The labor rates that insurance companies pay body shops to repair damaged vehicles aren’t high enough to cover the cost of repairs, according to a survey of nearly 300 collision-repair facilities across the state.
The 2012 Florida Labor Rate Survey, released in late July, shows that while materials, labor and equipment costs continue to rise steadily, insurance company labor rates are not keeping pace and, in many areas, have not increased in nearly seven years.
"FACA is grateful for the participation of so many shops and we're pleased to be able to provide this information to the collision-repair industry," said Cathy Mills, FACA's executive director. "But to most of us, this is not news - we've seen costs rise and margins shrinks year after year with no movement on labor rates."
Every year, the cost of doing business continues to rise for body shop owners. Paint and material costs, for example, increase each year—sometimes twice in a year. Paint costs rose for body shops by at least 3.9 percent over the prior year, with some shops seeing up to a 7.8 percent increase.
Without reasonable and regular increases in the amount insurance companies pay to repair vehicles, body shops are finding it harder to recover repair costs. Shrinking margins make it much more difficult to attract and retain skilled technicians or to keep pace with the advanced equipment and training needed to work on today’s newer vehicles.
The 2012 Florida Labor Rate Survey was conducted by CSi Complete to ensure unbiased data collection and reporting. The survey results are available on FACA’s website at www.facafl.com.
About CSi Complete, Inc.
CSi Complete provides market research and call center services to the automotive and auto physical damage industries. CSi Complete has customers in every state and Canada and has completed millions of surveys for a variety of clients. www.csicomplete.com.
About the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance
The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance is committed to the future of the collision repair industry: to provide the leadership needed, raise the professional image of the industry and develop new leaders to carry forward. FACA’s goal is to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry, including repairers, insurers and vendors. www.facafl.com.