Over 200 insurance adjusters, managers and supervisors from 17 insurance companies came for the day (we consumed a lot of burgers and fries from In-N-Out Burgers).
PPG and Sikens reps demonstrated the differences between prepping used parts, new parts and repaired parts. They also demonstrated panel blending and three stage painting. For many of the claims people, this was the first time they had seen the work they write estimates for actually being performed and many said they gained new respect for the art of refinishing. A highlight of the day was having the insurance people put on the painting gear, go in the booth and lay down some color.
All attendees took part in several 45 minute "short versions" of I-CAR Enhanced Delivery Classes. While I taught the frame repair class, Doug Moore of the Automobile Club ran the Restraints class and Auto Club's Eric Stretion ran the class on Damage Analysis. At the end of each class sample test questions were distributed so that everyone could see the depth of knowledge that would be required to pass the actual I-CAR class. Everyone agreed that it was particularly helpful to have the material taught in the classes demonstrated for them that same day.
We're certain to be doing this again, and if you'd like some tips on putting it together in your area, feel free to e-mail me.
Toys for tots drive
Incidentally, December was a busy month. Aside from the insurance training day, the collision and auto insurance industries got together in a toy drive and collected nearly 600 toys for a Homeless shelter in central Los Angeles. Taking the lead in the toy drive were Shan Haider, head of Farmers Insurance Major Operations Unit, and Frank Shiro, San Fernando I-CAR Chairman. Sixteen Los Angeles area I-CAR Gold Class Shops collected the toys. What a great feeling to see the joy that we brought to these kids. Next year will be bigger.
Toby Chess has spent a lifetime in collision repair. A frequent contributor to Autobody News, he is presently employed by an insurance company ("seeing life from the other side") and is chairman of I-CAR in Los Angeles. firstname.lastname@example.org.