By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario – April 26, 2019 -- The Saskatchewan Government Insurance just finished its second week of town hall meetings and Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers president Tom Bissonnette says “it’s going well”.

The meetings are to provide Saskatchewan repairers with information about what is expected from the new tiered compensation policy the insurer had announced last month.

In order to gain tier one shop status facilities must have I-CAR gold class status, purchase the necessary equipment to repair today’s vehicles (resistance spot welder, pulse Mig welder, self-piercing rivet gun, vehicle scan tools, and aluminum repair tools), have welding certification and refinish system product training. Tier two shops require I-CAR gold class status and some of the necessary equipment to repair today’s vehicles such as resistance spot welder, pulse Mig welder, self-piercing rivet gun and vehicle scan tools. It also requires shops to have welding certification and refinish system product training.

Bissonnette explained that all of the shop's owners in attendance understand and agree that they need to be more accountable and focus on safe and quality repairs.

But some of the smaller shops in rural areas are concerned about the price tag attached to the equipment that they would need to qualify as a tier two shop. They have voiced that the equipment they are requested to have cost too much and probably won’t be used very much for the type of repairs they perform.

“For example, buying a resistance welder is one thing, getting three phase power to their facility could in many case double the cost of that welder! Many smaller rural shops do not actually repair much collision, they generally work on trucks that have hit a deer, change windshields and hail repairs,” he said.

The biggest issue that seems to be on every shop owners mind is “what are the labour rates going to be?”

While the insurer is still trying to figure out the numbers, SGI feels that they currently pay a premium and they don’t see the need to give a rate increase. They’ve implied that they would like an even lower rate for the tier two shops. 

“Can you imagine spending anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 in training and equipment just to get a lower door rate? For tier one shops imagine spending $100,000 to $200,000 just to stay at the rate you are at?” Bissonnette pointed out.

But on the other hand, the idea of SGI paying a higher door rate doesn’t appeal to them either.

“It may take the Wisdom of Solomon to solve these financial issues,” said Bissonnette.

 

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