In September, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the long anticipated auto tech center. About 100 people were present for the event, including many area dignitaries. NCIA was represented by President Mike Rorman.
Roughly 40% of the 34,700 sq. ft. facility will be designated for auto body repair training. Once completed, the auto body portion could process as many as 300 students per semester.
Special acknowledgment and credit was given to the NCIA for its perseverance in seeing the project to fruition. There were a few in the college system that had given up after 6 years of effort and some even told the NCIA to forget the building. Yet the Association bypassed the naysayers and successfully lobbied the legislature to fund the project.
There was also special recognition to the owners of Collision Authority for their continuing commitment to the auto body program. Bill Falls and Michael Spears were honored for their $200,000 contribution to the interim training program at the Speedway. They were also extremely active in the lobbying efforts that made the auto tech center possible.
DuPont, Mitchell, Nevada Filter & Equipment, and other companies were also given favorable mention for their contributions to the interim program.
The September meetings of both North and South chapters of the NCIA were focused on preparing the Legislative Agenda for the 2007 Session. The recommendations made by the Legislative Committee were presented to both chapters and debated, after which the members present were permitted to vote the measure up or down. A few items were dropped and a change or two made to the language of the surviving items.
Items passed by both chapters
1. Prohibit insurance companies from owning or having an interest in a collision repair facility. To be patterned after the Texas law.
2. Require insurance companies to respond within two business days (after accepting liability) to inspect a vehicle dropped off at a non-DRP shop and require the same response for any additional supplements.
3. Transfer the responsibility of the annual auto body survey from the Department of Business and Industry- Insurance Division to the DMV. Also require the new survey to be an online system similar to that used by State Farm. Claimants cannot be charged for betterment, such as prorating tires and batteries.
4. Claimants should not have to suffer the inconvenience of car rental expenses. The insured's carrier shall provide transportation for as long as the vehicle is in the shop for repairs.
5. Desk reviews can only be done by an approved appraiser, as identified by NRS. No reduction can be mandated solely based on photos, or lack of photos. Questions on repair procedures, repair times, and repair/replace issues must be agreed on site by an approved appraiser before repair is started. Desk reviews must be located, verified and agreed within two business days of the receipt of estimate/supplement.
Bill Draft Requests for the above items have already been appropriated and submitted to the Legislature.
There was also a private party bill draft that was approved for support by the Association called the A-Class Endorsement. This would give body shops an option to obtain an A-Class Endorsement if they meet the recommended requirements as per the Collision Industry Conference. This would not change existing licensing requirements; only add an optional tier for shops that meet strict standards of operation.
The Association would appreciate any help from the membership in moving the legislative agenda along. Shop owners are being asked to help in lobbying key legislators and donating funds to the key committee members hearing the bills. Please contact Mike Harris, legislative chairman, for details at 702-202-5095
The 2006 Auto Body Survey has finally been released by the Nevada State Department of Business and Industry, Insurance Division. The survey assesses prevailing, reasonable and customary rates and charges. The NCIA was invited by the department to assist in drafting the new survey. The Association was instrumental in updating the questionnaire. Special thanks were given to Michael Spears, Robbie Fulghum, Sam Metz, and Jim Jackson for representing members' interests during the drafting process.
To access the survey online, go to www.doi.state.nv.us, click on Consumer Services; click Consumer Guides; click 2006 Auto Body Survey.