INDUSTRY NEWS – Collision Repair Magazine

TO EACH HIS OWN

A deep dive into auto body repair industry consolidation trends published by the Financial Post on August 25 offered a scathing critique of insurers’ business practices in auto repair and solutions. Titled “Self-preference is cannibalizing the auto repair industry in Canada,” Vass Bednar, director of McMaster University’s public policy program, wrote about the reality of car repair ownership and experience. a vehicle, highlighting how consumer choice has gradually eroded. An example is the transition from true ownership to a subscription model where features are withheld by an OEM, even though your vehicle physically houses the technology. This concern increases when the issue of vehicle data is introduced, as a lack of control over this data exposes the customer to the will of the OEM. Bednar worries that insurance companies are interfering with the collision repair industry in an unprecedented way. The power that insurers have has allowed them to exert almost unchecked influence over labor rates and to dictate the use of certain parts over those specified by OEMs if they see fit. , leaving repair facilities and customers little choice in the procedure, she explains. Direct repair programs are understood for any facility owner, but the idea of ​​insurance companies operating collision repair centers under the umbrella of customer convenience is too far for Bednar; and a practice that has been crushed in other industries such as pharmaceuticals.

Bednar points out that technicians and facility owners have long complained anonymously, believing that their insurance partners are compromising their expertise in repair procedures, but are unable to speak up for fear of retaliation and exposure. blacklist. She recommends a review of the state of competition in our industry to ensure accountability.