Monday, 15 April 2013 21:04

LIABRA Held March Meeting at Greg and Bill’s Auto Body shop in Medford, New York

The Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) held its March 19 meeting at Greg and Bill’s Auto Body Shop in Medford, NY. The meeting was held in a Town Hall format with an open forum on claims handling problems and solutions. Members were invited to bring problems and solutions for discussion.

Greg and Bill’s Auto Body has been a member and supporter of LIABRA for many years. Greg Smith established Greg and Bill’s in 1967 and it is a family-owned and operated business. Greg and his son Scott, along with a staff of six, take care of the day-to-day operations and Greg’s wife Phyllis takes care of bookkeeping and finances. LIABRA thanks Greg Smith and family for providing their beautiful facility for the meeting and Enterprise Rent-A-Car for the food and refreshments.

 

LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger brought the meeting to order with the reading of an Antitrust Statement and cautioned members that any discussion of prices or repair hours and procedures was not permitted. LIABRA is very sensitive to the Antitrust Laws and Kizenberger reminded members that Body Shop Associations have been put out of business just because of accusations of antitrust violations.

Kizenberger distributed a handout of the 30 most violated OHSA standards and gave a brief presentation on OSHA standards and compliance. In general, OSHA will not visit you unless there is a fatality at your shop or a complaint filed against you. He reminded members to be aware of OSHA best practices and distributed a best practices list. He cautioned members to not only provide proper safety equipment for employees, but also make sure employees know how to use it. He stressed the point that maintaining MSDS sheets, OSHA right-to-know pamphlets, good housekeeping and common sense will go a long way toward being in OSHA compliance.

In a quick update on New York State Labor Department inspections, members learned the department hired 14 new inspectors and they are targeting large body shops. Members were reminded to properly record the time employees work and to  maintain a proper employee handbook.

In addition, GM and Ford's new core charge policy was discussed by members. LIABRA said apparently the OEMs are trying to keep bumper covers, headlights and taillights out of the hands of rebuilders. Meanwhile, members report that salvage yards sell tractor trailers full of those parts to recyclers!

Charlie Corwith of Corwith Collision reported that he has made numerous reports of short data base times to the Database Enhancement Gateway, “DEG” and they have made corrections. He said the process is easy and you can submit supplements for any increase in times.

Kizenberger introduced Jenelle Proudfoot, Enterprise Rental Management Manager for the NY group. Proudfoot explained how the Enterprise Arms management program works. Shops on the program can update and report on the rental status of the cars they are repairing and will soon be able to make reservations for customers through the program. She answered numerous questions from the members on the benefits of the program.

Kizenberger turned the floor over to Greg Smith to discuss problems and solutions on claims handling. Smith reminded members that adjusters must leave a copy of their appraisal or work sheet after starting negotiations-they cannot walk out and say, 'I will fax or email you my appraisal tomorrow.' Some adjusters are not paying tax on sublet items-a call to the supervisor will correct that problem. Members reported that adjusters’ arriving without appointments was a problem. Lou Giordano of Giordano’s Collision reported he will not allow adjusters to see cars without an appointment and suggested members remain in control of scheduling appraisals.

Kizenberger closed the discussion by asking members what problem they are most concerned with: steering or AM parts? The resounding answer: STEERING!

The meeting adjourned at 10 p.m. with pizza, refreshments and raffle drawings.  An iPad Mini donated by iPayments was won by Vito Tandoi of International Collision. Chris Corwith of Corwith Collision picked up the 50/50 drawing.

In addition, LIABRA held its annual Lobby Day April 19. A select group of body shop owners from Long Island and New York met at  the capitol in Albany to visit various legislators and department heads. Kizenberger also reviewed two bills LIABRA has introduced: Assembly Bill 3872 would prevent insurance companies from requiring the use of aftermarket parts unless the insured consents in writing; and Assembly 483 would prevent insurers from capping labor, parts, and paint or repair materials.

LIABRA will meet again in May for a business development meeting.

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