Jump to content

Dealing with an insurance company as a non DRP

Recommended Posts

Hey guys and gals (if i'm not the only gal on here lol)!

I have a questions for the other shop owners or estimators on the forum. Lately i've been dealing with a lot of headaches from insurance companies dragging their feet because we are not a "preferred" shop on their network. This one in particular that i'm dealing with is just driving me nuts. Breakdown of the ordeal: Customer dropped off their vehicle on 2/11/17 which was a Saturday. I called their insurance to notify them of the drop off the same day. Got ahold of someone on the 14th on when they could send someone out to inspect. Was instructed to write up my own estimate and take photos and submit it to their claim email and that because we are not a "preferred" shop, it could take 7-10 days for review. That was completed the same day (14th). I've followed up with them on the 16th to confirm the estimate and photos were received. Adjuster said that it didnt look like it was so I forwarded it over to her. I sent photos via a google drive link that allows others to view the photos. She said she was having issues so I just sent them as attachments. Finally worked for her and said it was forwarded to the person set to review... this was on the 16th. Yesterday, I emailed to check for status and was told that the person reviewing cannot see the pictures. This had me fuming. WHY was I not contacted back on the 16th or the 17th stating that? Why did I only hear it when I reached out. I resent photos, adjuster confirmed she received them and had forwarded them over again. Hours later asked if she had a confirmation that the reviewer was able to view and received a "well she hasnt contacted me back so that would mean that there isnt any issue..." if thats the truth then did she not send an email back on the 16th saying she couldnt view them? And if she did, why did I only find out on the 23rd when I reached out??!! I emailed a lengthy stern email requesting the reviewers info and the adjusters supervisors info... here we are 22 hours later, no reply. So after all that.... i'm afraid that it will still take another 7-10 days to review and another 7-10 for payment. My question here is, am I entitled to any storage fees because of their lack of concern and being put on the back burner because we arent a DRP shop of theirs? The customer is very patient but I am not. Especially when I hear the insurance adjuster straight out tell me, "oh you arent our preferred shop? its going to take longer then"... talk about steering tactics. Anyone have any words of wisdom on what I can do at this point? Am I in the right to request storage? Is there any law that I can cite to make them straighten up? I am in southern California if that helps. Thanks in advance!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a frequent autobody shop user (just a few panels short of all 4 sides and tops), I've sought out non-DRP shops.   I did this because I wanted someone on my side and that someone was not going to be my insurance company.  I guess, this boils down to whether or not your customers are educated about DRP and in my experience, most are not.  I'd sell them on the advantages, and enlist the customer on your side and then wait.  The fact that the insurance company is immediately making it harder not to use their preferred vendor will convince many customers to choose a different shop as some will not want the aggravation.  Keep the customer apprised of the status and let them help with beating up the insurance company.   My insurer, State Farm, is only a day or two extra once the work starts and less than a week for the initial work.    Of course, they are johnny on the spot, if your customer is owed towing.   Some are worse than others. 

I'd ask why are you fighting it?  I've seen some shops really embrace and promote their independence, but they have to have customer buy-in.  It's their standard way of steering work to preferred shop so that they can reduce their costs.   It's in their best interest for you to be mad and they hope the customer is only mad at your for not being a preferred shop.   Again, prep the customer for the lies to be told by the insurance company and they'll call BS on the them for you.    I think (guess) that non-DRP shops mostly provide better repairs because they have better cost recovery methods vs insurance cost controls slammed down the DRP shops.   I remember reading that @Marksas has a body shop and he can give you better advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Chucks Creations Autobody

My answer is a bit unorthodox but it will give you a bit better understanding of the dispute resolution process.

Take the Jurisdictionary.com course, through it you will learn how claims are resolved in court. You will understand how to make decision based on facts and evidence, and how the legal process works.

With this information, you will be able to see how the insurance company people may be giving you the run around for their own benefit, and what they may have against your customer in evidence that may get them off the hook from paying the claim.

Savvy insurance adjusters know how to push the boundaries and what tricks they can use to get away with paying the minimum amount possible, and even avoiding liability if they can help it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We deal with this quite frequently. We are a DRP for various carriers but we are also not afraid to kick them to the curb if they don't want to play fair. We would not let any one of them add up to more than 15% of our sales. Fortunately most of our bodyshop customers are a result of of Mechanic shop where we already have a relationship with the customer so there is already a level of trust and we have a longstanding great reputation in the community we serve. We educate the customer on the carefully worded word tracks used by the carrier. These word tracks are done in such a way as to attempt to create doubt in the consumers mind about the shop they chose for their repairs if you are not a "preferred" shop. Once we have done that the customer is on guard for the insurer's tactics and is soon as the hear them they know what to do to shut it down. The best thing I have found is to use email and CC the customer in all correspondence. We will also let the carrier know in the body of the email that we have included the customer as to keep them apprised of all aspects of the repair process. From that point forward the delays are not our problem because we did not choose the carrier. The customer will be on your side, especially if they can see the email, look at pictures and open any attachments. The customer is rarely ever upset with us because of delays and it changes how most Carriers handle the claim, especially if they are an insured. 

This problem is no doubt getting worse and worse with carriers using third party estimate audit services, video estimates and more and more used parts thus slowing the repair process down while increasing our administrative burden. We just document all contact and have no problem holding a car till payment is secured even if it means sitting on the car for a week after repairs are completed.

When it comes to a carrier actually succeeding in convincing a customer to move the car to another repair shop, you can get very creative in storage, vehicle preservation fees, admin fees and whatever else you creatively can come u with to make it very expensive for them to move the car. In some cases you make more than you would have if you actually repair the vehicle.  I realize you are in CA so the laws are different as to what you can and cannot do.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Nothing wakes up insurance companies like storage charges. Day 1 starts right after it was dropped off. We don't do body work but we store cars here all the time. Easiest money ever. I'm not sure if you can charge if you do the work, check with a neighbor. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
      Typically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be?  Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day? 
      All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
      Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being billed out correctly? Are you charging enough for testing and inspecting, especially for highly specialized electrical, on-board computer issues, and other complex drivability work?  Is there a clear workflow process everyone follows that details every step from the write-up to vehicle delivery? Do you track comebacks, and is that affecting production?  Is the shop layout not conducive to high production? For example, is it unorganized, where shop tools, technical information, and equipment are not easily accessible to every technician?  Are you charging the correct labor rate and allowing for variables such as rust, vehicle age, and the fact that most labor guides are wrong? Also, is there effective communication between the tech and the service advisor to ensure that extra labor time is accounted for and billed to the customer? These are a few of the top reasons for low productivity problems. There are others, but the main point is to look at the entire operation. Productivity is a team effort.  Blaming the techs or other staff members does not get to the root cause in most cases.
      Maintaining adequate production levels is the responsibility of management to create the processes that will lead to high production while holding everyone accountable. 
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      If you're thinking about transitioning from employee to shop owner, this episode is for you. Instead of guessing your way through the transition, let the Aftermarket Radio Network be your free library of industry peers across the country help you get started the right way.
      Maylan Newton, ESI- Educational Seminars Institute, is a business coach, trainer and industry speaker. Maylan's previous Episodes HERE Vic Tarasik, CEO of Shop Owner Coach. Vic’s previous episodes HERE.
      Show Notes:
      A good technician only makes a good business owner with proper training, guidance, and accountability. You need these 5 professionals- business coach, accountant, financial planner, insurance advisor, attorney Build the business that survives you and provides a legacy to your family the business is not about you is about all the people that depend on the business for their survival, family employees vendors Most importantly, do not treat your business as a hobby you not fixing cars running a business The business owner is the leader, not to fix cars/writing service “People are so afraid of success, that when they reach success they self-destruct.” Not paying yourself opens the door to resenting the business.  What is YOUR cost of doing business? Don’t let the high level of confidence in fixing cars create a false sense of security in solving all things in business. Ask questions of the right individuals- someone with experience who’ve successfully overcome what you have in front of you “Implementation of knowledge is power.” Focus on the fundamentals from the beginning  “Begin with the end in mind” (Covey)- Now that your journey has begun, what is your endgame?  “Life begins and ends at the edge of your comfort zone” Pay your taxes- set up a system where deductions from  
      Connect with the Podcast
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners:
      Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com

      Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By cooterdavenport1
      Looking to get off of pen and paper for ROs and estimates but unsure what tools to take a look at. Can some people tell me what they use, what they like about it, and what they don't like?
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Maximizing Profits Or Happiness - Is There An Ideal Size For An Auto Repair Shop
    • By Beep

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By TTP

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

  • By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

    By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...