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The California Autobody Association (CAA) is considering petitioning the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regarding at least two insurers’ labor rate surveys that it believes do not comply with current regulations.
CAA says it’s the CDI’s position that if an insurer does not have a labor rate survey on file with the department, the insurer has no basis to lower the shop’s labor rate if the insurer decides to exercise its legal option to reasonably adjust the shop’s estimate.
CAA believes that if an insurer files a labor rate that is not compliant with current regulations, the insurer does not actually have a survey on file, and therefore should be expected to pay the shop’s regularly charged retail labor rate. However, CAA says it has learned that it’s unlikely the CDI will take any action unless it receives a substantial number of Requests for Assistance (RFAs) from shops and consumers. These RFAs are public information once submitted.
CAA is asking shops to file a Shop RFA against those insurers that the association believes may have non-compliant surveys on file any time the shop believes its rate has been unreasonably lowered from what it normally charges retail customers. CAA is also asking shops to assist customers in filing RFAs.
CAA says it will supply guidelines and explanations on how to fill out the forms and that shops would not be expected to file RFAs against insurers they have DRP relationships with because DRP shops do not expect retail pricing from their DRP agreements.
CAA members can download a survey form asking shops if they’re willing to file RFAs against insurers