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, 09 August 2022 14:10

Company Says it Has Recent Auto Body Shop Estimate Data for Sale

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This summer’s Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Pittsburgh drew hundreds of attendees from around the country. This summer’s Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Pittsburgh drew hundreds of attendees from around the country.


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The ongoing discussion about auto body shop data privacy at the quarterly Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meetings took a new turn this summer when an association leader described what a data aggregator company had recently offered to sell to his organization.

Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), said the company contacted him, after speaking with one of SCRS’s state affiliate groups, to see if SCRS might be interested in acquiring data it has on recently-written collision repair quotes.


The company, which Schulenburg did not identify by name, told him the information could be used by SCRS member shops to contact consumers who received a recent estimate to say, “Hey, I know you’ve gotten a recent quote, and our business could do the work for you.”


Schulenburg asked what type of information was available. The company told him, “through our data aggregation partners and processes, we collect 86% of all quoted collision repairs in North America, whether the quote is taken through a body shop or any insurance carrier.” Even if that quote doesn’t reach an insurer, Schulenburg said he was told, “that data goes into our system within 24 hours.”


The 40-plus data fields the company said it has include on a daily basis more than 62,000 VINs and 135,000 quotes---written by shops or insurers. It includes customer name and contact information---address, phone and email---where the collision occurred and where the repair quote was generated. It includes nearly $72 million of quoted parts per day, and the year, make, model and mileage of vehicles along with body, trim and engine descriptions.


The revelation was of interest to a CIC committee that, like SCRS and other organizations, has been looking into how shop estimate information sometimes ends up as entries on vehicle history reports. Schulenburg said the company offering to sell the data was not one he, nor anyone else he has talked to about it, has heard of.


“The point here is not that they have this data, but it’s...

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