New Tool From BodyShop Solutions: Supplement Request Generator

January 9, 2010 by
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

I’m sure I’m not the only person fed up with insurers causing us more work. The recent trend of insurers demanding supplement requests be in writing, and on their own forms, got me a little fired up. In protest I managed to anger Geico enough that they threatened legal action. They don’t like their logo being desecrated (I used some digital magic to make the gecko on the top of their supplement request form flip Geico staff the bird.) and hired some high profile legal firm from Washington DC to let me know it. Liberty Mutual may not know it, because I haven’t had the chance to use it yet, but I’ve defiled their supplement request form also. Their logo of Liberty holding a torch has been changed to Liberty giving the middle finger salute.

When I got my first supplement request form from Allstate, I started work on software that would automate the process. Don’t be fooled, insurers claim this new procedure is supposed to increase efficiency and make the supplement process easier. But the real reason for requiring you to fill out a form to request a supplement is because they fully understand human nature. They know many of you are too lazy to fill out that form. They know that many of you will ignore small supplements if faced with sitting down and filling out and faxing a form.

The most efficient supplement request procedure is when the body shop picks up the phone and calls the appraiser. Those days are quickly disappearing. Insurers want to control every minute of their appraisers’ day.  Supplement request hotlines have been common for years. Separating you from the appraiser is all part of insurer’s control over your business. Supplement request forms ratchets up that control an extra notch or two.

My new Supplement Request Software takes some of this control back. It takes literally seconds to fill out and fax or email a supplement request. The form is generic. No logos, no insurer specific format. But all the information they ask for, and more, is on the form. There is absolutely no logical reason for any insurer to reject the form generated by this software. Right now there are three insurers that I’m aware of using supplement request forms: Allstate, Geico and Liberty Mutual. Expect the rest to fall in line. Beat them at their own game and take the time and effort out of the process. Here’s how it works.

When you first start the software it grabs all the estimates that you have extracted using the EMS feature of your estimating system. When you start the software for the first time you will have to browse to the folder where your estimating system stores the EMS files. That’s all the setup you’ll have to do.

All you do is click the customer’s name in the box on the left and type in whatever additional information you want to give the insurer. You can also choose to leave everything else blank and form will just contain the bare essentials about the claim. As long as you fill out the insurance information in your estimating system, that information will be pulled into the software and printed on the form.

Once you have everything filled out to your satisfaction, you can print the form and fax it, or you can create a PDF file and email it. The software creates the PDF file automatically and opens your default mail client. If you use a web based mail like yahoo or hotmail the PDF file is saved to a folder on your computer so you can attach it to an email manually. Here is what the form looks like filled out.

As you can see it’s simple and orderly. The price is cheap, $50. It will pay for itself in a week. Here’s the link to the page where you can purchase and download it.

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4 Comments on New Tool From BodyShop Solutions: Supplement Request Generator

  1. Jordan Dale on Mon, 11th Jan 2010 11:20 am
  2. No offense, but this just seems IMO just as ridiculous as filling out an insurers supp form. Reason being, I remember having to do this same thing, and never once when the adjuster showed up for the reinspection did he know what the supp was, nor did he have the form that I faxed listing the additional item(s). Are you guys having that much difficulty when submitting a supp? How many of you out there even contact the owner about the supp before contacting the insurer? My guess is slim to none. I don’t see how this is getting control back, because you are still filling out a form with the information that the insurer requested in the first place. When I get notified for a supp, the shop always wants my fax number or email. Stop! This just wastes my time, your time and most importantly, the owners time. Just keep rolling and I will be out on such and such time to do it.

    “I used some digital magic to make the gecko on the top of their supplement request form flip Geico staff the bird”

    Very professional. Sounds like you guys are hard at it over there.

  3. Jon Bauer on Fri, 15th Jan 2010 12:52 pm
  4. I agree with the Jordan the Insurance guy above. It sounds to me that he is so very knowledgeable.

    By the way. I hear “we don’t pay de-nib & buff” or “they don’t do that at the factory” all the time. I was watching Discovery Channel a few weeks ago, and they were showing the new camaro and the steps it takes to make one. Pretty cool. And lo and behold… The do check the car after it’s been painted with white glove for any nibs and then wet sand and polish right there! Appraisers are ass-clowns. The last one told me that this procedure is “included in my overhead”. Really? Wow. I didn’t realize that. I will have to talk to our bookeeper about that.

    […] New Tool From BodyShop Solutions: Supplement … – I’m sure I’m not the only person fed up with insurers causing us more work. The recent trend of insurers demanding supplement requests be in writing, and on their … […]

    […] New Tool From BodyShop Solutions: … – I’m sure I’m not the only person fed up with insurers causing us more work. The recent trend of insurers demanding supplement requests be in writing … […]

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