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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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    572

    It's really getting interesting

    On the one hand we have insurers seeing a future where there are no accidents with autonomous vehicles and fewer owners of cars with ride sharing. Then when these new cars do have a mishap, the insurers have a fit because of computer resets, and thousands$$$ of extra sensors, cameras and mystery modules (along with $1-2K headlamps). Not that I enjoy the fact that I am getting older, but I really can't believe there would be any reason to enter this industry now. Maybe I'm just being cynical today.

    https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-...insurance.html
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

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    Mark, What if. In the years of this futures study, Insurers lose their ability to control market price?
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Smalley View Post
    Mark, What if. In the years of this futures study, Insurers lose their ability to control market price?

    Simple, the insurers will just conjure up a new "INDUSTRY STANDARD"

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    I see

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Smalley View Post
    Mark, What if. In the years of this futures study, Insurers lose their ability to control market price?
    that already happening. As I've always told insurers.. I have no obligation to do this repair, you are the ones who have taken money and made the promises... AND, if there is a question to my honesty or ability to estimate the damages, I shouldn't be doing them in the first place. One insurer called last week and challenged us on the "body material charge" (which amounted to only 3% of the total repair costs). I told them the above and said no parts will be ordered until we have payment for the complete repair, they "said" payment was sent that day (we shall see).

    The point being, until the car and shop owner take control of the repair, the morons meeting with insurers to work together will never be anything more than the minions they are now.
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

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    Au contraire mon amie.........you follow your own instincts....and sense....to be one of the earliest abstainers waaaay in the minority.

    But. As long as repairers converse back and forth with insurers about any aspect of the consumer's rights, even though you individually and possibly a few others steer your own boat, you are still complying with a basic 'rule' established by insurers. Just recognizing an insurer, talking to them regarding the repair and submitting any estimate, does and will continue to cement their role in the repair.

    Now there is only the nuclear option; all or nothing. They are in the contract, or not. The establish how you (generic as to all) calculate your cost and what they allow you include in the price.....they set the price, or not.

    Yes, I know it is improbable ( I hesitate to use the word impossible although that comes to mind first because there is always hope) that repairers can divorce themselves from insurers completely and take a stance individually, but that soul is as rare as hen's teeth.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    The increasing amount of information coming from manufacturers as to what must be done to return a vehicle to pre-accident condition in terms of safety has the potential to be a game changer. From what I am understanding, more and more manufacturers plan to engage in a consumer awareness program that will alert consumers to the existence of specific repair protocol that must be followed to ensure the safety of the vehicle subsequent to repair. Once consumers begin insisting that both the insurance company and repir shop sign an agreement to adhere to manufacturer repair procedure, they either comply or explain why not. "Industry standards" will be exposed as the made up, meaningless term that it is.

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    Data/analytics

    A parting shot regarding the use of data or analytics that sometimes gets lost in the discussion, particularly if you are an advocate of and for the insurance industry.......crap in crap out. Illegal determination of pricing cannot be scrubbed by statistics or analytics and render it valid. Neither even if they were based on legal pricing, predicts absolute outcomes.

    It does no good to argue with folks that ponder such things though....... Much like it does no good to ask a female "please, identify the rights you don't have that men have". That is because they all have the same rights, and all to one degree or another suffer some sort of discrimination, men and women. Well, women do have rights men don't. They have babies with or without a man being directly involved.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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    Just one issue

    To see if anyone is awake, thought I would throw out some old opinions.......my dates may be off since I was not involved, but generally should be adequate.



    Over 40 years ago give or take, a quiet revolution began to evolve in a then relatively small collision repair industry that began after WWII. It was precipitated by a parts man at a dealership that had grown tired of having to look up every part and price when a shop needed parts, describing it as, “I need a fender”. He began offering a rudimentary list of some parts numbers and descriptions to his regular customers as a beginning place to order parts, then some enterprising soul began adding an informal guide to times it was thought it would take for a worker to perform the task.

    Thus began the published guides insurers, repairers uses in determining the parts to be used, the ‘list’ price for parts, and time for labor. Of course the story is that at some point early in the 70’s the roll out of the use “guides” came with direct involvement and financial support of insurers well before the use of computers came along in the early 90’s for most repairers.

    Even before this revolution took place, the industry was becoming more complicated and insurers realized there was no mechanism, no practice to determine if the prices being demanded by repairers were accurate or if the repairs were being done in the first place. Repairers had the ability to scam the system with ease, with the only ‘control’ being whether the customer complained or not, usually to their local Agent which at that time was the insurance company, who could exert some influence on local repairers, but no real authority. Many repairers did succumb to the lack of checks and balances depending on their own integrity. So there was a great deal of money potentially at risk.

    Insurers realized the costs to their customer, lack of cost control, effect on their bottom line and correctly determined that estimating and claims payment would benefit from a formalized method in determining what they owed, which was “The Guide”. Certainly “The Guide” approach is very appealing for everyone. It allows the insurer to be involved in spending controls on behalf of their customers, ease of financial projections and determination of risk, the most import part of the role of insurance. For the repairers, it eased the process a great deal by determining the parts needed, a more formalized method for estimating and communicating with the customer and the insurer.

    Without insurer involvement it is doubtful that this formalization would have taken place before the advent of computer technology primarily because unlike insurers, repairers were not organized (make that still not) into a cohesive unit, remaining for the most part, individual. Exactly which insurer or insurers were involved in the concept is not only unclear but also unimportant. All insurers came on board for they all understood the benefits.

    If but absent one practice that was ignored, one could think this was a great deal to be enjoyed through out the economy, a positive turn. That one practice that was and has always been available to insurers is to inspect the work after the repairs are completed, ignored by insurers. Today, there is no effective established program to determine if repairs are performed as priced.

    Instead insurers built a process of ancilleary programs beyond “The Guide”. External to the corporation “labor rate surveys” of prices charged by market. National Direct Repair Programs that tied complying repairers directly with the insurer, a silent but obvious quit quo pro arrangement not available to otherwise independent of insurer repairers that for whatever reason, could not become a DRP. Insurance internal corporate organizational units directly interfacing only with consumers (insured’s and claimants), others established to externally interface with repairers in the shop; another to interface with repairers internally if there were disputes. Some insurers developed an internal organization to manage their contracting providers of “ The Guide”, with internal checks and balances that valued each of the published “The Guide” performances as well as the effects of “The Guide” upon payments to repairers in minute detail, used to value repairer “performance” relative to “The Guide”. In turn, layers of management all the way to the top Corporate Executives oversaw each of these corporate divisions.

    While every insurer in the nation could not afford, nor need to supplant the larger insurer programs, virtually every Property & Casualty insurer followed the same practices with little deviation.

    Each of these programs & organizations were built to promote, protect the use of “The Guide” as the method used by and accepted by insurers to price what they were charged, in determining risk, establishing statutory reserves and ultimately the amount of income tax that was owed by the insurer. And their own bottom-line.

    Over decades, there have been innumerable legal efforts in the courts to address these practices, all addressed by insurers to their benefit. These practices are well entrenched, accepted by insurers and the majority of repairers as the way business is done (and virtually everyone else); insurers because the benefits accrue to them; repairers because they have no choice. The “why” repairers use “The Guide” is another story involving a variety of legal issues, greed and ignorance.

    The “why” insurer’s selected this type of control, expending great resources to achieve their goal has always been perplexing to me since these controls appear to be nothing but price control by a party that is not involved in the repairs, don’t own vehicle rights belonging to the vehicle owner, not contracting for repair. A process beginning before the first repair has been made. The process, the organization was created out of thin air yet the insurer had available an existing legal means to confirm expenditures were market driven, that repairs had or not been completed in a suitable fashion in keeping with the costs; inspections after the fact of repairs.

    The answer is obvious and simple to me but I am old and simple minded. Using the competitive market to drive the price would eliminate the insurer’s ability to exert tension for a lower price before the fact.

    Without “The Guide”, pricing before the fact of repairs would not be possible. Without “The Guide” the organizations established to support the guide would be superfluous. Logically, the only real tension is the use of “The Guide”, a predetermined price, regardless of whether they are used just by insurers or both the insurer and repairers. Even omitting the legal issues, this is a very complicated situation. However, there is only one result. To control price charged before the fact without competition in the market place.

    The question remaining is not the accuracy of “The Guide”, and certainly it can be demonstrated that they are not, and it can be demonstrated that repairers have no choice. Unfortunately doing so is a legal quagmire.

    What remains is a two-pronged question: is the insurer contracting for repairs? If not, can they legally issue, support, demand the use of information contained in “The Guide” as a uniform price for all comers in any market?


    Added:
    What? No response that insurers had another option ....to contract for repairs themselves? tsk tsk. All the ragnot advocates have left.............


    Added:
    "Tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth". Is this not what we see first hand in the repair industry? Data, false data has become the norm in settling claims. Data that is fed into the system confirming what is acceptable...by you. Data has controlled and now that data is being turned into reality with analytically derived outcomes. The ultimate solution. I found this interesting in how it plays into a fixed price before actual performance of repairs.........

    http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2017/03/10/...-people-to-ai/

    "I have seen the enemy........"
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 03-12-2017 at 10:58 AM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  9. Join Date
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    Roy, the way I see it is that cars have been reduced to a mere commodity and the owners don't know ,or care how their car is fixed.

    They only want it to last until they buy another one in a few years. They have insurance and as long as it doesn't cost them anything or take too long, they are happy.

    But there are other types of persons that actually love their cars, collectors and persons that want them to last for 20 years.
    They will get their cars repaired in a manor that they should be repaired.

    This says a lot about the sheep that go the way the dogs bark.

  10. Join Date
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    The latest move by manufacturers in restricting part availability to shops that are not certified to perform repairs on vehicles that employ more sophisticated materials and electrical systems has the potential to change the industry IF the shops obtaining the certifications market their capabilities properly. If a shop has received all the training and tools to competently repair vehicles subject to the certifications, shops that do not have the same certification are unqualified to repair the vehicle or even write an estimate; if they don't know how to repair a vehicle or have the appropriate tools, they are also unqualified to render an opinion as to repair procedure or ultimate repair cost.

    The same can be said for data providers and insurance companies. Don't have the certification? Your opinion is irrelevant. Shops can advance this argument to their advantage with their customers and win in every legal battle that might ensue over what constitutes a "proper" repair. Let's see every insurance company and data provider chin the pole to get certifications that would ensure their competence to advance their idea as to how to go about repairing vehicles subject to these certifications, or explain how the certified shop is wrong and they are right.

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