The Ohio-based Choice Autobody Repair Association (CARA) has partnered with Collision Billing Services, a company designed to assist collision repairers in getting full payment from insurers on behalf of their customers.
“This seemed like the perfect fit for CARA,” said CARA President Rick Finney. “Given the restraints that are put on us as an association by anti-trust legislation, our partnership with CBS will allow us to accomplish our long-term goals in a short amount of time. The key is that CBS is not bound by the same restraints shop owners are.”
He added, “We’ve had some members successfully pursue the same issues that CBS addresses with their program, but when it’s all said and done, they almost always end up spending more money in legal fees than what the case is worth. While it’s good to make a point and set precedence, individual shops just can’t afford financially to keep doing this.”
A CARA member recently won a jury verdict against Nationwide for refusing to pay a sufficient amount to properly and safely repair two consumers’ vehicles. Taking an assignment of proceeds on both third-party claims, they were able to demonstrate for a jury that the amounts Nationwide wanted to pay were less than the true cost of the repairs. In the end, they ended up spending eight times more in legal fees than what they were awarded.
“This is one of the key reasons we’ve partnered with CBS, because now our members won’t have to spend their hard-earned money to prove a point on two claims but have their claims bundled with all the claims from our members and other CBS subscribers. And with Erica Eversman leading their legal team, I know they’ll be effective,” said Finney.
“With the partnership and high participation by our members, we can quickly change the practices and policies in our local market using CBS’s national data, putting to bed statements like, ‘You’re the only one asking for that’ and ‘We don’t pay for that,’” Finney said. “CBS is giving us the opportunity to change our focus. Instead of discussing how we can change the industry at our meetings, we will now discuss how we are changing the industry.”