CARSTAR Sees Insurer Relationships as Key to Growth

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With the insurance landscape shifting quickly for collision repair facilities, CARSTAR sees partnerships with carriers essential to the future of industry.

New vehicle technology, repair standards, performance and efficiency requirements, as well as customer service expectations are re-shaping how vehicles will be repaired in the years to come.

Echoing a key message from CARSTAR’s recent North America conference in Calgary, John Harvey, Vice President of Sales said, “Only performance will drive growth.”

Over the past month, CARSTAR’s North American insurance sales team has met with top insurance carriers and CARSTAR franchisees at both the CARSTAR Conference and NACE Automechanika to look at the future of the collision repair industry and how top collision repair facilities can prepare for what’s ahead.  With a general consensus that the era of discount-based programs is slowly being eclipsed by performance-based agreements, Harvey noted that currently, this trend is happen faster in the U.S. market but the notion of discounts should rightfully be a thing of the past as insurers become more sophisticated and armed with both big data and analytics.

“A key driver of the growth at CARSTAR is through existing relationships with our insurance partners, primarily with performance-based agreements (PBAs),” said Arlo Johnson, Vice President of Sales for CARSTAR U.S.  “These PBAs require exacting standards of performance, and the high performance that CARSTAR facilities are able to deliver drives their profitability as well as overall customer satisfaction. This successful partnership with our insurance carriers also requires a vision for the future, so we work closely to anticipate the needs for tomorrow’s collision repair industry and prepare the CARSTAR network to meet them.”

CARSTAR says it sees more than 90 percent of its repair business come through insurance claims, and over 90 percent of CARSTAR stores participate in at least one PBA. Through this, the network says it has a unique perspective on the changes to come and how collision repair professionals can address them. Key trends that CARSTAR sees on the horizon include:

  • OEM Repair Standards—More and more, OEMs are driving the repair standards for vehicles. This creates an opportunity for the insurance carriers, OEMs and MSOs to work together to identify the best approach for repairing vehicles safely and correctly while balancing costs, cycle time and vehicle value.
  • OEM Certifications—Hand-in-hand with repair standards are expanding certification requirements from the OEMs. This will be most challenging to independent shops who can’t afford to pursue these certifications across a number of vehicle makes.
  • Pre- and Post-Repair Scanning—As repairers gain a more comprehensive understanding of the need for pre-and post-repair scanning, there will be an opportunity for engagement with the insurance carriers on the costs and education with the consumer on why it is a critical element of the repair process.
  • Self-Management—Insurers are moving toward a self-managed model with large MSOs to streamline their process and better serve their customers. This requires the MSO network to champion training and develop processes that guide consistent, high-quality repairs at every franchisee location in the system.

“We want to support our insurance partners as they implement new strategies to streamline their processes,” said Harvey.  “We can leverage the strengths of our network using the CARSTAR EDGE Performance Platform and CARSTAR Operations team to ‘self manage’ our business and guide us toward consistent and continuous improvement.”



Categories : Collision


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