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New ‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey Finds More Shops Billing and Being Paid for Total Loss Processing

The survey conducted this past fall found that 59 percent of the more than 500 auto body shops responding to the question reported regularly being paid an administrative fee for processing total losses.

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The latest “Who Pays for What?” survey has found that more auto body shops are billing (and being paid) for an administrative fee for total loss processing.
An upward trend in the percentage of shops across the U.S. regularly being paid an administrative fee for processing total losses by the eight largest national insurance companies continued this past year.
In 2015, a “Who Pays for What?” survey conducted by Collision Advice and CRASH Network found that less than half (46 percent) of shops responding said they were paid “always” or “most of the time” when charging such a fee. That percentage grew to 53 percent in 2016 and 57 percent in 2017. The same survey this past fall found that 59 percent of the more than 500 shops responding to the question reported regularly being paid an administrative fee for processing total losses.
At the same time, the percentage of shops that said they have never sought such an administrative fee has declined, from about 30 percent in 2015 to about 25 percent this year.
Mike Anderson of Collision Advice said the growing prevalence of total-loss administrative fees is not surprising as vehicle technology and insurer-required documentation related to totals continue to make the process more complex and time-consuming.
Anderson said the first of the four 2019 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on “not-included” refinish operations, is open now through the end of January. Click here to take the survey.
Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15 to 25 minutes, can be completed by any shop owner, manager or estimator who is familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released.
Survey participants receive a report with complete survey findings at no charge, broken down by region, insurer and DRP vs. non-DRP. The report also includes analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.
The results of previous surveys are also available online here.
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