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Going 6 Rounds with the Insurance Adjuster


Joe Marconi

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A regular customer ran his Honda off the road and did damage to the front bumper cover, radiator support, A/C condensor, front tires and now the air bag light is on. We inspected the car and diagnosed the air bag problem at the owner’s request and got his authorization. Now comes the fun part: Dealing with the insurance company.

 

We are not a body shop, but do work with insurance companies often. Our estimate and what the insurance company wants to pay are on different planets. I told the adjuster I could not work for that price. Plus he told me to eat the analysis, because we should consider ourselves lucky we are getting the job. Lucky? Was he here at my shop the past 30 years working side by side building my business? Lucky?

 

I told him to write whatever he wants and I will call the customer to get the rest of the money. He told me that’ not allowed. Not allowed? Who is he, my boss? Well after a heated discussion he made some concessions and we finally came to an agreement.

 

I have to tell you, I don’t know how you auto body shop owners deal with these guys on a daily basis.

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  • 2 months later...

When I was young and paying my way through school i managed a body shop and they are all like that. Dont let it fool you. THey can do the right thing but make more money but cutting corners. They would rather spend 2 hours looking ofr a used part just to save $5. They also hate having to add stuff later. Ins is the biggest rip off ever. The owner of the buisness i ran told me that back east it was common for ins adjusters to take cash on the side to write estimates as you saw fit? He owned back there for a long time also

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Do you guys also deal with those third-party warranty providers much? Being a growing shop, we tend to take whatever is out there. We seem to get quite a bit of business from these providers clients and, although I have not done much insurance work, I can't believe insurance adjusters could be worse than them.

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Do you guys also deal with those third-party warranty providers much? Being a growing shop, we tend to take whatever is out there. We seem to get quite a bit of business from these providers clients and, although I have not done much insurance work, I can't believe insurance adjusters could be worse than them.

 

Yes, and a word of caution, some insurance companies are good, a lot are horrible. When a customer comes in with an insurance repair policy, we take the time to review the warranty contract. Most of them are “Mechanical Breakdown” policies. So, if the policy says the transmission is covered, you need to know exactly what that means. If the clutches were burned up, and it looks like abuse, it may not be covered. The policy may state that they will warranty the transmission repair due to a particular component failure only, not wear and tear. Be sure to spend the time, reviewing the policy.

 

Another important thing to do is to explain to the customer that the insurance company may not pay the entire cost of the repair. We always explain to the customer that we do not work for the Insuranace Company and may not necessarily agree to what they are willing to pay. The insurance policy is an agreement between the insurance company and the consumer, not the repair shop!

 

Any difference in what the insurance company is willing to pay and what I need to charge will have to be paid by the customer. Make sure this is put in writing on your repair order upfront at the start of the process.

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I do alot of the warranty companies they are typicall ins companies in alot of ways. And like others have said there are good and bad. I get approval fromt them and waht they cover then let the customer know before repairs that this is what is covered and this is what will be your responisbility. Most of them dont cover it all. A few times iv had them send adjusters to check it out for them selves and take pictures etc. If this takes your time i recomend charging for it.

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