New Survey Reveals Who Gets Paid for Mask Engine Compartment

New Survey Reveals Who Gets Paid for Mask Engine Compartment

More than half of shops are paid regularly to mask the engine compartment when needed, according to the latest "Who Pays for What?" survey.

Collision Advice and CRASH Network have revealed the results of their latest “Who Pays For What?” survey, asking shops how often they get paid for “mask engine compartment.”

Over half (51%) of the more than 500 shops who responded to the question in January of this year reported they are being paid regularly for that labor operation – 16 percentage points higher then when Collision Advice and CRASH Network conducted their first “Who Pays for What?” survey back in 2015. Back then, only about one-third of shops said they were paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest insurers for the labor necessary to mask a vehicle’s engine compartment when it was needed as part of refinishing.

“I think our surveys have helped raise shops’ awareness of not-included procedures they may be doing without making an informed decision as to whether it’s something they will charge for,” said Mike Anderson of Collision Advice.

The survey in January offered other indications that more shops have become aware that estimating system labor allowances do not include time to apply masking to protect the inner area and bolted-on items during refinishing within the engine compartment. This is often necessary following repair or replacement of core supports, aprons, frame rails, firewalls, etc. Back in 2015, 36% of shops acknowledged they had never sought to be paid for that operation; this year, just 25% of survey respondents said that.

Shops may have become better at explaining and documenting the need to mask the engine compartment because, among those shops who bill for that labor, only 1 in 5 said they are never paid for it, when twice that percentage said that six years ago.

“Just completing the survey can be a good reminder of a couple dozen such procedures, and the survey report we produce with the findings can be a good training tool for shop staff,” said Anderson.

The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey is now open through the month of April. It focuses on “not-included” body labor operations. Shops can take the survey by clicking here.

Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15 to 20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released.

The results of previous surveys are also available online here.

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