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, 30 November 2021 15:18

Auto Body Shop Billing Practices Related to Total Losses, Not-Included Procedures

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Disconnecting and later reconnecting a vehicle’s battery during collision repair work is no longer the simple operation it used to be---and auto body shops are increasingly understanding the need to research the OEM procedures for doing so, and seeking to be paid for the labor entailed.

That was among the findings of a “Who Pays for What?” survey in 2021. The survey of more than 500 shops around the country last summer found about 61% of survey respondents reported being paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest insurers when they performed and invoiced for the procedures required to reconnect a battery.


Overall, the eight insurers included in the survey proved fairly similar in terms of likelihood of covering the bill for this work. But all eight insurers appear to be more likely to reimburse their direct repair shops for this procedure.


This was particularly true in the case of State Farm. More than half (55%) of State Farm DRP shops said they were “always” paid by the insurer for this operation, but only 23% of shops not part of State Farm’s DRP said they were. Additionally, 24% said State Farm “never” pays them for this procedure.


When shops were asked a follow-up question about how often they research the OEM repair procedures necessary after a battery is reconnected, just more than half (51%) said they do it most or all of the time. But more than one in four (28%) acknowledged they research the proper procedure only “occasionally” or even “never.”


“Researching procedures required when the battery is disconnected and reconnected is critical to a safe and proper repair,” Mike Anderson of Collision Advice wrote in the report with the survey findings. “I was analyzing the procedures called for by one Asian OEM recently, and found 11 procedures required after reconnecting the battery. Disconnecting the battery often will set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). You can’t check for those without doing a post-repair vehicle scan in conjunction with reconnecting the battery.”


The first of the four “Who Pays for What?” surveys of 2022, one focused on not-included refinish labor operations, is being conducted throughout January; shops can click here to take the survey.


Last summer’s survey also found although a majority of shops surveyed said they had not yet...

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