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We Don’t Work for Free

Every time a State Farm adjuster comes in, there’s something new he doesn’t want us to charge for.


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Just an update on how some of State Farm’s policies are being implemented: An adjuster was in yesterday to do an inspection of our Service First estimate. Of course, he found several problems and had nothing much to say about what was written properly. He did say that if we repair a hood or a roof and only have primer on a portion of it, then we shouldn’t figure full paint time unless it’s the only panel we’re painting. We should figure a blend within because we’re not painting the entire panel. We don’t need to push the blend button, just deduct several tenths from the paint time.


Where does it say that in our labor guides?

Every time a State Farm adjuster comes in, there’s something new.

At a recent meeting, we were told that simple mechanical operations that are performed in house, such as replacing belts, fuel lines, heater hoses, motor mounts, etc., don’t need to be charged at a mechanical rate.

Hey, we live and die by hourly rates. If our overpriced estimating software says it’s a mechanical operation, how can they dictate to us not to charge for it? Do we have to sublet all mechanical operations?

The insurers say that they want us to make money. They need techs to repair their insured’s vehicle. They say that we set the prevailing rates in our areas, and then they tell us we can’t charge them. The adjusters come in and say as one friend to another, it needs to be done this way or that way if we want to stay on board.


I don’t know if this comes from corporate or is done by local managers trying to make a name, but this constant change is frustrating for us. Our experienced techs are flabbergasted. Our new techs are … oh I forgot, we don’t have any.

Writer Ted Gromek is the owner of T.G. Autobody in Paw Paw, Mich.

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Georgina K. Carson

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