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Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

Monte Etherton Issues Appeal to Body Shop Principals to Support Dave Jones’ Re-election, Details Reasons to Support Jones

I ask that each of you make a contribution to re-elect insurance commissioner Dave Jones. He needs to know that everyone in our industry—from owners, to techs, to managers, to vendors—appreciates him, and that we want him back for another four years.

As chairman of the California Autobody Association (CAA) Legislative Committee, I have spent hundreds of hours of my own time working toward bringing fairness to various claims settlement practices—fairness that will help us all prosper in the collision repair industry. Before Dave Jones was elected, many of the hours I spent were wasted, but since he was elected it’s been a different story. Here are some examples of how we changed the law to be more consumer (and shop) friendly:


  • If an insurer prepares an estimate for a customer, and afterward (e.g. after tear down) your shop submits an estimate that is higher, the insurer must base any further adjustments on your estimate, not their own. This allows your customer to easily see the changes made by the insurer.
  • Insurers are now required to include estimating software p-page operations when those operations are accepted trade standards or necessary for workmanlike repairs. A good example of this is that “Feather Prime & Block” cannot be included in repair time.
  • If an insurer specifies an aftermarket part that turns out to be not equivalent to the OEM part, then the insurer:
    • owes the cost to R&R the bad part and replace it with OEM.
    • owes the shop costs associated with returning the part.
    • cannot continue requiring use of the part.
    • must notify the distributor of the non-compliant part.

Dave Jones has also helped all Californians by keeping insurance costs down. “We saved policyholders $1.4 billion in premiums by rejecting excessive auto, homeowners, and other property and casualty insurance rates, and we negotiated over $293 million annually in health insurance premium savings for individuals and small businesses.”

We still need to fix some other inequities (e.g., labor rate surveys), but if Dave Jones isn’t re-elected, that won’t happen. If the insurer-backed candidate wins, it’s likely that some (or all) of the good work we have done will be out the window. We’ll be back to “the fox watching the hen house.”

My partner and I are contributing $1,000 each. It’s not easy for us to do this, but we believe this is a very serious matter, one that has a huge effect on our business and our lives. Please consider your future and make a contribution today.

I’m going to see Dave Jones, and as I said, we want him to know our industry appreciates him. Contribute now. If you would like me to hand deliver your contribution, or if you have questions, contact me anytime.

Monte Etherton
Chairman, CAA State Legislation Committee, State Board Member, CAA San Diego Chapter
President, Fender Mender Inc.
326 North El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
760.213.0202 Mobile
760.436.5575x11 Office
760.436.0203 Fax

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