News: Consolidator Report
The episode will reveal what really happens to consumers when they have an accident, file a claim and then get steered to their insurance companies’ preferred repair facilities.
The Feb. 10, 2015 episode of the Anderson Cooper Show on CNN will reveal what really happens to consumers when they have an accident, file a claim and then get steered to their insurance companies’ preferred repair facilities. The episode will air at 8 p.m. EST.
Part of the coverage will include the litigation currently going on in federal court in Orlando, Fla., where collision repair facilities from multiple states are suing insurers for antitrust violations, steering, price fixing and more.
According to John Mosley, owner of Clinton Body Shop in Clinton, Miss., and one of the litigants in the federal suit, CNN filmed for three days yet the report may not last 10 minutes.
“I know CNN has been under pressure from some of the largest insurers to not run this story,” said Mosley. “I hope they don’t water it down and let the facts be reported. I know their producer, Scott Bronstein, is seeking a fair and accurate report. We will see tonight.”
Mosley says CNN’s crew examined two poorly repaired vehicles and interviewed several people including Louisiana and Mississippi’s attorneys general and lead attorney John Eaves Jr.
“They got the background on what has brought about the litigation, including the Louisiana AG’s suit,” said Mosley. “They interviewed the owner of the vehicle at our shop and myself as well. They saw and got a good understanding of what’s happening as a result of the direct repair programs and the effect these programs are having on consumer safety. As you well know, this problem is an industry-wide problem, and shops are as much to blame as the insurance industry. This would all stop if shops refused to participate in any program or repair that doesn’t benefit the consumer.
“What I hope happens is consumers are made aware that they need to ask questions, get references and educate themselves before handing over their keys to a repair shop. I also hope the insurance industry realizes the system is broken and there has to be a concerted effort to reevaluate the way claims are handled and repairs are made. The focus has to be on training for all involved in both industries. The old system of using cheap parts and controlling costs by shortcutting labor procedures needs to be put aside. The litigation could stop, and the consumer would be well served through better training and fair dealing by all.”
In an email to its membership, the Indiana Auto Body Association (IABA) pleaded with members to comment on the show on the CNN website during the show and after it’s over.
“CNN looks very closely at the number of hits and comments on their website after they air a story like this, and this one is going to be looked at very closely with all the pressure the insurance industry has tried just to squelch it from airing,” said Tony Passwater, president of IABA. “So please, after the show or even during the show, go to the CNN website and tell CNN you want them to continue this series and get all the way to the bottom of this insurance greed that is placing consumers at risk, causing loss of vehicle value and steering consumers to repair shops that will just cut corners for them to stay on the top of the ‘preferred list.'”