By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario – May 1, 2019 -- From coast-to-coast, collision repair owners and managers shared their thoughts on how they feel the provincial governments deal with the industry. If there was a clear common theme throughout the answers, it was exasperation--over the amount of control insurance companies in their province, of how much more emphasis provincial governments placed on keeping insurance rates low rather than ensuring the quality of repairs remained high.
When it comes to the customers choice as to where they should take their car, many of the survey respondents spoke frankly about feeling that insurance companies were using unfair practices to direct customers to favoured bodyshops.
“Insurance providers should not be allowed to channel work to shops. It should be the customers choice to where he has his car fixed,” one shop owner commented.
“I believe the insurance companies have too much control, rates, materials, parts, rebates. it would be nice if the province could find a way to make sure companies were getting and giving fair service without forcing shops to join DRPs and work for rates and standards not set by the shop. Not to mention ridiculous rebates to the insurer. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not fixing cars. We fix cars and we should have the control to ensure a proper repair at a fair price,” said another shop owner.
One survey respondent pointed out that the control that the insurance companies have is taking away business from the independent shops. “Governments cater to big business and as a result, big business is controlling the industry. Insurance companies directing work is the biggest challenge facing smaller Ma and Pa shops.”
Another respondent criticized the government for paying to much attention to lowering insurance rates and too little to make sure drivers were receiving high-quality repairs.
"On one hand, the government is regulating the cost of insurance, and we are long overdue for an increase. In my opinion, the KPIs that we have to meet for an insurance partner are not obtainable. I see the results of this every day. Corners are being cut and quality is being compromised. It is going to take somebody getting hurt before it comes to the surface," the maritime facility-owner wrote. "On the other, the government does not really watch over how cars are being repaired. Tighter regulations on litigators for accident benefits need to be put in place across Canada. Discounts and rebates paid back to insurance companies should be outlawed. As owners see our margins shrink more and more, those things are driving bodyshop owners to do things they normally would not. I’m still of the opinion that banners have completely taken away our Independence and are the cause of the problems most face in this industry today."