AASP-MN to Hold Protest on Labor Rates at State House

AASP-MA to Hold Protest on Labor Rates at State House

The demonstration and motorcade will be in response to the unsustainably low reimbursement rates artificially set by insurance companies. 

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA) announced it will be holding a motorcade to the State House May 18 at 10:30 a.m. in response to a hearing on labor rate reimbursement for collision repairs.

Several hundred Massachusetts auto body shop owners, family members, employees, vo-tech students and supporters are expected to participate, including a motorcade of flatbed trucks topped with damaged cars that will circle the area.

Scheduled speakers include:

  • State Representative James K. Hawkins, D-2nd Bristol
  • Evangelos “Lucky” Papageorg, executive director, AASP/MA
  • Kevin Gallerani, president of AASP/MA and owner of Cape Auto Collision Center, Plymouth, Mass.
  • Jack Lamborghini, co-owner of Total Care Accident Repair in Raynham, Mass.
  • Guy Glodis, former state senator, D-2nd Worcester who led the Financial Services Committee as a legislator
  • Dennise Caratazzola, concerned consumer from Bridgewater 

The group is protesting the unsustainably low reimbursement rates that are artificially set by insurance companies. 

In a statement, State Senator Michael O. Moore, D-2nd Worcester noted, “The current labor rate for the auto body industry is unfair and unsustainable. I will continue to advocate for a legislative change that increases the labor rate to make the industry viable and consumers safe.”

Brian Bernard, co-owner of Total Care Accident Repair in Raynham, an independent collision center, said the current $40-per-hour reimbursement rate is the lowest in the nation and falls far short of covering the body shop owners’ labor, equipment, training and repair costs. As a result, many consumers have to pay the difference out of pocket. Bernard said the labor reimbursement rates paid by Massachusetts auto insurers have stayed the same for 11 years.  

The reimbursement rate has only moved $10 in nearly 34 years. Since 1988, the labor rate has increased $10 while the consumer price index (CPI) has increased 137.7% and insurance premiums have increased 254%. 

Additionally, advanced technology has resulted in cars becoming far more complex and expensive to repair. Additional training and equipment have forced Massachusetts auto body shop owners to invest far more to get paid less, Bernard said. 

“It’s tremendously unfair to consumers who pay thousands of dollars in premiums to have their insurance companies tell them they’re not going to cover the cost of their repairs. We’ve done our best to bring attention to this issue, but at this point we need to make it clear to insurers and consumers that we cannot do this work at the current reimbursement rates.”

The final report of the Special Commission on Auto Body Labor Rates, issued on April 13, 2022, outlines the issues that require a vote by the state legislature to rectify. The full report can be found here.

For more information about the Collision Course to the State House rally, visit
AASPMA.org/rally.

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