Shop Owners Assess Their Relationships with Insurers

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Luc Fillion, who has many years of experience in the collision sector, is a special advisor to the CCPQ. Photo Luc Fillion

The results of the second edition of the survey on relations between collision shop owners and insurers, carried out under the aegis of the CCPQ, point to a number of gains at a time when relations with clients are still sometimes tense.

The survey gave collision shop owners a clear picture of their relations with the various insurance companies operating in Quebec. The ranking of these companies shows that Beneva, Industrial Alliance, Allstate and Desjardins are the work providers with which collision shop owners have the best relationships.

The rankings also show a sharp drop in Intact’s rating compared with the 2021 results.

In light of the detailed results of this survey, in which collision shop owners were asked to comment on each aspect of their business relationship with insurers, we can see that sharing the results of the 2021 survey with insurers has had a positive effect on certain aspects. Initiatives such as increasing the hourly rate, covering certain replacement vehicle costs and granting a higher management fee show that there is a gradual change in insurers’ attitude towards workshops that repair their customers’ cars.

However, it is deplorable to note that these are often encouraging signals from a minority of insurers. Let’s hope that this year’s results, which we will be sending to Quebec insurers, will raise their awareness and inspire them to make decisions that will improve their positioning.

The survey shows that the shortage of skilled labour is also affecting insurance companies. A number of collision shop owners have expressed their frustration at waiting too long for answers to their questions, or at encountering unqualified service providers.

The collision shop owners had also assessed their relations with insurance companies in 2021. Photo CCPQ
The ranking of insurers in 2023, based on the quality of their relations with collision shop owners. Photo CCPQ

Our recommendations

In the light of the results of this survey and the many comments made by our collision shop owners, the CCPQ is going to contact the representatives of the insurance companies again to discuss the main points of friction in these relations.

So, once again, we’re going to come back to the fact that the hourly rate paid to collision shop owners is far from adequate. At a time when repair times are getting longer, insurers should cover the cost of a replacement car. Management fees should also be increased, as some insurers have begun to do. Finally, collision shop owners would like to see an end to agreements on volume discounts.

The gains made in recent years should remind us that improving financial conditions for collision shop owners is a long-term commitment, and that we must persevere.