Surveys show ‘who pays for what’ in terms of ‘not-included’ procedures

Surveys show ‘who pays for what’ in terms of ‘not-included’ procedures

Fully one-third of collision repair shops nationwide said they have never asked to be paid for “masking the engine compartment” when this “not-included” procedure has been necessary as part of a repair, yet another one-third of shops who do seek to be paid for it say they receive that payment “always” or “most of the time.”

That finding is just one of hundreds revealed in a survey conducted recently by Collision Advice, which is also launching a new survey this month.


“This confirms something I see as I work with shops around the country,” said Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. “On this one procedure alone, for every shop not including this necessary procedure on their estimate, another shop is getting paid for it most if not all of the time.”

More than 980 shops around the country responded to the survey, which asked them to report how often they are paid for 26 refinish-related procedures by the eight largest auto insurers.

“With that level of response, I believe is the largest survey ever examining this subject,” Anderson said.

He said it is clear from the results of this survey that whether or not a repair facility is reimbursed for a particular procedure depends, to some degree, simply on whether or not the shop negotiates for that operation. Though the survey found that reimbursement frequencies do vary by insurance company, DRP status and region of the country, it is clear that none of the procedures are universally rejected by insurers.

Anderson said the quarterly surveys help raise awareness of not-included items and operations that shops may be doing but not itemizing on estimates.

“The surveys will help shops understand what these operations are, and whether other shops seek and receive compensation for them – or if they truly are ‘the only one,’” Anderson said.

The 62-page report of the first survey findings is now available by clicking on the “Who Pays For What?” logo on the Collision Advice website (

Shops can also use that link during the month of July to take the latest of the surveys, which covers structural/frame and mechanical-related operations.

Anderson said each survey, which will take about 15-30 minutes, should be completed by the shop owner, manager or estimator who is most familiar with the shop's billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Each individual shop location (whether a stand-alone business or part of a multi-shop operation) may submit one response to the survey.

Those who complete the survey (and provide optional contact information) receive the survey findings at no charge.

Each shop's individual responses are held in the strictest confidence and are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released.

For more information about the surveys and findings, or to take the current survey, click on the “Who Pays For What?” logo on the Collision Advice website (

Collision Advice ( is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. Mike Anderson and his team offer real-world, cutting edge training and guidance both in the classroom and one-on-one in the shop.

John Yoswick

John Yoswick is a freelance writer and Autobody News columnist who has been covering the collision industry since 1988, and the editor of the CRASH Network... Read More

AkzoNobel Beta web graphic v2 600px

Shop & Product Showcase