AASP/NJ Responds to Body Shop Accused of Fraud
Sept. 23, 2015—The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) has released a statement in response to a N.J. body shop accused of fraud.
On Sept. 16, Palisades Park auto shop owner Dong H. Seok was charged for insurance fraud and hindering for allegedly claiming to be using a waterborne paint system, which was proven to be false by the prosecutor, to receive higher reimbursement.
Charles Bryant, AASP/NJ executive director, released a statement shortly after the story broke. In the statement, Bryant condemns the shop’s alleged actions, yet he recognizes that the current state of the New Jersey automotive service field can lead to desperate measures.
“First, let me be perfectly clear. I have no compassion for anyone that would supply an insurance company with a fictitious invoice in order to be compensated for a part, material, paint or anything else that he does not deserve to be paid for, nor do I condone this type of illegal activity,” Bryant said. “However, on a daily basis I see insurance companies shortchanging their own insureds and the collision shops repairing damaged vehicles on the cost of paint and material. Many insurers in the State of New Jersey are currently using an antiquated, outdated formula to determine or limit the amount that they will pay for the cost of painting materials required to repair damaged vehicles when there are multiple accurate and computerized cost accounting programs readily available to the insurance companies or anyone else to determine the exact costs.”
“The law or the rules should not be one-sided,” Bryant said. “If the prosecutor is going to charge a shop with fraud or a crime for supplying false documentation in order to get paid for more than it is entitled, then the prosecutor should be willing to charge insurers that are using false information to support their denial of the actual cost of the paint and materials they owe for on an insurance claim.”