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Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:45

NCIA Says Totaling at 65% of Cash Value is Too Low a Threshold in Nevada

The Nevada Collision Industry Association (NCIA) was founded in 2004 to promote the interests of those involved in the business of repairing both mechanical and collision-related damage.

Autobody News talked with several of the members and officers to get a better idea of the issues facing repairers in Nevada.

“Although we don’t have separate collision and mechanical repair divisions, we try to represent the entirety of the industry, including paint companies, wreckers, glass companies and even those businesses that sell support services such as estimating software,” says Kurtis Rosborough, chairman of the NCIA and owner of Certified Autobody Center in southwest Las Vegas.

The NCIA holds quarterly meetings to discuss and take action regarding the direction of the association as well as schedules fund-raising events to supplement dues. In addition, the group regularly informs members of any new requirements by federal, state or local governments such as by the EPA and OSHA. Regular I-CAR training sessions are held, and guest speakers also appear at times.

Formerly known as the Nevada Auto Body Association, the 120-member NCIA comprises Northern and Southern chapters, with 40 and 80 members, respectively. Joining Rosborough as state officers this year are Tim Waldren, vice chairman; Vic Stratton, treasurer; Robby Fulgram, secretary; and Mike Harris, director at large. An association lobbyist works for both chapters.

NABA was dormant for about seven to eight years, notes Waldren, owner of Paramount Auto Body in Reno. He is also president of the Northern Chapter, whose other officers are Jim Jackson, immediate past president; Robby Fulgram, vice president; Linda Barrett, secretary/treasurer; and Rick Anderson, director at large.

“I believe the association allows a place for pertinent information to be disseminated to the membership that assists in the running of our businesses,” Waldren says. “The association asks the membership to share what are the largest issues facing their businesses, and then it moves forward to meet those objectives.”

These services are in place not only for legislative aims but to further everyday business as well. “The association has helped the industry with information, classes as well as with laws and has kept us strong. We now know each other, and this binds us together and makes us strive to make the industry a better place to work,” said Colleen Redd, treasurer for the Southern Chapter and an assistant manager at Chapman Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep in Las Vegas. Her fellow Southern Chapter board members are Rosborough, chairman; Vic Stratton, vice chairman; Larry Darrow, secretary; and Mike Harris, director at large.

A member of NCIA for six years, Harris, in his director-at-large responsibilities, primarily functions as chairman of the association’s Legislative Committee. He believes that a major challenge for the NCIA is to amend the state’s “Total Loss Law,” NRS 487, enacted in 2003.

That law provides for totaling a vehicle at 65% of its Actual Cash Value. In part, it defines a “Total Loss Vehicle” as one “which has been wrecked, destroyed or otherwise damaged to such an extent that the cost of repair, not including any cost associated with painting any portion of the vehicle, is 65% or more of the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before it was wrecked, destroyed or otherwise damaged.”

The NCIA says that this is too low a threshold and harms all parties, including the consumer, shops and insurers. “We were able to make some changes in 2005 by creating new definitions and the exclusion of paint and materials,” Harris notes, “but we are still ‘totaling’ far too many vehicles.”

An original NCIA member and formerly a member of the governor’s appointed staff, Harris is the only vendor board member ever to serve on the NCIA board. A veteran of 40 years serving the industry in southern Nevada, he works for “Nevada Pic a Part,” which also includes locations in Arizona and Utah.

As a result, the NCIA will be lobbying for more changes to the law in 2011, says Harris, noting, “The total loss law is the first priority of our association in state legislative issues.”

“The idea behind the original legislation was to keep unsafe vehicles off the road,” adds Rosborough, “but the NCIA believes that the law, originally intended as a consumer advocate bill, isn’t serving that end. We’re hoping to get the law back to to do what it was intended to do.”

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