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Southwestern News

1HomePageMap small sw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, ColoradoTexas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana

Wednesday, 01 April 2009 17:03

Louisiana Labor Rates Raising Heat

Labor rates have long been a contentious issue in Louisiana and now shop owners throughout the state are speaking out. Autobody News talked to several shops recently that feel the ‘reasonable’ $45 per hour labor rate currently imposed upon them by insurance companies is unfair and unrealistic in today’s market.

A few years ago, Texas collision repair shop owners stood strong in an effort to enact HB 1131, prohibiting “tied shops”—those owned in whole or in part  by an insurance company. Since that time, however, outspoken shop owners seem to have gone into hibernation.

AUSTIN – Two of the state's largest auto insurers – Allstate and State Farm – are boosting their rates to offset the rising number of claims.

In the bed of a gold pick-up truck on the side of the road the trap is set: shiny chrome wheels. It doesn't take long for thieves to bite or for the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force to move in. The sting is all part of their operation targeting thieves out to steal 22-24-inch chrome wheels worth thousands of dollars and considered a must have by many drivers.

"The numbers show that Texas has an even larger number of uninsured drivers than we had realized," said Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, in a story Tuesday in the online editions of the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.