John Borek, general manager of Autocraft Bodywerks Inc. in Austin, TX, has resorted to filing four criminal trespassing complaints against insurance appraisers.
On average, about four insurance appraisers come into his shop every day. Occasionally, an appraiser will find fault with the logic behind certain repair estimates. Borek said that he usually points out the manufacturer’s specifications when this happens and prints them out for the appraiser on the spot, which tends to mollify their concerns. However, he sometimes gets an appraiser who still wants to argue.
According to Borek, most of the appraisers who want to argue are young and have never worked on a car in their life. Having worked on cars for over 30 years himself, this can be frustrating, to say the least—not to mention a waste of time.
So, when he gets a particularly argumentative appraiser, he calls his manager after the third incidence. If it happens again, he files a criminal trespassing charge. Once the appraiser has been served papers, he’s not allowed on the property. If he violates the order, he could be arrested and fined.
Borek hasn’t had to have an appraiser arrested, although he said they did serve papers to the wrong guy once—a father with the same name as the son who worked at the same insurance company.
Now, it costs money to file a criminal trespassing charge, he has to hire a lawyer, etc. This isn’t something that he wants to do—it’s a last resort. And it’s a last resort that he’s only implemented four times in 30 years. This strategy has worked for them.
Borek told Autobody News that he has received calls from body shop employees all over the country saying that they ‘wished they’d thought of that, way to go, etc.’ Maybe his self-proclaimed out-of-box thinking is setting precedents in the industry.