Indiana Body Shop Owner Accuses Farm Bureau of Violating Parts Law - BodyShop Business

Indiana Body Shop Owner Accuses Farm Bureau of Violating Parts Law

An Indiana body shop owner is accusing Farm Bureau Insurance of violating H.B. 1024 by insisting that aftermarket crash parts be used on vehicles less than five years old.

An Indiana body shop owner is accusing Farm Bureau
Insurance of violating H.B. 1024 by insisting that aftermarket crash parts be
used on vehicles less than five years old.

Greg Lobsiger, president of Loren’s Body Shop in
Bluffton, Ind., cited two recent estimates for a 2007 GMC Envoy and a 2008 Ford
Edge. On the Envoy estimate, Lobsiger claims all parts needed were written aftermarket by Farm
Bureau. On the Edge estimate, five of eight parts listed were written
aftermarket.

Lobsiger claims that Farm Bureau’s stance is that if the
aftermarket price figured on the estimate isn’t on the OEM dealers’ aftermarket
parts price match program, then they’ll do a supplement for the full list
price.

"I told the claims manager that this is unethical
and a pure abuse of all of the participating manufacturers’ aftermarket price
matching programs," said Lobsiger, emphasizing to the claims manager that
these programs were set up for vehicles that insurers can legitimately figure
aftermarket parts on – vehicles from model year 2005 and older. "Along
with that, I told him we’re also losing profit because of the lower list
price."

Lobsiger claims that the appraiser responded by saying
that Farm Bureau was just trying to lower costs and didn’t necessarily want to
put aftermarket parts on their insureds’ 2006 and newer vehicles. Lobsiger
also claims that the appraiser told him he was the first shop he had heard
complain about this policy.

"I’m sure there are some shops that don’t want to
mess with the price match program or are not aware of how it works," said
Lobsiger. "With that being said, I’m sure that some of the 2006 and up
Farm Bureau insured vehicles are getting aftermarket parts put on them. And
[Farm Bureau] is not putting any line notes in these estimates stating that we
should be using the OEM price match program."

Lobsiger explained to the appraiser that each dealer only
has so much credit to participate in the price matching program. He also told
him that Farm Bureau was the only insurance company he saw pursuing such a
policy. Lobsiger said the appraiser told him that if he could come up with
some kind of documentation to support the manufacturers’ stance on matching
aftermarket prices, they would stop writing estimates this way. 

"I personally have Farm Bureau Insurance and do a
boatload of work for them," Lobsiger said. "I have known the claims
manager for 15 to 20 years, and we have a high level of respect for each other.
But I have been tolerating this for almost two years and am now fed up. I don’t
want to bite the hand that feeds me, but in my opinion this is just
wrong."

Lobsiger is now busy contacting OE parts vendors and the
Society of Collision Repair Specialists to get written documentation to support
his position. 


More information:

Read the text of H.B. 1024

 

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