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Survey: Who Gets Paid for Drain, Refill Fuel Tanks?

The latest “Who Pays for What?” survey from Collision Advice indicates that about 70% of repairers who charge for the labor to drain and refill a vehicle’s fuel tank report being paid “always” or “most” of the time by the eight largest insurers. However, almost three in 10 shops (29%) overall acknowledge they have never sought to be paid for this operation.

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“Repairers should understand that the reason this isn’t included in any of the three estimating systems is because it’s so variable,” said Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network. “You have a book time to remove and reinstall a fuel tank. But draining, storing and refilling the fuel tank is not included in that time because the estimating system can’t know if a vehicle has five gallons of gas in it or 25 gallons of gas. Obviously, it takes longer to drain and refill 25 gallons of gas than five gallons of gas.”


The final “Who Pays for What?” survey of 2021 is now open through the month of October. It focuses on labor operations related to scanning, system calibrations and aluminum repair. 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.

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