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  • 29 Mar 2019 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    Estimating Tip: Mitchell - 2.5 Clear Cap Exclusion

    Included Operations

    ·     Mix material

    ·     Clean and tack surface

    ·     Apply material

    ·     Clean equipment

    NOTE: For NEW, UNDAMAGED PARTS, a total of no more than 2.5 hours should be necessary to perform the four Clear Coat Refinish Included Operations listed above. This calculation DOES NOT APPLY to bumper covers, ground effects, special package equipment, interior edges, jambs, entryways, undersides and additional time that may be required for repaired and/or used panels. It DOES NOT APPLY to complete vehicle refinish. It is not intended to determine the quantity or cost of materials required for the application of clear.


    The estimating databases are all intended to be used as a GUIDE ONLY - it is important to remember that the auto body professional performing the repair is in a position to thoroughly inspect, diagnose and identify the methodology and their unique cost of the vehicle damage repair.


    You can view this tip and others on the DEG website by clicking here.


    For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit, call toll free 1-877-841-0660 or email us at

  • 21 Mar 2019 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    Attached, is the newest volume of Ford's On Target magazine.  It includes a wealth of repair-related material, including: a discussion of Ford's recent scanning position statement, as well as a detailed look at Ford's scanning software and hardware; updates to Ford's new Certified Collision Network; vehicle recalibration from I-CAR; an introduction to Ford's new Collision Report video series; Ford and Lincoln diagnostic methods straight from the Workshop Manual; a look Inside the Industry; and more.

    On Target (2019 - Vol. 1) FINAL.pdf

  • 9 Jan 2019 10:26 PM | Anonymous

    January 2, 2019 – Richmond, Virginia – The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) is opening a survey for collision repairers in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington D.C., to anonymously rate insurance company market behaviors in several categories. Utilizing a list of the largest carriers by market share, repairers will be given an opportunity to give their feedback.

    The survey is to provide results to collision repairers, the association and insurers, as to how they are handling claims in the mid-Atlantic region. With some insurers having specific market tactics utilized in each market, under different leadership, this may show the overall perception from the repair industry to their claims staff. WMABA hopes the information is helpful to improve relationships with the carriers in the area.

    Find the survey here: SURVEY

  • 11 Dec 2018 8:20 PM | Anonymous

    Steady improvement for U.S. personal auto insurance companies has culminated in the sector’s best underwriting performance in 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

    Fundamental improvement

    The U.S. personal auto insurance market has shown continued fundamental improvement that is pointing to full-year statutory underwriting profit for the first time since 2007, according to the findings of the report titled, “U.S. Personal Auto Insurance Market: Underwriting Recovery in Full Swing.”

    Related: Rising premiums, lower losses bode well for U.S. auto insurance industry

    Material premium rate increases over successive renewal periods and a return to more favorable claims frequency experience are key contributors to this result. A 65% industry aggregate statutory direct loss ratio in private passenger auto liability and auto physical damage combined through the first nine months of 2018, represents an improvement of over five points from full-year 2017.

    Read the rest of the article here: ARTICLE

  • 7 Dec 2018 10:05 AM | Anonymous

    By John Huetter

    I-CAR has for a while blessed the industry with a collection of guides to finding and launching OEM repair procedure websites. It’s since followed those up with a series of Repairability Technical Support articles teaching repairers how to find advanced driver assistance system information within those manuals.

    Late last month, it collected these posts into a handy portal/article, and insurers, estimators and repairers will want to bookmark the page to make sure they properly research the lifesaving technology.

    ADAS can include a multitude of items Insurance Institute for Highway Safety research has proven to reduce crashes, such as autobraking. Unfortunately, it’s often associated with car parts likely to be damaged in a wreck, not to mention basic tech like batteries, and both the collision itself and the repair process can compromise ADAS if you’re not careful. Adherence to OEM procedures for repair and calibration is critical.

    Finding these repair procedures means going beyond the the body repair chapter of the manual and researching sections collision repairers have traditionally associated with mechanics, something I-CAR alludes to in its ADAS coverage.

    Read the whole article here:

  • 3 Dec 2018 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    We all probably agree that it is best that a body shop estimator always write his/her own estimate on every vehicle they repair. The primary reason for that is because insurance company estimates are highly inaccurate and they use terms on their estimates, and repair methods, that the auto body industry is prohibited from using.


    Section 2695.8 (F) of the California Fair Claim Settlement Practices regulation clearly Indicates the steps an insurer must use when preparing a repair estimate using a third party data base.


    This regulation states: "An insurer shall not prepare an estimate that deviates from the standards, costs and/or guidelines provided by the third party automobile collision repair estimating software used by the insurer to prepare the estimate, if such deviation would result in an estimate that would not allow for repairs to be made in accordance with accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike automotive repairs by an auto body repair shop, as described in this subdivision."


    Simply put, the insurer must use the data base they are using as it is designed to be used, including the "P" pages. 


    Another reason for the auto body shop to prepare their own estimate is so they will have an estimate prepared on an "unmolested" data base to compare to any insurer produced estimate. Insurers have been known to go into the administrative section of the data base and set certain parameters that will affect the bottom line on an estimate. An example of that is "all bumpers are painted on the vehicle".


    Items that have been left off an estimate or under paid on the estimate would not allow the auto body shop to repair the vehicle in a "good and workman like manner". While there are some minor differences in the data bases, they are usually small. When there are large differences, it is usually caused by data base manipulation and you may want to consider insisting the insurer use your data base as they are required to do.


    If the insurer refuses to comply with the regulations, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the DOI.





    Attention: This document is general in nature and deals with various laws and regulations. It should not be considered legal advice. It is recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney specializing in this area of the law if you encounter a problem.

  • 12 Aug 2018 4:42 PM | Anonymous

    In this issue of On Target: 

    • 2018 Ford Expedition Finish-Panel Repair 

    • I-CAR Training Workshops Schedule 

    • Inside the Industry 

    • Truckload Program Updates 

    • Aftermarket Parts Testing 

    On Target - 2018, Vol. 2 (FNL).pdf

  • 12 Aug 2018 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    Regardless of where your customers come from, they generally come to you to solve a problem…such as fixing their damaged vehicle and getting them back on the road quickly and safely. Your goal is to not only restore their damaged vehicle but also their peace of mind.

    I believe it’s important that collision repairers provide repair estimates/invoices that are as thorough and comprehensive as possible. I also believe that, in most states, you’re required to list all processes, parts and materials to be employed in the repair, along with the price being charged for each item. Failure to do so could be perceived as a deceptive business practice and, at the very least, failure to comply with your state’s mandates – in which case your privilege to conduct business (license) would be put in jeopardy.

    Read more..

  • 9 Aug 2018 12:21 AM | Anonymous

    All too often collision repairers merely accept what the insurers say they should charge or what the insurer is willing to pay?

     The question begs to be answered:

     Why Would Anyone Take Advice on How to Collect Money From Those That Owe it!?

    Imagine if we could go into a retail provider of goods and services, and regardless of the level quality they offer, tell them what we are willing to pay them… and get away with it!

     So what can and should a business do to ensure they remain competitive in their market area? They should conduct research such as visits or phone surveys of what other in their market area, who offer the same level of service and quality charge for their services. This is done by most all competitive businesses including auto makers, restaurants and yes…even insurers. Imagine attempting to tell an insurer what they should charge for their premiums? What response would you likely get…? I’m fairly certain it would go like this…

     “Ha, Ha, Ha…No, I’m sorry…. are prices are pre-determined based upon the competitive landscape and the incurred risks we choose to accept and not open to adjustment or modification…have a nice day!”

     So what can and should a collision repairer do to determine a competitive labor rate for their services in their area while comparing Apples to Apples rather than comparing one to a fruit basket? You could always try to do it yourself but you would have many hours involved and at the end of the day, the information provided you may be inaccurate, and as such, your survey results would be subject to scrutiny by others…or even discounted as bias and not independent or impartial.

     One extremely viable and effective independent solution is National Auto Body Research’s Variable Rate Survey or VRS. VRS performs truly independent and impartial labor rate surveys across the country. The great thing about this survey is that it is not a one-fits-all survey…it derives rates and allowances based upon participating repairer’s various algorithms including, but not limited to collective training, certifications, capabilities and such; no longer are the best of the best relegated to the same low labor rates and allowances of the worst of the worst! No longer are “The Outbacks” forced to accept McDonald’s pricing!

     If you struggle to attain a labor rate that enables you to re-invest in your company and the funds necessary to properly compensate your staff (and yourself) and enhance and update your facilities and equipment, undergo marketing and such, it’s time to re-evaluate your labor rates and allowances.

    I encourage you to review the accompanying and to visit the following link and to contact Richard or Sam Valenzuela at VRS and look into identifying the labor rate in your area and how you compare.

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