Survey: More Shops Getting Paid for Masking During Priming

Survey: More Shops Getting Paid for Masking During Priming

Approximately 45% of shops today say they're paid always or most of the time for masking during priming.

According to the latest “Who Pays for What?” survey, the percentage of U.S. shops saying they are billing and getting paid regularly for the labor involved in masking prior to applying primer by the eight largest auto insurers has grown significantly since 2015.

Seven years ago, fewer than one in four shops (24%) said they were paid “always” or “most of the time” when masking was required as part of the priming process. In January of this year, that had grown to 45%, a figure that has been consistent for three years in a row.

Perhaps just as significantly, the percentage of shops saying they have never billed for the procedure has fallen from about 39% in 2016 to just 25% today.

While the surveys ask specifically about billing for the labor involved in the procedure, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice is concerned that some collision repair businesses may not be sufficiently considering the costs for the materials involved.

“As inflation drives up the cost of shop supplies, it’s important for shops to review their billing practices,” said Anderson, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network. “We see many shops billing for this masking procedure through their parts code tables as a body operation with a manual line for materials, and they are not capturing enough for materials. Shops should review this because it can vary based on the specific job.”

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 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 has been streamlined to take less than 15 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.

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