'Who Pays for What?' Survey: More Shops Being Paid for OEM Procedure Research

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Jan.8, 2018—A small but growing percentage of shops report being paid an administrative fee for researching OEM information, according to the most-recently released data from the “Who Pays for What?” surveys conducted by Collision Advice and CRASH Network.

This past fall’s (2017) survey found that 11 percent of shops are paid an administrative fee for OEM procedure research either “always” or “most of the time” by the top eight-largest auto insurers. A seven percent increase from the survey, a year earlier and up from 6 percent in the 2015 survey.  

The percentage of shops that have never billed an administrative fee for OEM research has declined from 76 percent in 2015 to about 70 percent in this latest survey.

Mike Anderson, owner of Collision Advice, says that apart from subscription fees, there are costs associated with researching information.

“I’m seeing the typical amount of total sales a single estimator can handle decline, because the estimating process continues to become more complex, including research of OEM repair information,” he says. “I’m starting to see a few shops with an employee doing nothing but scanning vehicles and researching OEM repair procedures. I think it will be interesting to watch what shops report about billing and being paid for this moving forward.”

The October survey asked shops about billing practices and insurers’ payment practices regarding shop supplies, such as seam sealer and acid brushes.

The survey gathered information from over 700 shops across the country about aluminum repair rates, vehicle scanning and sublet markup.

The first of the four 2018 “Who Pays for What?” surveys, which focuses on not-included refinish operations, is open now through the end of January

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