Thursday, 18 April 2019 16:28

Small Business Help for Collision Shop Owners



Collision shop owners may soon be thanking government for reviving an outdated regulation.


Some shop owners can now achieve valuable manufacturer certification while others will struggle to distinguish between certified and non-certified qualifications. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has adopted OEM position statements and changed the way shop owners achieve collision repair credentials. As vehicle complexity has increased in the last decade, diagnostic procedures and repair obligations seem to be mounting on a monthly basis. Fortunately, there is a program tailored for shop owners and dealers seeking assistance.


How Does It Work?


To establish credentials, a Certificate of Documents, aka OECert, is available through state licensed insurance agents. Shop owners and operators who meet certain credit, OEM and regulatory requirements can qualify for a certificate. If the insurance company determines that the shop qualifies for manufacturer requirements, an OECert performance bond is issued.


“An Insured Performance Program is a blessing to shop owners and operators because the OECert verification requirements are considerably easier than those found in the current Garagekeepers insurance marketplace,” stated consultant Steven E. Schillinger.


Regulatory Assistance


After escaping negligence in the John Eagle Collision lawsuit, many manufacturers and insurance carriers are reviving regulatory obligations under a decade-old law known as the HAPs 6H Rule, which will expose business owners that don’t provide proper training and mandatory registration.


The confidential compliance assistance role of the Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) enables staff to work closely with individual business owners and trade associations. They have developed industry-specific training and guidance materials and are happy to share knowledge.


“Many of my clients employ family members and live in the community where their business is located,” said Tony Pendola, North Carolina small business ombudsman. “Even though most auto body shops can be exempted from the 6H Rule, they are always doing some of and interested in doing more of the best management practices laid out in the rule. The last thing they want to do is emit unhealthy levels of pollutants, and we specialize in helping to guide them.”


Certificate Qualification


Most insurance carriers are slow to respond to collision industry obligations. This is largely due to document requirements created by OSHA, EPA, NFPA and recently ... vehicle manufacturers.

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