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“Who Pays for What?” survey find growing percent of shops billing, being paid to match OEM texture of seam sealer

Monday, July 1, 2019 - 07:00
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Mike Anderson of Collision Advice believes the “Who Pays for What?” surveys he has been conducting for several years in conjunction with CRASH Network are building awareness in the industry about “not-included” labor operations shops are performing but may not think to bill for on estimates and invoices.

One example he points to: The labor to match the OEM appearance of seam-sealer, a not-included procedure that can be very time-consuming for a technician. A “Who Pays for What?” survey back in 2016 found that just over half of shops had never billed for this. The same survey earlier this year found that had declined, with about 60 percent of shops now having made an effort to collect for this labor.

More importantly, Anderson said, a higher percentage of those seeking to be paid for this procedure when it is done report being paid regularly by the eight largest auto insurers. Back in 2016, only about one-third (34%) of shops said they were paid “always” or “most of the time” when they billed for the labor to duplicate the OEM texture of seam-sealer. That had jumped seven percentage points, to 41%, in this year’s survey.

“Participating in the surveys can be a reminder of this sort of ‘not-included’ procedures your shop is doing, and they survey reports include resources and ideas on how to better negotiate to be paid for those procedures,” Anderson said.

He said the latest of the four 2019 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on not-included frame and mechanical labor operations and includes some all-new questions to offer the industry even more helpful information, is open now through the end of July at
Survey participants receive a report with complete survey findings at no charge, broken down by region, insurer and DRP vs. non-DRP. The report also includes analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-25 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop's billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop's individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released.

The results of previous surveys are also available online (

Collision Advice ( is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRASH Network ( is a subscription newsletter offering news and information not available from other industry sources.

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