Skip to main content

Thoughts on the Auto Repair Industry

By October 2, 2013Uncategorized

Two collision consulting experts give insight on the auto repair industry and the relationships involved between the vehicle owners, insurance companies and body shops. Take a look into some of their every day thoughts:


All Body Shops and Insurance Companies are Not The Same | by Barrett Smith, Auto Damage Experts, Inc., Florida

I want to be sure that those who read the information regarding consumers being abused by insurance companies and body shops know that not all insurers and body shops are bad! There are many good, honest ethical people who own and operate body shops just as there are personal auto insurers who truly do treat consumers with respect and show true concern for the consumer’s best interest. However, it’s important to know that insurers see “Claims Cost Containment” as a large part of their corporation’s profitability, and as Benjamin Franklin once said, “A penny saved…is a penny earned.”

This goes for both repairers and insurer’s alike. There are those which look out for their own interests over the interests of the vehicle owner’s safety and economic welfare. So please understand that it’s not that I don’t like insurance companies…I just don’t like bad insurance or body shop practices! The problem is that generally, consumers don’t know what they have bought until they need it most! The bottom line; caveat emptor or “buyer beware.


Insurance Company Tactics | by Mike Orton, Missouri Collision Consulting

The insurance industry markets themselves as people you can trust. So I ask, why do so many people have horror stories about insurers when they file a claim or loss? Insurers market to get your business, but instill fear when you attempt to file a claim or penalize you when you do [file a claim].

Why would an insurer lie to a policyholder by handing them an estimate of loss, cajoling them to take it to any shop in the community, and telling them if there are any problems, “we’ll just work it out with the shop?” That simple gesture places the shop in an adversarial position within the customer-insurer-vehicle owner relationship. The insurer knows full well that the shop has zero negotiating power at the table when the insurer holds all the cards, lobbyists, and coinage for mass marketing, and while the insurer uses innuendos to discourage policyholders as well as the shops that step out of the box or away from the line.

The industry’s associations have been going to the table to negotiate for 25 or more years. What has that gained the independent shops? If insurers truly want shops to negotiate on behalf of vehicle owners, let the legislatures give the shops statutes guaranteeing they can do so legally without liability or fear of reprisals for being an advocate for the people who pay the premiums.