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21-state AAA affiliate ACE achieves I-CAR Gold Classs

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I-CAR on Thursday announced Auto Club Enterprises — AAA’s largest affiliate and the nation’s No. 11 carrier —  had achieved Gold Class.

The announcement means Auto Club Enterprises representatives in 21 states — including major markets like Southern California and Texas — ought to better understand and reimburse the OEM repair procedures necessary to restore a vehicle properly. Hopefully, this minimizes disputes with body shop and customers over legitimate and necessary operations.

I-CAR is firm that OEM repair procedures must be followed, and it gives all Gold Class shops and insurers free access to a Repairability Technical Support portal full of information about them. (Right now, I-CAR permits everyone to use RTS for free, but that’s only a temporary COVID-19 industry relief measure.)

Auto Club Enterprises is also an I-CAR Sustaining Partner, a designation that means a company believes in “helping to deliver complete, safe and quality repairs to our families, friends and neighbors,” according to I-CAR.

The AAA affiliate also demands I-CAR welding certification for its direct repair program shops, I-CAR said Thursday.

“Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group has had a longstanding commitment to collision repair training and education, and we have enjoyed our close partnership with I-CAR over the years,” Auto Club Enterprises claims Vice President Claudia Rodriguez said in a statement. “We are honored that I-CAR has recognized our training and education at its Gold Class level. Being a valued Sustaining Partner and achieving Gold Class corporate status will help keep our staff knowledgeable about the latest repair practices which benefits our insured members.”

According to I-CAR, an insurer needs 60 percent of its appraisers to become Platinum ProLevel 1 to achieve Gold Class status. Keeping it a second year requires 50 percent of appraisers reaching ProLevel 2 and another 30 percent having clinched ProLevel 1.

Acknowledging insurer employee turnover, I-CAR lets an insurer stay Gold Class for a third year so long as 80 percent of its adjusters are still ProLevel 1. However, 40 percent of appraisers must have made it to ProLevel 3.

At Year 4 and beyond, I-CAR sticks with this 80/40 rule but also demands continuing education.

ProLevel 1 for auto physical damage appraisers demands 28 online courses collectively spanning roughly 21 hours, including topics like “Vehicle Construction Materials Types,” “Damage Analysis of Restraint Systems,” and a bunch of damage analysis courses related to areas of a unibody car.

Reaching ProLevel 2 requires 12 more courses taking approximately 12 hours and 15 minutes altogether. They include topics “Damage Analysis of Driving Assist Systems,” “Damage Analysis of Steering and Suspension Systems,” and “Quality Control for the APDA.”

Finally, ProLevel 3 requires four classes that I-CAR estimates should run nearly 3 hours combined: “Determining Overall Vehicle Repairability,” “Writing a Repair Supplement,” “Completing the Total Loss Process” and “Processing Vehicle Salvage.”

“Auto Club Enterprise management’s enthusiasm and encouragement for its appraiser staff to adopt APDA training and as a result, become a corporate Gold Class organization, confirms a dedicated commitment to training throughout the organization,” I-CAR insurance business development principal Keith Going said in a statement. “Since 2018, Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group has been one of our valued Sustaining Partners, and now by achieving Gold Class, it’s quite apparent just how much this insurer embraces ongoing training for its staff, collision repair networks and other stakeholders.”

Auto Club Enterprise joins 26 other insurers that have achieved the Gold Class designation, according to I-CAR.

With that kind of a turnout, it’s worth a shot for repairers and customers experiencing opposition to a legitimate repair procedure to ask if the adjuster’s carrier is Gold Class. Odds are some will be.

If the answer is yes, the shop and customer can remind the carrier of the lessons and resources associated with that credential. If the answer’s no, the shop or customer has a better argument that the company’s opinion is an uninformed one that carries no weight.

More information:

“AUTO CLUB ENTERPRISES INSURANCE EARNS I-CAR® INSURANCE GOLD CLASS® CORPORATE STATUS”

I-CAR, Aug. 20, 2020

I-CAR Gold Class for insurers webpage

I-CAR ProLevels for auto property damage appraisers

I-CAR Repairability Technical Support portal (free for everyone this year)

Featured image: A logo for the Auto Club of Southern California, another name for Auto Club Enterprises, is seen at SEMA 2018. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

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