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Parts and Pieces

Panel bonding in the future

The latest in panel bonding is that Mitchell International has announced that they will be adding panel bonding to its estimating database. They will be adding the panel bond procedure across the board based on research done in coordination with I-CAR and adhesive manufacturers. 

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers/New Jersey (AASP/NJ) is requesting that Mitchell and other database providers stop making changes to the database repair procedures without industry and OEM consultation and approval. According to AASP/NJ, if Mitchell, or any adhesive manufacturer, wants the collision repair industry to accept a new attachment method, the procedure should be equal to or better than the OEM method, and it should be approved by the OEM. 
 Currently, other than a few GM panels, no OEMs approve strictly panel bonding. We will likely be seeing some estimates using the time to panel bond panels from some of the insurers. Remember, once a shop does the procedure it accepts all the liabilities. 

Negotiating with an insurer

As a shop owner, do you have the authority to negotiate a cash settlement on behalf of the vehicle owner? Think about it - the vehicle owner’s policy contract with its insurer is an actual cash value policy. The vehicle owner is owed the cost to restore their vehicle to its pre-loss value, whether the owner chooses to fix it or not. 

Let’s keep it simple: Does it make any difference if the shop de-trims the doors? Does the insurer owe the cost to the insured for de-trimming the doors?  To answer these questions, we need to answer this question: Can the vehicle be properly restored to its pre-loss condition and value per the vehicle manufacturer and the paint manufacturer’s recommendations with the trim still on the doors during the refinish process? No. So the insurer owes to de-trim, again, even if the vehicle owner chooses not to have this done.

The other possibility is that the vehicle owner may trade in the vehicle without fixing it. This makes no difference, since it is the owner’s money to do with as they wish.

But, suppose you get a call from an insurance representative and he tells you that the vehicle owner isn’t going to fix the car so he removed all the de-trim items you had for the doors and is reducing the price paid to the owner accordingly. Do you have to agree? No. By doing so you are negotiating down the amount of money that the vehicle owner will receive from the insurer. Next time you speak to your attorney ask if this is legal.

VABA Forum Discontinued

Due to the unparalleled quantity of unwanted posts invading our forum, VABA leadership has chosen to discontinue it at this time.  We encourage members to email each other directly with news, information and announcements. 


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