A Blueprint for Change

May 18, 2007 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Last week I received a call from someone asking my permission to use something I wrote at his association’s next meeting. I, of course, agreed to let him use it, but it had been a while since I had read it myself so I took another look at it. More than a year ago I wrote an outline for a presentation I gave for an auto body association meeting in another state. I titled it, “Taking Back the Collision Repair Industry: A blueprint for reclaiming your business from the insurance companies.” It’s a pretty good outline of talking points and action plans. It’s kind of buried in my website so I checked to see how many people actually found it and downloaded it. Not too many, so I decided to post a link to it here.

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Does Erica Eversman Have the Silver Bullet?

May 9, 2007 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a meeting held by the Auto Body Association of Connecticut with association leaders from seven other northeastern states. The meeting was prompted when a couple of ABAC members attended the NORTHEAST Autobody/Automotive Tradeshow in Suffern NY this past April. They attended a meeting and were impressed enough with the dialog to invite some of the attendees to Connecticut to exchange information and ideas. Aside from Connecticut, the states represented were Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont. Also present was Sheila Loftus from Crash Network and Erica Eversman from Vehicle Information Services.

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With Partners Like These Who Needs a Colonoscopy?

April 17, 2007 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Am I the only software developer who makes software for body shops? Yesterday’s mail brought to my attention just how bad things are getting for body shops wanting software that benefits them and not the insurance companies. Yesterday’s mail also highlighted how deeply the myth of “insurance partners” has been entrenched into our industry.

I received a multi-page letter from Alldata trying to sell me their CollisionConnect software. In the sales pitch was the following: “Strengthen Relationships with your Insurance Partner” I also received my monthly Pathways update. In it contained an advertisement for their Estimatic Report Service. Their sales pitch was “Get the same data insurers traditionally use. Make your next meeting with your insurance partner more productive and take action to improve your operation.” Yeah, that just what I need, an “insurance partner.”

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A Rebuttal to CARSTAR’s Letter to the Industry

April 9, 2007 by · 17 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

CARSTAR’s recent letter to the industry proudly published in ABRN shines a spotlight as bright as the Sun on the problems collision repairers face. It is exactly the sentiments expressed in this letter that plague our industry. If nothing else, this written plea for help exposes the roots of our problems. If nothing else, it exposes the thought process of those responsible for handing the hen house keys to the fox.

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Insurance Adjuster Complains of Fraud by Repairers

March 21, 2007 by · 28 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

I seldom respond to comments posted here under one of my columns. I have a good reason for that too. I’ve said my piece. I encourage comments and don’t want to discourage them by responding to them, especially the negative comments. Usually the only time I’ll respond to a comment is when I feel the comment is inaccurate or misleading, but not stupid enough to make it obvious the writer has no idea what he or she is talking about.

I feel the need to respond to a comment left yesterday by an adjuster who works at Midland Management, a claims handling company in the Texas-Oklahoma region. The adjuster–he calls himself Gary–responded to an article I wrote last September about arbitrary paint and materials caps. If you would like to read the article to refresh your memory, it is here. And following is Gary’s comment:

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Three Insurance Attorneys Mislead Committee During Anti-Steering Legislation Hearing

March 8, 2007 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Here in Connecticut we have been very active in pursuing legislation that would end much of the current insurance abuses suffered by collision repairers. At the moment there are six bills making their way through the process. One of those bills is a new anti-steering bill. It would tighten up a lot of the lose ends in the current anti-steering bill that allow insurance companies to circumvent the “spirit” of the law.

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Insurance Company Gets Taste of Own Medicine by Stupidest Insurance People in the World

March 6, 2007 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

This is hilarious. This is priceless. I was laughing so hard yesterday. I was laughing at the sheer stupidity of one insurance company, and the interesting predicament another insurance company found itself in.

In our sick twisted minds, at one time or another, we all have wished certain insurance companies could get a taste of their own bitter medicine; then, maybe, keel over an die. Relax, it’s just an expression. I don’t want anyone to die. Recently, one of those insurance companies did get a taste of it’s own medicine, and the adjuster was furious. He was furious and I was laughing like a mad man.

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The Wonderful World of Claim Handling Companies.

February 19, 2007 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

You gotta love these independent claims handling companies. They all claim to save the insurer money by streamlining the claims process and negotiating with body shops. If I were an insurer being solicited by one of these companies, the first question I would ask is, “Just what will you be doing that is so remarkable and revolutionary to handle our claims that we, as a multi-billion dollar insurance company that’s been in business for more than 100 years, hasn’t already done? Who the hell are you?”

But then, who the hell am I to tell an insurance company how to operate either?

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State Farm: Dumbing Down and Embracing the Lowest Common Denominator

February 12, 2007 by · 46 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

It arrived by special delivery the other day, like it was of vital importance to the health and survival of my shop. After all of the talk I’ve heard and read over the past several months, I finally have my very own copy of State Farm’s new “Select Service Program” agreement. It looks like it is time for a divorce.

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More From Inside Nationwide. A Manifesto That Threatens Termination For Appraisers Who Fail to Get With The Program.

January 3, 2007 by · 24 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

My previous article highlighted some of the methods being used by Nationwide Insurance (in my little part of the world, anyway) to suppress the severity of initial estimates in the field. As you could tell by the tone of language, the claims manager was under intense pressure to straighten out his crew of appraisers. It should come as no surprise, but several appraisers were eventually fired or quit.

Today I am posting an email sent out to 22 subordinates by one Paul J. Connell, Materials Damage Claims Associate Director. This email followed a meeting they had that day. I have been told that many who attended that meeting had the urge to quit when they left the building. It’s also interesting to note that some of Progressive’s people have been migrating to Nationwide. Starting to make sense now?

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