Repairers Losing Credibility?
When did repairers lose credibility? It sickens me when carriers combine operations like “setup & measure” or tout a “matrix” for structural repair costs!
Maintaining training standards protects the integrity of repair knowledge—even in cash-strapped times. Equally important: The availability of proper repair procedures from stakeholders like vehicle manufacturers, I-CAR, paint manufacturers and the information providers who collect and disseminate repair information. We’re all obligated to provide information that is correct to the best of our knowledge. So it’s ludicrous that any insurance carrier would have a matrix for assessing structural repair costs, unless the carrier’s paperwork is a Loss Assessment rather than a Damage Repair Estimate.
As for combining labor operations, it devalues the repair process. Before the 1980s, repair facilities often received an all-inclusive assessment, usually handwritten in the sublet portion of the estimate. “Frame repair” was stated in dollars. But increased use of unibody vehicles by vehicle manufacturers required further documentation, and setup & measure became one. As vehicles evolved, the two should have split, since measure requires additional training and sometimes licensing. Today, with the increased use of advanced steels and other new metals, both procedures require additional knowledge; the technician performing these procedures should be respected accordingly. After all, the reason your family doctor doesn’t perform heart surgery is because specialized training is required. Our technicians are “specialists” too!
Ray Fisher is the president of ASA-Michigan. This article represents his opinion and does not reflect the views of ASA-Michigan.