Motorcade Demonstration Occurs at Massachusetts State House

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May 20, 2022—A planned motorcade put on by auto body shop owners and employees took place on Wednesday, May 18 at the Massachusetts State House. The motivation? Collision repair labor rates that they say have not increased in over a decade.

According to NBC Boston, The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts puts blame on insurance companies for their role in setting low rates that are unsustainable.

The motorcade, which was planned to go on regardless of rain or shine, included a large crowd. The main attraction revolved around the flatbed trucks carrying damaged vehicles that circled around the State House.

Scheduled speakers on Wednesday included Rep. James Hawkins, former Sen. Guy Glodis, the owners of Cape Auto Collison Center and Total Care Accident Repair as well as Dennise Caratazzola, characterized as a concerned customer.

Brian Bernard, the co-owner of Total Care Accident Repair, says that the $40-per-hour reimbursement rate in Massachusetts is the lowest in the nation. He says it just doesn't match up with the equipment, training, repair and labor costs that shops need in order to conduct repairs. According to Bernard, this means that customers may pay the difference out of pocket. 

"We've done our best to bring attention to this issue, but at this point we need to make it clear to insurers and consumers that we cannot do this work at the current reimbursement rates," Bernard says in the article. 

According to the association, the labor rate has increased $10 since 1988. However, the Consumer Price Index has increased 137.7 percent and insurance premiums have increased 254 percent. 

This grievances were initially brought forth in September 2021 before the Joint Committee on Financial Services. A Special Commission on Auto Body Labor Rates issued its report last month. 

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