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Public insurance adjuster seeks input for repair facility survey

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Announcements | Insurance
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Collision Consulting of Washington (CCOFWA) is performing a survey of repair labor and storage charges within the state. It said it plans to use the data to help its clients negotiate fair insurance claims.

The two-page survey seeks input on labor rate estimates for performing a variety of jobs, including body, structural, frame, refinish, structural, carbon fiber, mechanical, and more. It wants to learn:

    • Whether shops use major collision estimating software such as CCC One or Mitchell to bill or calculate repair costs
    • Repair facilities’ target technician labor efficiency ratio
    • Shops’ hourly labor rates, and which labor category they use to bill for work performed
    • Whether repairers use a separate invoice to bill for paint and body repair materials, or include the tab on the final bill
    • Which OEM repair certifications shops possess and whether facilities are I-CAR Gold Class
    • The employee benefits available at companies, including medical, vacation, retirement, and tool allowances
    • Costs to store vehicles

“The purpose of the study is so we can represent our clients with their insurance claims and negotiate fair settlements using accurate data that is based upon the range of retail prices at repair facilities having a range of skill, qualifications, and certifications and are located in many different zip codes,” CCOFWA said, adding individual prices will be kept confidential.

“…As a Public Insurance Adjuster, we are a representative for the insured. We assist claimants to navigate their insurance claim with their respective insurance company and obtain all benefits owed under the policy as well as address any shortfalls in their insurance claim, vehicle repair costs and/or total loss claim. We also appraise diminished value and loss of use values for third-party and [uninsured motorist] claims.”

The organization is conducting the survey as several lawsuits are pending in U.S. district courts to challenge the valuation systems used by car insurers to determine actual cash value on total loss claims.

Undercompensated repairs and total loss claims are an issue in several states, including Texas, where consumer advocacy group Texas Watch recently analyzed 1,246 auto insurance claims settled through independent appraisers and found the appraisal award was 40% higher than the insurance offer.

Many car insurance policies include an appraisal clause that policyholders can invoke to have a third-party appraisal done when they don’t agree with their carrier’s valuation of their vehicle or damages. Low valuations often lead to improper indemnification for loss, and in some cases can lead to total loss determinations on vehicles that could otherwise be fixed. Both the carrier and the policyholder hire an independent appraiser and if the appraisers can’t agree, an umpire is selected to make the final decision.

The survey is for first-quarter 2023 and closes March 31. Results will be published on CCOFWA website next month.


Featured image credit: mohd izzuan/iStock

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