Never before have our collision shops been under such pressure and it is high time that a serious and constructive dialogue was established between them and the insurers.
The mission of professional collision shops is to put back on the road the damaged cars that are entrusted to them, for the benefit of their motorist customers, by insurance companies that still too often seem completely disconnected from their reality.
Shops need to measure their production capacity before accepting any vehicle and make insurers understand that they cannot blindly say yes to them at the risk of jeopardizing their profitability and the quality of the repair.
For the benefit of our members, we have compiled a comparison tool that allows them to compare insurers and determine which of these partners take their financial needs more seriously. This easy-to-read chart is available free of charge to QPAC members and I urge them to review it carefully.
It is clear that these partners are not all on the same wavelength. It is unfortunate that the hourly rate still shows a large gap between what is offered and the cash needed by our collision shops to complete the repairs in the proper manner. The investment in equipment, for ADAS calibrations to name a few, or the training required to keep up with the technological curve of the new generation of vehicles, requires substantial financial support.
The CCPQ recommends profound changes in the business relationship between collision shops and insurers. Our goal is to ensure that our customers’ cars are repaired efficiently, safely and to the complete satisfaction of all parties.
These changes are based on four axes. The hourly rates offered to collision shops must not only be adjusted to the market value, but must meet the requirements already mentioned.
That the insurer assumes its responsibilities
The discussion about the courtesy car must stop. It is high time that the insurer takes its responsibilities and really invests in the satisfaction of its customer by providing a replacement vehicle while waiting for the delivery of the repaired vehicle. This is all the more necessary in the context of the parts shortage we are currently experiencing.
The other area that needs to be addressed is management costs. It’s an aberration how much time our collision shops consume filling out paperwork and compiling data on various platforms. This non-productive time must be considered and compensated by the insurer.
And finally, let’s put an end to volume discounts that insidiously eat into collision shop profits.
In this issue, we publish the results of a survey in which we asked our collision shops to rate their relations with all insurance companies operating in Quebec. The results indicate that some finally seem to be sending positive signals to our members. However, the same results show us that for some, the message is still not getting through.
Will we soon reach a situation where our collision shops will only accept work from insurers who respect them?