John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 12:53

Why Collision Repair Shops, Insurers Often Disagree on Repair Plans

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...what could be seen as blanket position statements or procedures from automakers. Wright said it was 2016 when he first saw an automaker statement calling for all of its vehicles to be scanned after a collision.


“It didn’t designate a year or anything, just that all vehicles are to be scanned,” Wright said. “If we asked everybody in the audience then, how many of those cars that you repaired last week did you scan, it may have been maybe three or four or five or one. Was it necessary to recall all those other cars because we didn’t do it right or safe?


"No, the shop believed they fixed the car properly, to OEM standards, and all of a sudden we have a bulletin that says we have to scan everything. That causes an insurer some consternation. How can that be? What happened between yesterday and today?”


A seemingly sudden shift by an OEM can have real financial consequences, Wright said.


“For even a medium-sized insurer that has 10,000 claims a day, if you throw a number out for pre- and post-scans, you come out with about $2.7 million a day in average increased costs. Per day,” Wright said. “They didn’t price that in. Now, don’t cry for the insurers. They’ll get this all priced in with the next rate increase. But in the meantime, which can be months or years, they’re losing $2.7 million a day. That’s real money to them.


"So they push back a little bit, and say, ‘Do we need it on every car? Maybe the Saturn that’s in the parking lot that got hit by a shopping cart doesn’t need to be scanned.’ It’s not that we don’t want to fix a car right. But it creates a concern for us.”


But Reichen argued neither shops nor insurers should be deciding how to repair a vehicle.


“No one knows the vehicle better than the person who built the vehicle, so from a repairer’s position, if the manufacturer says we need to do it…I’m going to follow those repair procedures,” Reichen said.


He noted an empty chair is now always placed on the stage at CIC to remind attendees of...