Friday, 27 March 2020 12:21

NABA 'Gets to Yes' with Collision Hub’s Kristen Felder

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Kristen Felder, founder and CEO of Collision Hub, delivered an informative presentation. Kristen Felder, founder and CEO of Collision Hub, delivered an informative presentation. NABA


The Nebraska Auto Body Association (NABA) hosted Kristen Felder, founder and CEO of Collision Hub, for an informative presentation, “Negotiations---Getting to Yes.”

The full day of training took place March 7 at the Ameristar Casino and Hotel in Council Bluffs, IA, drawing a roomful of collision repair industry professionals eager to learn the secrets to negotiating with insurers.


The seminar attracted 185 registered attendees coming from seven states in the region.


“Many who attended Kristen Felder’s training seminar left with their eyes opened regarding how insurance companies view claims---myself included!" said NABA Chair Dave Yard. "For years, collision repairers have been under the impression that insurers are obligated to pay us to perform safe and proper repairs, according to OE procedures; however, that is not always the case.”


“After describing the training that insurance companies use, Kristen explained that we, as collision repair professionals, need to step our game up and get more comfortable with negotiations," Vice Chair James Rodis added. "We had an amazing class with Kristen, and I think the attendees got more than they were expecting. Based on conversations I’ve had with participants, everyone was glad they attended, and I commend them for spending a Saturday working ON their business, instead of IN their business.”


Felder said the important thing to remember is the insurer’s obligation and the repairer’s obligation are legally not the same, and that's OK.


"The frustration and danger come when either side of the equation believes they have the same job or goals," Felder said. "Once we fully understand our role, we can begin to prepare an effective negotiation strategy, using the right combination of tactics.


"If you never understand the roles, it's like showing up for a baseball game in your football gear. You were prepared---just prepared for the wrong game,” she said.

Rodis said there was a lot of great discussion about liability, regarding whether it falls on the insurance company or the shop.


"A lot of shops seemed surprised to hear that the liability would fall on the shop for such things as aftermarket parts and seatbelt inspections," Rodis said. "Are shops that use aftermarket parts going through the decertification lists weekly to see if any part they have ever put on has now been decertified? If so, are they calling the customer and notifying them that the part does not meet the lowest standard?”


Felder explained how an insurance policy, or contract, works in great detail, and attendees were stunned when she said repairing vehicles correctly is the repairer’s responsibility, while the contract customers have with insurers is a product with specific features.


"That doesn’t mean the insurer blindly agrees to repair the policyholder’s car per OEM procedures,” Yard explained. “That just raises more questions: How do we handle this? What do we need to do as an industry to fix this gap being taken advantage of by insurers?


“This means collision repairers and associations need to work together, more than ever, to make our industry better for insureds and repairers alike," Yard said. "Not everyone particularly liked Kristen’s message, but everyone better start listening, for the sake of the entire collision repair industry."


For more information on NABA, visit nebraskaautobody.com.