Thursday, 28 February 2002 17:00

Claims people get hands-on experience

Written by Toby Chess
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With the elimination of the traditional I-CAR Collision Repair 2000 class, many insurance companies called me(I'm the Los Angles I-CAR chairman) to ask what I-CAR was replacing it with. I explained that the starting in January 2002, the new class was going to be called CR 3000 and this would be an enhanced delivery class with a test at the end of the class. To my surprise, no one knew what I was talking about - I guess they don't read these collision newspapers. 

I thought of putting on an I-CAR demo class for them, but I realized it would not draw too many people. What I needed was a real event! I decided instead on a day long hands-on training symposium. It had to be a hands-on event because most people from the insurance industry do not get the opportunity to work in a shop and I felt certain they would develop a new respect for the work done in a modern body shop.
Hamid Hojati, owner of Insurance Collision Centers in Los Angeles, graciously allowed me to use his facility. I figured his Marina Del Rey Facility, at over 25000 sq feet under roof, should be big enough. When I contacted vendors and industry-related groups and asked them if they would put like to participate, the response was overwhelming: Akzo Nobel-Sikens, PPG, 3M, Kent Industries, Car-O-Liner, Chief Automotive, AutoChex,Meguiars, Mothers Detail Products, Dominon Sure Seal, Hunter Alignments, Cerritios College, SRS Air Bags,Toyota Motor Sales-USA, Honda Motor Cars, BMW,California Bureau of Automotive Repair, Bay Cities Radiator, Fusor, Prospot, Sata and I-CAR. Whew. 

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.

Chief Automotive set up hands-on measuring exercises and Car-O-Liner allowed the insurance guys (and girls!) to actually measure, pull and remeasure a damaged frame.
A welding instructor from Cerritos College showed what was necessary to pass the I-CAR Welding exam and then had the "students" welding coupons on ProSpot equipment. Other students were repairing plastic bumpers, detailing vehicles, apply corrosion protection and setting up an alignment machine.

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.


Read 7706 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 00:32