The Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) announced it has drafted a customer complaint form that member shops can encourage their customers to fill out when they have a problem with their insurance company.
ABAT is encouraging shops to review the document together with their customer, have them initial and sign it, and send to ABAT who will mail it to the appropriate house member, senator and Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
“Based on the prior meetings that I have had with the TDI and Texas legislators, the major rebuttal I have gotten is that they are not getting any complaints from consumers,” said Burl Richards, president of ABAT. “They have only heard from body shops about the insurance companies not fixing cars properly and under-indemnifying their constituents. So we have formulated an easy way to let TDI and legislators hear from the consumer.”
Scenarios in which ABAT says shops may want to encourage their customers to fill out the form include:
- The insurance company requested the use of aftermarket parts so the customer had to pay out of pocket for OE parts.
- The insurance company refused to reimburse the shop for any necessary repair procedure relating to the safety of the vehicle, causing the shop to eat the cost (ex. scans, P-page research, administrative fees, etc.).
- The customer had to pay out of pocket for anything other than their deductible.
- The insurance company totaled the car at less than 100% of value or undervalued the customer’s totaled car.
- The customer or shop was forced to use aftermarket parts to repair a vehicle.
ABAT is suggesting the following five-step process for shops to follow when going over the form with customers:
- Explain to the customer that there are many unfair practices being used by the insurance companies that prevent body shops from making safe repairs to cars.
- Ask if they will fill out a letter about the issues they faced (or you as a shop faced while advocating for them) so that ABAT can make lawmakers aware of these issues. Have them initial by each issue that was applicable during their claim.
- Make sure they understand what they are signing and where it is being sent. Have them fill out all the information on the form.
- Scan and email it to Jill Tuggle, executive director of ABAT at [email protected], who will send copies to all pertinent parties.
- Give the customer the cover letter to take home and read (there is room to add the shop’s logo at the bottom).
ABAT’s lobbyist told the association that if all member shops utilize this document over the next several months, it will definitely grab the attention of lawmakers and increase the chance of passing various bills coming up in 2021 that will positively impact Texas collision repairers.
ABAT’s goal is to collect 1,000 of these forms.
To get a copy of the form, email Jill Tuggle at [email protected].