Geico’s Gecko Gets Grumpy

November 12, 2009 by
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

 

Geico whined about copyright infringement so I had to remove the image. They are wrong and don’t understand the Fair Use act, and I could easily win in court, but I’m not sticking my neck out for this industry any more.

Photoshop is a wonderful thing. Insurers creating more work for us is not. For those of you not on either Geico’s or Allstate’s DRP program, you’ve probably been acquainted with their new supplement request forms. I first received one from Allstate. Instead of picking up the phone and calling the supplement hot-line, I now have to fill out a full page form and fax it to a supplement fax number, then pray it got through and was processed.

Appraisers attach a copy of this form to their estimates in case we need a supplement ( yeah, like that’s a rare occurrence). I’m sure to some I sound like a whiner, but I really do have enough things to fill out during the day, I don’t need another form. Allstate wants too much information. And if they are going to attach the form to the estimate, why not have the form automatically filled in with all the administrative data and printed with the estimate. I know Allstate will flatly deny it, but I got the impression that they were trying to discourage small supplements by requiring this form to be filled and faxed.

It’s probably not legal in most states for Allstate to require body shops to jump through these hoops just to get a supplement assigned to an appraiser. But if someone complains Allstate may try to paint them as petty. Fortunately, I don’t mind being called names, and petty is as mild as name calling goes.

I did call and complain. Well, not exactly. I faxed to complain. But instead of faxing their sheet, I faxed a blank sheet of paper and wrote the shop name, phone number and claim number. Someone called and insisted we completely fill out their form. Not having decided how to handle this yet, I complied.

Knowing I would be filling out many of these in the future I wrote a little software program that uses information from the estimate to automatically fill out their form. It now takes about 30 seconds to do, thereby eliminating the disincentive to submit small supplements. As soon as I get the chance I will make the software available to everyone.

A couple of weeks after I received my first Allstate supplement request form, Geico jumped into the game. Gee, they don’t copy each other too much now do they?

A person by the name of Jay M. Vaden (his name was attached to the document) was given the task of coming up with Geico’s very own supplement request sheet. I give credit where due, and Mr. Vaden made his form much easier to fill out, with less information required, than Allstate’s form. Unfortunately for Geico, he used one of Geico’s logos at the top of the form–that cute little lizard with the funny accent. Then he made it available via email to shops that request it. That was a mistake, because my mood caused by another form to fill out got my creative juices flowing and encouraged me to Photoshop the little fella.

Again, giving credit where it’s due, Mr. Vaden thought ahead and locked the Microsoft Word document he created to prevent idiots like me, with too much time on their hands, from defiling his hard work. But that offers very little protection against someone like me who has the time and know how. I improved the gecko and converted the rest of the form to a .pdf form that you can fill out on your computer.

Yesterday I had my first opportunity to use the new and improved form to set up a supplement assignment and also to demonstrate my displeasure with having to fill out more unnecessary paperwork. Shortly after I faxed Geico’s new supplement request form I received a phone call from a very nice gentleman who worked in Geico’s claims department. He had a good sense of humor about the whole thing, but asked me to resend the original form. He was worried that because the supplement request would be a matter of record my little changes would not be warmly accepted in the ivory towers.

I explained that that was the whole point. It was a protest against insurers trying to control shops and causing us to change our ways of doing things. It was a protest against them requiring us to fill out a form for a task that a simple phone call used to take care of. He empathized, but his hands were tied. Being petty like I am, I refused to send the correct form. He said he would now have to call the adjuster and the adjuster would have to fill out the form and send it to the supplement request department. I thought to myself, “now that sounds like how it should be done, instead of trying to pass their work off to the body shop.”

I carefully spelled my name for the gentleman and made him aware of this website. I also promised to post the new and improved form for everyone to use. Click the link below and download the form for your own use. You may have to make some changes because this one is designed for use in the northeastern area. You’ll need the full version of Adobe Acrobat to make the changes, or you can copy the logo into MS Word and make your own form there. Or, if y0u ask nicely, I may be able to make the changes for you. Hopefully enough of you will use the form to convince the big wigs at Geico that we don’t like their new system. If not, I’ll be automating that form too.

As for Allstate? I’m working on it.

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Comments

9 Comments on Geico’s Gecko Gets Grumpy

  1. mike phillips on Sun, 15th Nov 2009 6:09 pm
  2. Awesome , love the sense of humor I too am tired of doing there job for them for free . Write the sheet correctly and you dont need supplements, but we all know thats how they save money. Betting the shop will either give up or forget. I actually had Liberty Mutual reqire me to get a technical data sheet from my paint maufacturer to prove that you really need to flex bumpers. Cost 10.00.

  3. Bill Fowler on Mon, 16th Nov 2009 10:21 am
  4. That’s what “Admin Fees” are for. We get paid to repair vehicles, not process their paperwork. When we stop repairing vehicles to do THEIR job, they need to pay us for it.

  5. Rogue Adjuster on Mon, 23rd Nov 2009 9:46 pm
  6. I think Geico is terrible. I refuse to deal with them at all. Too big a waste of my time. I have to tell the junior estimator how to manage them before the customer even brings the car in. Same goes for Metropolitan.

  7. David Gwynn on Fri, 18th Dec 2009 7:22 pm
  8. I think that ALL adjusters and appraisers should have at least 10 years of automotive and collision experience before they get there licence. That is 10 consecutive years. They loose so much by wasting everyones time plus the extra days the vehicle rental cars add up. Not to mention it really screws with our cycle time when a 2 day job turns in to a two week job for nothing…..They seem to try to save a penny but end up spending 100’s. We should all work together not against each other….. David Gwynn

  9. Rogue Adjuster on Tue, 29th Dec 2009 9:24 pm
  10. I think it’s more fun to just educate my customers about how to deal with insurance companies. Like magic key words or phrasing that can turn your collision claim into a comprehensive claim, what the right words are to say to get a rental car paid for right now instead of next week, how to bury deductibles legitimately, etc.. You just have to think “outside the box”. I’ve found that the easiest way to deal with Geico is simply to tell the vehicle owner that the car can’t be released without full payment.

  11. PAUL VOORHEES on Tue, 8th Jun 2010 12:53 pm
  12. SEND ME THE PHOTO OF Geico’s Gecko Gets Grumpy,, THAT WAS THIS PAGE 3 DAYS AGO.

    thhank u
    ANDYS AUTO BODY SHOP OF NORTHERN ARIZONA,,,
    ROUTE 66 WASH & LUBE,,,
    MILTON ROAD LUBE SHOP,,,

  13. mark on Tue, 11th Oct 2011 1:36 pm
  14. I agree one hundred percent. faxing convoluted forms with redundant information (a ludicrously long claim number anyone?) already present on the insurance estimate is a waste of time. i tried emailing them. the first time it came up as an invalid email, the second time they sent a message of “please fill out the attached form and email it back. thank you.” I want to say no, thank you geico for wasting shops’ precious time and making it that much harder to make a living in this industry.

    http://www.marvelautobody.com

    (link for seo purposes)

  15. Dean on Fri, 27th Dec 2013 12:11 pm
  16. I came across this article (great by the way!) when I was looking for an electronic version of the supplement sheet. It now makes sense why they are not able to give me one. As a newcomer to the office portion of our trade, the amount of paperwork required by different insurance companies is ridiculous. As you mentioned, I will have to fax this piece of paper and pray that it gets through. UGH.

  17. MISTY SWIGER on Wed, 18th Nov 2015 7:24 am
  18. Please send me your copy of supplement sheet for Geico, very interested in your idea. I am the office admin. But understand how adjustors leave you hanging. We will fax THEIR form to them, They send a woman out (No offense, I am one too) That ask my guys their opinion on her estimates, taking them away from their current work to write HER estimates for her. Other times signing off on our already prepared supplement, says she don’t have time to print us hers, but will work on and have it faxed to us later. All is fine, IF SHE DID WHAT SHE SAYS! Now goes back on her word, that she signed our estimate, dated and even wrote approved. GUESS WHAT LADY TOO BAD!!! You will pay now!!!
    Please send email to cccbshop@hotmail.com

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