes G    no G   9. Labor rate surveys help determine what is a reasonable cost of repair.

yes G    no G   10 Returning a damaged vehicle to pre-loss condition does not affect the type of crash parts used.



**The CRA believes any “yes” answer in this exam is sending the repairer in the wrong direction. If you answered “yes” to any question, CRA membership may be your best next step.