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Thread: Check this out read from the bottom up ...Audatex at it's finest

  1. Join Date
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    yeah, we are just old farts blowing in the wind Bill.

    Rizzi forwarded an article from RDN this morning about "State Farm not paying for scans required by the OEM's and one or more instances where they say they don't owe for scans under the policy". I guess the policy is no longer "return to pre-accident condition", but that is another discussion we've had.

    What is so obvious if repairers did not use data, what say would SF and any insurer for that matter, have over what repairers perform? Unless of course it was stipulated in the policy......

    So that brings another point. Why do repairers use data? Obvious. They won't get paid a single dime if they don't use one or the other data platforms to determine their costs and selling price.

    Unbelievably simple yet as mentioned, everyone dances around the solution to the debacle. They are either terminally stupid, and/or afraid and rightly so. Just imagine how arrogant, and obvious, insurers have become in their relationship with repairers in the last decade?

    One thing Bill your numbers in your final sentence.....the real number would be stunning and would probably be in the hundreds of billions.....insurers have skinning the repairers and consumers down to a basic science......and acceptable...in my opinion of course.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    The observation you have made more than once, Roy, about insurers controlling the cost of repairs through the data providers BEFORE the accident has even occurred, has always brought to mind what I experienced when I went to Ultramate training right after the program was rolled out. I had the benefit of knowing what insurance company ''approved" the information provided in the program, as well as the format. About midway through the presentation I asked why the program was so adept at subtraction, never missing an overlap deduction, an "included" deduction, or anything else that would result in a labor time reduction, yet seemingly could not manage to add.....anything. Any additions required that the user be aware of applicable additions and manually apply them. After asking louder and louder three times, the instructor only gave me the "stink eye" and refused to respond. My guess is that he figured out that I knew the answer before I asked. The other dummies in the class weren't the least bit curious.

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    Yeah Bill, I remember the roll out here in the Dallas area.....only one insurer backed "Ultramate" at the time. And we all know who that was. And I was a sucker, but not for long.

    Amazin' ain't it.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    The irony of the guides is that when a new model comes out, they know exactly how much time it takes to replace the widget.

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    This string is now over 9 years old

    ....yet it keeps on churning out anonymous followers at an ever increasing clip. The real question is why? Makes no sense to me at all.

    The only thing older that keeps getting attention is the Avery case and it is at least twice as old.

    Neither this string of tens of thousands of words, or Avery achieved anything at all. Both memorialized the sad condition of the collision industry searching for a way to operate independently,hopefully to serve the consumer, a goal that should have been a given but has been anything but.

    Truly, folks in the past twenty plus years.... thirty or in some cases when you think of folks like Carolyn, Ida, Tony, Sheila, the three Marks, and many others have given a life time of energy to try and solve the dilemma. Many shop owners and their families had their lives or their careers destroyed; many have died during the interval and I might add, some probably due to the stress years of conflict brought to them.

    I guess the amazing thing to me, folks are still talking about the same things, the methods used by the insurance industry to control the collision industry. And some of them are the remainders, the same folks that have been around for decades, and newbies that don't know the history, have no memory of what has come before. I am surprised there hasn't been a concerted effort to ride that old horse, The Consent Decree, lately.

    There is nothing right about the situation but in today's world not much different than what we see played out every day....we all had an education of how the world really works. And it ain't pretty. Each has to make the best of it and not expect that the clouds will part, blue sky and sun shining through.....

    There is another very similar challenge coming our way with some of the same players and that is health care that will affect everyone directly, and it ain't going to be pretty either. The same players, just a few different names. Politicians, hospitals, drug companies and insurers with the latter much more powerful that we experienced....and yes, that is possible. To me, the doctors play the collision repairers and they like patients (us tax payers/consumers) are merely the pawns in the great game of power and money.
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 12-26-2018 at 10:20 AM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    When John Eaves and I went to D.C. a few years back, we got interest in either resurrecting the Consent Decree or enacting a new one from just one Congressman, Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat. Obviously, it was just lip service from one politician. The rest either never heard of the Consent Decree or would rather have picked up a live snake than gotten involved in exploring why it has been ignored. I suspect future campaign $$$$$$ have influenced the failure to enforce it, then and now.

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    Nope For the CD

    Well Bill, the Consent Degree has too many 'dodges' for insurers to use to obscure, misdirect and defend their actions.

    Except one. Price. Kill the pricing methods and kill the insurers' ability (as well as their purpose) to intervene in the repair process. Pricing used can not be proven as accurate or representative of a competitive market place, but even if it were insurers have no legitimate, legal basis to become involved in establishing pricing at any state or federal level. Unless they are allowed to claim and prove they are actually contracting for services. Even if they wanted the position of contractor, they first would have to prove they had property ownership or unimpeachable rights assigned by the insured. Third party is and will continue to be problematic for them. Unless the entire body of insurance is overhauled.

    My opinions, not legal advice or legal consideration since I am not an attorney: If insurers were taken to task simply on the basis of demanding that repairers had to use their pricing methods to arrive, not just at price but limits to considering all costs sustained by repairers as well, there is no way the methodology would stand. It matters not what the data provider contract say about "this is a guide, we ain't responsible for it's use" for many reasons. They know that is a dodge; how it is used; they know it is required; they know it is not valid so they would have a hard time proving they are not part of the methodology. Them knowing much less participating, willing or not, ( and then being neither the sell or buyer of repair service) could be considered a conspiracy and would void any and all data contracts with repairers and anyone that places reliance on data. As I have stated on multiple posts that may change in terms but not in meaning, it seems impossible to me to avoid the elephant in the room, but it seems everyone does and keeps on harping about such things as 'who has the contract'.....which in the end, makes no difference if pricing methodology is not challenged.


    PS all comments regarding price assume insurers will not change the policy to include they determine price regardless, or they do in fact take control of the repair contract legally and in conformance with the policy contract. Nothing is impossible.
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 01-08-2019 at 10:47 PM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    I attempted to broach the subject of dictated pricing from a certain insurance company, whose lead all other insurance companies follow, with Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker. He tried to dodge the subject by saying the business practices of insurance companies are regulated by the states and not in the bailiwick of the U.S. Senate, even though they are charged with regulating interstate commerce that insurance companies engage in. He wasn't interested. I also raised the issue of the Consent Decree, to which he opined would also fall under the responsibility of the state, an issue that does not warrant government involvement at a Federal level . I stumped him when I asked how that can be the case when it was the U.S. Attorney General that drafted it, expected it be be enforced, and never lived to see that it was. He had no interest in any further discussion on the subject. You are correct in your observation about the ambiguity in the Consent Decree, every aspect of insurer business practices and any laws that might be implemented with the purpose of taking them to task. It brings to mind a very infamous and ridiculous observation to dodge the obvious answer to an incriminating question, "It depends on what your definition of what 'is' is".

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    I doubt there is any politician, any member of any regulatory agency, any judge at either the state or federal level that has an iota of what is going on. Maybe if they have had a serious claim.

    Bet I can count on one hand the number of attorneys that understand, fully. At the moment I am stuck at one. Actually two if I include Randy Johnston.....you might remember him from one of our earliest CCRE get togethers. To be fair there might be others but they, like Randy are too smart to take on an industry. We are just down on the intellectually challenged end of the curve because we were harmed. They haven't been.

    Didn't think I could get more pissy in my old age, but sure looks like it.......


    Let me add one opinion. Reliance on standard economic/free market policy, backed by existing laws that have gone unenforced for decades, should provide real insight as to where the collision service industry goes......
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 01-06-2019 at 10:30 AM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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