Why Aren't We Being Paid for Body Materials? - BodyShop Business
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Why Aren’t We Being Paid for Body Materials?

As a long-time supporter of the paint calculator, I’m surprised that no one ever mentions or writes about getting paid for body materials. Why is this the case?

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Mark R. Clark is owner of Professional PBE Systems in Waterloo, Iowa. He’s a popular industry speaker and consultant and is celebrating his 32nd year as a contributing editor to BodyShop Business.

I recently read one of your articles on paint and material reimbursement. As a long-time supporter of the paint calculator, I’m surprised no one ever mentions or writes about getting paid for body materials. In one year, I added up all my body materials and it came to $26,480.96. We’re being paid for paint material, so the question should be, ‘Why aren’t we being paid for body materials?’

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Asked by Joe Lubrano, J&E Auto Body, Clark, N.J.

Because the insurance companies historically have not paid body material as a multiple of metal labor hours like they do a multiple of refinish labor hours. When I get this question in seminars, my advice is to campaign to get another $2 per refinish labor hour to help offset the cost. (The current national average is around $24 per refinish labor hour, I believe). In addition, unless you have a gigantic shop, a good part of your $26,000 should have been billed out as parts (glue kits, fasteners, special cutting wheels for aluminum, etc.) and not just written off as "body materials."

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