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Behind the Mask: U.S.-based Collision Advice survey reveals half of shops paid to mask engine compartments

Washington, D.C. — Fifty-one percent of shops surveyed during the annual Collision Advice and CRASH Network ‘Who Pays for What?’ survey said they were either paid “always” or “most of the time” by eight of the United States’ largest insurers for the labour required to mask a vehicle engine compartment in the event of part refinishing.

The response represents a 16-percent increase from the organizations’ same survey conducted in 2015.

The ‘Who Pays for What?’ survey asked shops whether eight of the U.S.’s largest insurers pay for various ‘not-included’ operations when the shop requests, and how frequently the shop charges for them.

According to the study authors, engine masking is a not-included operation not factored into estimating system labour times. However, CRASH Network and Collision Advice note that masking an engine compartment is “often necessary following repair or replacement of core supports, aprons, frame rails, etc.”

The results suggest repairers are far less likely to see denial from the major insurers on the process compared now compared to in 2015, where 40 percent of shops said masking charges were never paid by carriers. In 2020, just 20 percent made the same claim.

“Shops may have become better at explaining and documenting the need to mask the engine compartment,” CRASH Network and Collision Advice wrote.

This ‘Who Pays for What?’ survey originally ran from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31 and features responses from 757 bodyshops.

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