Hammer & Dolly, a joint production of Thomas Greco Publishing and the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association, has graciously allowed us to reprint excerpts of some of its past few months’ articles speaking to some of the hottest issues in collision repair.
Among the must-reads for shops is the April 2017 “Ask Mike” column, which provides some answers from Collision Advice CEO to questions of how to secure reimbursement for one’s work. For example:
H&D: When we’ve talked to shops over the years on insurer payment issues, they have traditionally viewed balance billing the customer as the last resort. Based on your experiences as a former shop owner and on feedback you’ve received from the facilities you consult with on a regular basis, what do you see as the benefits and disadvantages of this practice?
MA: When I owned my shops, balance billing was my first option. It always worked well for me. I think it comes down to how you present it to the customer and how you prepare them for it. When I had my shops, I had a letter that we gave to the customers at the front end. I would present it to the insurance company as, ‘This is what I need to be paid for. If you don’t want to pay for it, let’s just agree to disagree.’ I would charge the customer the difference and move on to the next one. What I will say is that you don’t want to cut your nose off to spite your face. Some estimates come back with a $10,000 difference, and some estimates come back with a $50 difference. There are some people who will fight for every penny no matter how much the difference is. I did that a lot in my life, and I ultimately realized I was wrong to do so. There’s a saying – ‘Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?’ I was trying to be right all the time, and I was making myself miserable. At the end of the day, you have to see what you can live with and what you can’t live with.
Find out more advice in the April 2017 column, starting on Page 34. Read more here.
“What Do I Do When an Insurer Won’t Pay Me for What I Want or Need?”
Mike Anderson in Hammer & Dolly, April 2017
Featured image: Collision Advice CEO Mike Anderson leads a panel on scanning at NACE 2016. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)