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Play Nice: repairers and insurers can improve their relationships

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“All appraisers should intern in a shop for one year,” says one respondent to BodyShop Business’ annual Industry Profile regarding what should be done to enhance relations with appraisers and insurance companies.

Other suggestions on how repairers and insurers can improve their relationships include:

  • “All prices should be determined and negotiated on location at the shop. Often adjusters leave the premises, cut your estimate and are then impossible to get a hold of.”
  • “Don’t take the insurance estimate personally. If you can justify whatever repairs are needed, you shouldn’t have any problems.”
  • “I’ve never really had a problem, as long as I talk to them.”
  • “Let the insurance companies deliver the car to a customer after they insist on aftermarket parts.”
  • “Let honest shops work off their own estimates after approval from insurers. Less expensive to insurance company, no need to pay adjusters’ wages.”
  • “Be honest.”
  • “We need federal regulation of insurance companies. Repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act.”

Though 64.6 percent of respondents say problems with negotiations are due more to company guidelines than individual appraisers – “Some insurers have incredibly stupid rules,” says one respondent – they still believe that if more appraisers had hands-on repair experience, shops would be compensated more fairly.

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Says one respondent: “More and more insurance companies are using lesser qualified people – who just plain lack skills all the way around.”

“Not surprisingly,” says another respondent, “appraisers without repair knowledge are unable to do a proper appraisal.”

Writer Georgina K. Carson is editor of BodyShop Business.

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