By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario -- November 6, 2018 -- Collision repair facilities and insurers have an interesting—sometimes fractious— relationship. The tug-o’-war between the two factions is not exactly a level playing field.
To help level it a bit, Collision Repair issued a survey to Canadian shops grading insurance companies based on three categories: how timely their payments were, their dispute management practices and their overall approach to bodyshop relations.
From September to November various bodyshops took the survey and revealed which grades they thought each of the Canadian insurance companies deserved. Grades were given out to private insurers (Intact, TD Insurance, Aviva, Statefarm, Wanwessa, Dejardins, Co-operators) and public ones as well (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Saskatchewan Government Insurance and Manitoba Public Insurance).
With a tremendous number of responses received, we can now reveal the final grades—and assure our readers that, despite purported efforts of what we assumed were insurance personnel to skew the results, only those responses submitted by verifiable collision repair facilities were included.
With a ‘class average’ of B- across all fields, the Co-operators came out on top, with an A-. Public insurers MPI and ICBC brought up the rear, scoring a C+ for their efforts.
First, we asked shops, “Is your business part of a designated repair program (DRP) with any of the following insurance companies?” Many of which responded that the DRP program is killing a lot of their shops.
“If insurance companies were not so aggressively promoting their DRP's the Ma and Pa shop would stand a chance. The phrases, ‘we don't guarantee the work of a shop that is not on the program’ is all too common nowadays and costing us customers of 28 years. Having my customers go to the competition for an appraisal is ridiculous and us having to work off of their sheets is so unfair,” commented one shop owner in the comments section of the survey.
The survey continued and followed up with the question of how they would grade insurers for paying bills in a timely manner? “Usually A+ but when the job is over $20,000 it gets harder,” an anonymous shop owner commented.
“If you don't have to go through an independent adjusting firm,” stated another comment.
Although, Co-op had the best grade overall, the survey read that Intact Insurance excelled in this category with an 83 percent approval, while MPI received a 67 percent rating, taking on the spot of the lowest grade once again.
When it came to bodyshop relations and dispute management, Co-op Insurance took over with grades in the 80’s and MPI fell behind again with the lowest grade.
The issue that Collision Repair magazine uncovered through this survey was that some shops are not happy with the way insurance companies tamper with their business.
“Most of the Insurance Company's treat bodyshops poorly. It's one the only businesses in the world that you are told how to run your business, how much you can charge, who you can and can't buy from, and I'll pay you in in 30 to 60 days,” another commenter wrote.
Shops recognized that their business involves a two-sided relationship with insurance companies that either makes or breaks their shop. “Business is a two-sided relationship and our side is not in the game. We have a great opportunity to change this with accreditation and training. Let’s have a voice,” another participant commented.