Pundit Says Collision Repairers Who Lobby Government Are Hurting Consumers - BodyShop Business

Pundit Says Collision Repairers Who Lobby Government Are Hurting Consumers

A legal pundit has taken aim at collision repairers for their successful lobbying efforts in Rhode Island, saying their hunger for higher repair prices and disdain for insurers are the reasons they frequently seek assistance from their legislators.

In an Insurance & Financial Advisor article titled, “Rhode Island: The Auto Repair State,” Chicago-based legal expert John Lobert writes that Rhode Island collision repairers have worked lawmakers into a “fever pitch” and successfully lobbied for the passage of 16 bills from 2003 to 2010.

“The body shop owners in the Ocean State all seem to have PhDs in Political Science,” Lobert says. “They are organized, they raise campaign funds for politicians, they meet with legislators in their districts…and they get out the vote. Their reward? The most body shop-friendly laws in the nation.”

Lobert portrays the industry as greedy, saying the politics of shop owners are the reason Rhode Island has the third-highest collision repair costs in the U.S. at 19 percent higher than the national average. He also believes that DRPs are at the root of these political issues.

“It doesn’t take an involved analysis to figure out what these attacks are all about: direct repair programs. The shop owners hate them. After all, they save money for consumers in the form of lower insurance rates, and they do it by avoiding the third-highest repair costs in the country,” Lobert writes.

He also applauds a recent court decision mandating that labor rate surveys not be the sole determinant of labor rates paid by insurers, accusing body shop owners of reporting “whatever they wanted” in labor rate surveys. Lobert also calls on consumers to ask Rhode Island’s governor to veto a bill that would mandate independent appraisals for any vehicle with collision damage exceeding $1,500.

Do you agree with Lobert? Let us know by adding a comment.

More information:

Read Lobert’s article from Insurance & Financial Advisor

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