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Survey finds improvement in payment for not-included body labor operations

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 07:00
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More shops are now being paid “always” or “most of the time” for nearly two dozen not-included body labor operations compared to a year earlier, according to the latest findings from the “Who Pays for What?” quarterly survey series.

Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, creator of the surveys, said that’s something he’s pleased about as the latest of the surveys, covering frame and mechanical labor operations, opens now through July 31.

“Though many of the increases are slight, and within the margin-of-error for the survey, there are a number of procedures that have seen significant jumps,” Anderson said. “Clean-up of airbag residue is a good example, rising 9 percentage points since 2016.”

Other procedures for which more shops are now reporting being paid “always” or “most of the time” include clean-up of old urethane (up more than 6 percentage points compared to 2016), application of weld-thru primer (up more than 8 percentage points), and duplication of OEM seam-sealer (up 6.6 percentage points).

The current survey, conducted by CRASH Network and Collision Advice, asks shops about their billing practices – and insurers’ payment practices – regarding about two dozen “not included” frame and mechanical labor operations. Shops can take the survey before the end of July by clicking here.

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Newly-released data from the “Who Pays for What?” body labor survey, completed this past April by a record 1,042 shops around the country, contained some other evidence indicating the surveys’ positive impact: Of the 20 "not-included" body labor operations covered in both the 2016 and 2017 surveys, 18 had a higher percentage of shops (compared to a year earlier) now negotiating to be paid for them.

“If you don't bill for it, you will never be paid for it, yet the biggest percentage of shops not billing for these procedures say they never thought of billing for them when they are required as part a repair,” Anderson said. “These surveys were designed to help raise that awareness."

Each of the four different “Who Pays” surveys explores a different area of shop operations. The current survey focuses on “not-included” mechanical and frame labor operations, asking shops how frequently they are paid for each of the operations by each of the eight largest auto insurers in the country.

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