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AASP/MA Explores Labor Rates at Membership Meeting

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA) announced it recently hosted a general membership meeting with guests Richard and Sam Valenzuela of National AutoBody Research (NABR), who provided an update on how their company’s work with the association continues to result in realistic, statistically valid posted rate information for Massachusetts shops that subscribe to its services.

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Just over two years ago, AASP/MA began urging members to actively participate in the online Labor Rate Survey, BillableGenie and other services available through NABR.

NABR’s BillableGenie is a program that features a searchable database of what repairers across the country report in regard to the procedures they are being paid for by insurers. The information is compiled through estimates and other documentation submitted by body shop end users. As of May 5, BillableGenie contained data for 8,868 paid estimates nationwide, including 1,173 customer-pay repairs that reflect actual non-concessionary market rates and therefore a true open market-based labor rate.

In just over two years, Massachusetts shops alone have submitted 2,324 documents to BillableGenie, making the state the national leader in utilizing the platform.

“I get calls all the time from subscribers to BillableGenie who tell me how they’ve used the information to better their negotiating ability,” said Evangelos “Lucky” Papageorg, executive director of AASP/MA. “In one instance, a shop told me they were able to substantiate a better negotiated figure with an insurance company using the information they obtained through BillableGenie.”

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Perhaps most significantly, BillableGenie boasts claim documents for 413 auto insurers nationwide. This shop-submitted material has revealed more than 9,043 different procedures (or other added items and concessions) have been paid a total of 102,253 times.

“That’s 102,253 times that insurers have paid for a procedure or an operation that they tell you they don’t pay for,” said Richard Valenzuela, CEO of NABR. “I look at that as 9,043 profit opportunities for the body shops. I would respectfully suggest that body shops are not charging for all 9,043 procedures.”

Additionally, BillableGenie’s data reveal (among other things) that insurers pay higher rates for certain procedures in other parts of the country that have nowhere near Massachusetts’ cost of living, which is the highest on average of any state in the continental U.S. These higher payments also extend to not-included terms and above-average charges from OEM-certified facilities.

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The Valenzuelas also discussed LaborRateHero.com, a free and consumer-facing website that provides rate pricing transparency via a searchable national database of shops’ posted door rates submitted to the NABR Labor Rate Survey. Searchable through zip codes, the site includes the posted door rates for all shops in a given area (or in other markets across the country) that have submitted information through the system.

“LaborRateHero.com is all about surveyed data,” said Sam Valenzuela. “It’s you – the body shops – self-reporting what your posted retail rate is.”

For more information on NABR, visit nationalautobodyresearch.com and LaborRateHero.com.

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For more information on AASP/MA, visit aaspma.org or call (617) 574-0741.

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