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Thursday, 23 July 2009 08:44

Dealing with a Bully Insurance Adjuster?

Written by Florencia R. Albert, Attorney at Law

How to Fight Back and Win!

by Florencia R. Albert, Attorney at Law

In an industry dominated by insurance companies that reward adjusters for saving the companies money and pointing out their colleagues’ mistakes, it is important to a small auto body shop’s success to follow a few simple rules and, when necessary, to fight back when treated unfairly by an insurance company. One of the most important business decisions a small auto body repair business can make for its business to succeed is to decide not to become a victim to insurance companies. Just because the typical auto body shop is a small business does not mean it cannot fight big insurance companies, and win.

The experience of Axel’s Body Shop [name changed for confidentiality] is a good example of how a small business in southern California chose to stop being victimized by an insurance company.

When Axel’s Body Shop owner Steve Axel saw his customer’s new 2009 Honda Fit towed into his shop because of an accident, he never imagined he would find himself suing his customer’s insurance company because of a bully adjuster’s temper tantrum and vengeful action.

Saturday, 02 August 2008 12:25

NASCAR, UTI Honor Female NASCAR Official with Scholarship

Written by Autobody News staff
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NASCAR Tech students building a race car from the frame up in their chassis class at UTI’s NASCAR Tech campus in Mooresville, N.C.
Recognizing there are many women interested in pursuing careers in the automotive industry, NASCAR and the UTI Foundation established the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund for women seeking an automotive technical education.

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has been monitoring the actions of a number of insurance companies and how their processes and procedures have affected collision repairers, and ultimately their customers. SCRS recently commissioned a survey of its membership, and during this survey process, a considerable amount of input was received from member and non-member repairers from all over the country. This information is the basis for the following position.

Discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Philadelphia in mid-April indicates there is little consensus in how used or recycled parts should be priced.

    The problem as an industry trying to create best practices is we have two different pricing mechanisms out there, and we’re trying to create some sort of standard that’s accepted by all,” said Ken Weiss, chairman of the CIC Parts Committee.

    Auto recyclers participating in the discussion estimated that about 20 percent of recyclers, include Greg Freeman of Freeman’s Auto Salvage Center in Joplin, Missouri, have moved to pricing parts as undamaged while 80 percent still quote an “actual part price” to which allowance for any damage must be added.

    “From the interacting I’ve been doing with our customers, the collision shops were asking for an undamaged part price, and we’re trying to get (other) recyclers to get to that level,” Freeman said.

    But Weiss pointed out that based on discussions he heard at the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) convention last fall, only a small minority of recyclers have made that change.

Two collision industry events in April gave attendees an opportunity to get the latest on insurance and economic trends impacting the industry; learn about the “lean processing” trend among repairers; and discuss what help, if any, state insurance departments offer in addressing shops’ concerns.

An Interview with Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance Network

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Scott Biggs

Scott, I know you’ve been around the industry a while. How did you get started?

By accident of course! I actually got involved with the collision industry without ever intending to. I became a partner in a fledgling computer management company back in 1984. We created a state-of-the-art computer management system that became the leading product of its time. When I joined the company and took over managing the operations they were essentially bankrupt, but didn’t know it. We got that company turned around and eventually a paint company bought it. I got a crash course in collision repair dealing with many of the premier body shops across the US as our customers.

The societal cost of crashes is a staggering $164.2 billion annually, nearly two and a half times greater than the $67.6 billion price tag for congestion, according to a new report released today by AAA. The report, "Crashes vs. Congestion: What's the Cost to Society?," demonstrates that traffic safety issues warrant increased attention from the public and policymakers, particularly as Congress prepares to reauthorize federal transportation programs in 2009.

 

Thursday, 31 January 2008 17:00

Luxury Cars, SUV Earn 2008 Top Safety Awards

Written by Autobody News staff

The redesigned Cadillac CTS, Audi A6 and Volvo S80 earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award for 2008 in the luxury car category. Among SUVs the new luxury Infiniti EX35 earned the Top Safety Pick.

 

Monday, 31 December 2007 17:00

Nissan Quest Is By Far the Worst Performer

Written by Autobody News staff

None of 6 minivans, all 2008 models, is designed to resist vehicle damage in many low-speed collisions. The front and rear bumper systems on these minivans allowed $5,000 or more damage in a series of 4 crash tests conducted at 3 and 6 mph.

 

Monday, 31 December 2007 17:00

Restoration of Chevys Gives Illinois Dealer More Drive

Written by Dawn Schabbing
Bob Boarman knows cars. He not only knows cars and sells cars at his Shelbyville, Illinois, auto dealerships, but he collects cars, too.
 
Friday, 30 November 2007 17:00

What Happened to Simple [Car] Colors?

Written by Vince Johnson

Before we went to the first grade, most of us knew all the colors in the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. We had crayons and we colored the sky blue, oranges were orange and apples were the same color as little red wagons loaded with green watermelons. You couldn’t color the snowman because it was already white, but you could make a carrot colored nose, do little black dots for his eyes and a scarf in red, green or blue.

 

Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:00

Texas College Starts Autobody Program

Written by Autobody News staff
The auto collision repair industry is in need of trained employees, and the Austin Community College District is helping to meet the demand. ACC, at 1020 Grove Blvd in Austin, has launched their Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing Program to provide training in the latest technology and techniques used by industry repair shops.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:00

Snapshot of the Collision Industry

Written by I-CAR Education Foundation

Background
Previous surveys conducted every three years confirmed the need for a continual supply of qualified entry-level technicians, while also showing changes concerning business operations and the collision repair technician workforce.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Nevada College Opens State-of-the-Art Training Facility

Written by Paul Pate

The Community College of Southern Nevada’s Collision Repair Program officially opened recently at a new, state-of-the-art, $11 million plus facility at the Cheyenne campus. 

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Major Personnel Changes Taking Place at UTI

Written by Autobody News staff

Provider of technical education training, Universal Technical Institute Inc. (NYSE: UTI), is reducing its workforce by approximately 225 employees nationwide and restructuring its sales management.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Ford Taking the Science and Art of Color to New Level

Written by Autobody News staff

How important is color when it comes to buying a vehicle? According to Ford Motor Company research, 39 percent of consumers say they will walk out of a dealership if it doesn’t have a vehicle they want in their color of choice.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Keystone Automotive Supports TeamUSA

Written by Autobody News staff

Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. (NasdaqNM: KEYS) is donating $2,000 to SkillsUSA to help raise funds for the collision repair and refinish competitors entering this year’s World Skills Competition.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

NABC’s “Leave Something Behind” Campaign

Written by Autobody News staff

For the second installment of its “Leave Something Behind” campaign in 2007, the National Auto Body Council (NABC) is teaming up with the United States Marine Corps Reserves in support of its Toys for Tots program.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Trends: What the Future Holds

Written by

If you’re not paying enough attention to what’s going on around you, you can quickly become obsolete. For an example of just how a market can dramatically change, Matt Ohrnstein thinks collision repairers can think of themselves as a dairy farmer some years ago.

When Gil Grieve wanted to put two new paint booths into his shop a couple of years ago, he knew he would purchase them outright.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

CJJ Frame Equipment Meets Needs of All Shops

Written by Karyn Hendricks

CJJ, Inc. is a longtime manufacturer of frame equipment that makes and sells two distinctive lines of frame equipment. 

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

Minor Bumps Cause Luxury Car Owners Major Bucks

Written by Autobody News staff

Bumpers, even those on expensive cars, don’t resist damage in low-speed impacts. The Infiniti G35, the worst performer, sustained almost $14,000 damage in a series of four tests conducted at 3 and 6 mph by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Saab 9-3 was the best, sustaining $5,243 damage. Only three cars sustained less than $6,000 damage, while four would cost more than $10,000 to fix.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

Luxury Car Safety Performance In Side Impacts

Written by Autobody News staff

Three of six large car models earn the top rating of good, but one is marginal in side impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Results show a range of performance in how well large cars are designed to protect people in serious side crashes.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

NABC Recycled Rides Program Starts Rolling

Written by Autobody News staff

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has implemented a new program to assure that the holidays come early for transportation-challenged families across the country.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

Restored Hotrods Win PPG Dream Car Awards

Written by Autobody News staff

PPG selected two outstanding vehicles to receive the “PPG Dream Car” awards at the 10th annual Goodguys PPG Nationals at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus in July. The two vehicles were a ’48 Ford Nash Coupe owned by Mitch and Karen Rhodes of Helena, Ohio, and a 1950 Chevy Hardtop owned by Larry Johnston of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

2007 Kia Amanti Earns “Good” Rating

Written by Autobody News staff

The 2007 Kia Amanti received a “Good” – the highest possible rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in a side impact crash test for large luxury cars. The results show a range of performance in how well large cars are designed to protect people in serious side impact crashes.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

Color trends indicate white is the new silver

Written by Autobody News staff
After silver and black, white has the potential to be the third most significant color on the global automotive market for 2008, according to BASF Coatings’ color stylists. New shades of white will attract attention on the roads. Teams in the design centers and labs of BASF Coatings are working on solid-color and metallic paints, as well as special colors like white with soft mica effects, white with extreme sparkle, or white in variants with gradated hues such as cream colors and silver-white.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

Ford SUV earns IIHS top safety pick

Written by Autobody News staff

The 2008 Ford Taurus X, a mid-size SUV, meets the criteria to win the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award. Winners of this designation afford superior overall crash protection among the vehicles in their class. To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in all three Institute tests – front, side, and rear – and be equipped with electronic stability control.

Wednesday, 06 June 2007 10:38

New Texas law makes public market conduct and consumer complaints of insurance companies

Written by Michelle DeCrescenzo
    New Texas legislation will require automobile insurers who comprise the top 25 insurance groups in the nation to make public all the details of their individual plans on the Texas Department of Insurance website.
    The end of April marked the 21st annual Cowtown Mopars Roundup and Car Corral held on the grounds of the Huffines dealership in Lewisville, Texas. The event was held in honor of Ronnie Sox, a five-time world champion drag racer who passed away last year. The event was held on the anniversary of his death. All proceeds benefited the Ronnie Sox foundation, which sponsors St. Judes. Sox’s widow Diane runs the organization.

“Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena,” “GTO,” “Hey Little Cobra.” You know the songs and you can almost smell the burnt rubber. Such songs from The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Rip Cords, and others evoke memories in every one of us from days long past. This was an era of camaraderie, creativity, hard work ethics, originality and bonding friendships. 

Thursday, 05 April 2007 15:44

Giving back is not a money matter

Written by Michelle DeCrescenzo

Ronny and Jessica Flores put thier body shop skills to good use in the community on a recent visit to a women's shelter. The shop owners nearly overlooked thier potential for giving back, until they caught wind of a great opportunity to connect.

Thursday, 31 January 2002 17:00

Body shop repairs car and donates to needy family

Written by Richard Neubauer

Maria Martinez won't be walking to work anymore, thanks to the generous spirit of Bates Custom & Collision in Baytown, Texas. The single mother of three teenage children regularly took a bus from her Houston home and then walked several miles to her $8.50/hour job as a security guard, while her teenagers walked three miles to school. 

Thursday, 31 January 2002 17:00

Toyota expands collision repair and refinish program

Written by Autobody News staff

While many auto manufacturers have cut back on technical training offered to body shops, relying instead on paint makers and collision equipment manufacturers to deliver their "approved collision training," University of Toyota is serving more students than ever in its repair and refinish programs. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2001 17:00

7 steps to double your referrals!

Written by Tracy Bains

There are dozens of marketing strategies you can use to generate business for your shop, but none more important than referrals. Referrals are the lifeblood of most collision repair facilities. I'm going to take you through the seven steps to double your referrals. We're going to talk about referrals and referral stimulation strategies that you can start to use right away in your shop that will increase your sales and won't cost you a fortune. I will also ask you a lot of questions to get you thinking, and give you some ideas to use right now to start to increase your referrals. 

Monday, 05 March 2007 16:55

The dramatic birth of SCRS led by John Loftus

Written by

Today the phrase, “Working Together Is The Most Important Work We Do” is recognized as a hallmark of SCRS. In honor of the society’s 25th anniversary celebration, a historical timeline has been compiled through the stories of past members and key players.

Saturday, 30 November 2002 17:00

The Collision Industry Conference

Written by

Al Estorga was fuming. 

Tuesday, 31 December 2002 17:00

Single working mother gets rebuilt car

Written by Autobody News staff

For the fourth consecutive year, Bates Custom & Collision of Baytown, Texas gave a deserving Baytown family one heck of a Christmas present - a 1995 Chevrolet Corsica that had been totally rebuilt by the Baytown staff. The annual gift is part of the Akzo Nobel Acoat Selected Benevolence Program through which body shops across the country donate their time and money to help out a needy and deserving family in their communities. 

Tuesday, 31 December 2002 17:00

Shops rebuild cars for two deserving single mothers

Written by Autobody News staff

Mike's (Mike Rose) Auto Body in the East Bay area of San Francisco rebuilt and donated two automobiles to needy, deserving families at Christmas as part of the national Akzo Nobel Acoat Select Benevolence Program. 

Monday, 30 June 2003 17:00

Staff huddles in downdraft booth pit as tornado strikes

Written by Karyn Hendricks

It was 5:05 p.m. on May 8 when Mike Myers and his staff gathered around the TV to check up on the weather. At 5:15 p.m. they were all huddled together in the pit of the downdraft booth, listening to the devastation taking place above them. 

Monday, 30 June 2003 17:00

Summer nights with I-CAR

Written by Karyn Hendricks

There I was with my clipboard, dressed in jeans and my Bobby Labonte t-shirt - a former school teacher, freelance writer and self-confessed gearhead heading off to learn about the world of auto body repair. 

Thursday, 31 July 2003 17:00

Texas shops sustain damage from hurricane Claudette

Written by Karyn Hendricks

Hitting land about five hours earlier than expected, hurricane Claudette caused massive damage when she slammed into the Texas Matagorda Peninsula on Tuesday, July 15 right about mid-day. Although 15 counties were affected, the hardest hit cities were Port O'Connor, Victoria, and Port Lavaca, along with the west coast of island city Galveston. 

Sunday, 31 August 2003 17:00

Let their fingers do the walking right into your shop

Written by Karyn Hendricks

There is a school of thought that Yellow Page directories are all washed up. With Internet sites like 411.com, Switchboard.com and others, who wants to lug out a fat, heavy book and thumb through a thousand or more pages? Actually, your potential customers do. Internet sites (at least right now), just offer plain vanilla listings perhaps with a link to a map. How can a consumer make an informed choice with nothing but a name, address and phone number displayed? 

Sunday, 31 August 2003 17:00

After the airbags deployed...

Written by Karyn Hendricks

My job as associate editor of Autobody News has given me a terrible disease - TMI - too much information. It's torture! 

Friday, 31 October 2003 17:00

Compassionate shop owners donate vehicles

Written by Autobody News staff

"Each year the collision repair industry as a whole comes across cars that are 'written off' by either the owner or the insurance company. Often these are older vehicles that just need some mechanical and body work to get them back on the road and perfectly safe to drive. Because we believed these cars were going to waste when there were people who really need them, we decided to do something about it," stated Sal Contreras, sales/marketing manager for Mike Rose's Auto Body, Inc. with shops located in Concord, Walnut Creek and Pleasanton, California. 

Sunday, 30 November 2003 17:00

CAA East Bay Chapter hosts Custom Truck Competition

Written by Karyn Hendricks

Miniature big rigs and all kinds of toys were everywhere as the East Bay Chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) hosted its 6th Annual Toys for Tots Truck Competition at the Hilton in Concord, California, on November 18. 

Sunday, 30 November 2003 17:00

Swenson brings passion and fire to CAA presidency

Written by Karyn Hendricks

When Kelly McCarty Swenson is sworn in as president of the California Autobody Association (CAA) in February 2004, she will become the third woman to steer the organization - following in the footsteps of Maureen Holmes and Yumi Vaught. 

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) last month took a big step forward in its efforts to improve the image of the industry when a Montana camp for young people with cancer named its newly-built medical center in honor of the collision industry.
Sunday, 30 November 2003 17:00

Owner Rich Evans competes on TLC Junkyard Wars

Written by Karyn Hendricks

So what does a body man do to recuperate from the day-to-day stress of operating a collision repair business? In the case of Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks, his idea of rest and relaxation is to hang out in a junkyard, pull down his welding mask, and build machines out of junk. 

Wednesday, 31 December 2003 17:00

Texas body shops rebuild cars for deserving families

Written by Karyn Hendricks

Three Texas body shops including Bates Custom & Collision of Baytown, ProCare Collision of San Antonio, and Ellis and Salazar of Austin, presented needy, deserving families in their community with rebuilt vehicles as part of the Akzo Nobel Benevolence Program. 

Wednesday, 31 December 2003 17:00

Three vehicles donated to deserving community members

Written by Karyn Hendricks

Mike's Auto Body of Concord, California made Christmas merrier for the needy and deserving in their Bay Area community this year through the Akzo Nobel Benevolence Program. Keilah Johnson, Jose Luna Jr. and Youth Homes, Inc., each went home with a new "used" vehicle. Joined by 18 Bay Area collision industry vendors, Mike's Auto Body repaired three vehicles that had been "written off" and gave them to groups and individuals who will use them to improve their own lives and the lives of others. 

Wednesday, 31 December 2003 17:00

I-CAR toy drive sends 2,000 toys to wild fire victims

Written by Toby Chess

I-CAR Los Angeles has been conducting food or toy drives for the last seven years during the holiday season. This year was the most successful yet, with over 2,000 new toys donated, and the success may be due in part to a new twist that was added to this year's event. 

Friday, 30 April 2004 17:00

When a great idea collides with expertise and know-how!

Written by Janet Chaney

When you're in Las Vegas for NACE this coming November, look out your hotel window at the Mandalay Bay and across the freeway you'll see a big red sign: "Body Shop." That would be Falconi's, the most visible leg of the Vegas auto body triumvirate known as the Auto Body Group (ABG). Formed in 1991, ABG consists of Green Valley Collision Center, Speed-way Truck and Paint, and Falconi's. 

Friday, 30 April 2004 17:00

Central Cal group learns negotiating techniques in seminar

Written by Janet Chaney

From coastal cities Ventura and San Luis Obispo to as far east as Bakersfield, over 75 collision repair industry professionals traveled to the rolling hills of Santa Maria to participate in a High Impact Negotiation workshop presented by Mel Hunke. 

Monday, 31 May 2004 17:00

Design contest seeks creative auto concepts

Written by Autobody News staff

The details of the sixth-annual Motor Trend/CIAS International Design Contest have been announced by Motor Trend magazine and the California International Auto Show (CIAS). Open to amateur, student and professional designers from around the world, the theme of this year's competition is "Brand It Your Way," challenging contestants to conceptualize a vehicle design that embodies the characteristics and traits of a specific, non-automotive brand. 

Monday, 31 May 2004 17:00

International e-conference addresses the role of mentoring in CR

Written by Autobody News staff

President and CEO of Mentors at Work Mark Claypool served as a featured panelist addressing the topic Human Empowerment: The Role of Mentoring during an international Internet conference in May. Mentors at Work partners with automotive and collision repair facilities to build and maintain effective, in-house apprenticeship programs. Joining Claypool was Mentors at Work's Personal Trainer Kathy Moore, a specialist in interpersonal relations.  

Wednesday, 30 June 2004 17:00

Determining the true meaning of blending

Written by Dan RIsley

Over the past several months, blend panels have been the center of controversy for collision repairers all across the country. This issue has been brought to the Society of Collision Repair Specialists' (SCRS) attention, not only by several of our members but also at a recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meeting.  

Wednesday, 30 June 2004 17:00

CIC participants observe IIHS crash tests

Written by Autobody News staff

Red lights started to flash, a buzzer started to intermittently go off and the countdown had really begun.....