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BSB: Seattle body shop wins case against Allstate in labor rate dispute

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Insurance | Legal

A Washington court ruled in favor of a Seattle collision repairer in a dispute over Allstate’s refusal to pay the shop’s labor rate, Body Shop Business reported Wednesday.

An Allstate policyholder had damaged the vehicle of a Haury’s Lake City Collision customer, but the insurer “did their typical, ‘We only pay our estimate and our labor rates and forget you if you think you’re getting anything else,” manager Jeff Butler told the magazine.

“It was obvious to the arbitrator that Washington law states that in a property damage situation, the injured party is to receive the reasonable value of necessary repairs to any damaged property plus the depreciation,” he told Body Shop Business. “And we demonstrated to the court that the difference in labor rates and procedures was justified and reasonable and that there is a range. There is not one fixed price in the market, and the range we were in ($56-$58 per hour vs. Allstate’s rate of $50) is reasonable.”

The court awarded $905.50 for repairs, $2,042.15 in diminished value and $731.47 in court costs, according to Body Shop Business.

Allstate had also disputed procedures, quarter panel labor and common sticking points like de-nib, finesse, feather and prime work, the magazine reported.

That’s great news for collision repairers in Washington and shows that body shops aren’t being unreasonable or padding a bill when they — go figure! — ask to be paid for providing a customer with a quality repair.

More information:

“Seattle Body Shop Prevails in Suit Against Allstate”

Body Shop Business, March 4, 2015

Featured image: A Washington court ruled in favor of a Seattle collision repairer in a dispute over Allstate’s refusal to pay the shop’s labor rate, Body Shop Business reported Wednesday. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Thinkstock)