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Post Info TOPIC: Insurance company uncovers 'pervasive' auto body shop scams in Ontario, urges action


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Insurance company uncovers 'pervasive' auto body shop scams in Ontario, urges action


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/insurance-company-uncovers-pervasive-auto-body-shop-scams-in-ontario-urges-action-1.4571582

 

"Workers at auto body shops deliberately damaged cars, installed used parts but billed for new ones,

or invoiced for phantom repairs, according to an investigation by a Canadian insurer that is calling on the government to help in curbing the problem.

Aviva Canada found about half the total expenses submitted for repairs to crashed vehicles during its investigation in Ontario were bogus

an amount the company estimates adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars a year."



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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They had hoped to catch a few shops but it turned out to be 9 of the 10. Car star was the only shop not cheating



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We are ALL paying for this dishonestly and corruption. 



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I am not sure about the accuracy of the numbers. I had a car hit once and refused my companies Recomended body shops to send it to my preferred shop. I use them as I know they dont do this and they do quality work. There are many dishonest places out there I am sure but there are lots that do it right too

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Windshield replacement is also a Fraud situation!! one "local" co. is known to submit "RUST repair bill to insurance co. when not needed!!!!

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This "abuse" has been going on for years, makes you wonder how all of a sudden Insurance co. just realize it! They must all be deaf and blind.

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Insurance companies aren't angels either......

How many times do they write off a car that wasn't your fault , cutting you a cheque

that couldn't buy anything close to a replacement vehicle ? 

The whole car insurance business is a rip-off.



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Poncho Master!

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Lots of the same problems with body shops and windshields exists here too. I had bought 3 windshields for different cars for $199 each installed. The wife's car got damaged by a truck, his insurance was paying for a new windshield, so we took it to the same place that did all 3 for $199. When we picked it up, the bill was $700, the installation alone was $199.............

Why don't insurance companies use their buying power and tender out windshields, maybe even body shop repair? If I could buy a windshield for $199 installed, they should be able to get it for less. No incentive, your premiums go up based on costs.

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I had the windshield replaced on one of our work vehicles. We always pay out of pocket for glass. When I took it in for a quote the first thing I was asked was "Is this going under insurance?". Seemed like they had two prices- customer pay and insurance..

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Whether the cost difference is justifiable or not, I can see that a glass shop would charge an insurance company extra over someone paying at time of pickup. A glass installer or body shop would probably need to submit paper work/forms of some sort and probably wait 90 days to be paid. These are extra expenses to deal with as it costs in time to fill out forms and sitting on money paid to a supplier while waiting to get paid is money out of pocket..

I hope I made sense. Not defending either but offering a different perspective.

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Canadian Poncho wrote:

I had the windshield replaced on one of our work vehicles. We always pay out of pocket for glass. When I took it in for a quote the first thing I was asked was "Is this going under insurance?". Seemed like they had two prices- customer pay and insurance..


 This also goes for going to a dentist. One price if paying cash, and another price if your insurance is picking up the tab. The cash cost is usually half, at least with my dentist. 



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dcneric wrote:

Whether the cost difference is justifiable or not, I can see that a glass shop would charge an insurance company extra over someone paying at time of pickup. A glass installer or body shop would probably need to submit paper work/forms of some sort and probably wait 90 days to be paid. These are extra expenses to deal with as it costs in time to fill out forms and sitting on money paid to a supplier while waiting to get paid is money out of pocket..

I hope I made sense. Not defending either but offering a different perspective.


 Eric, this makes total sense to me. 



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ARCADIAN wrote:

This "abuse" has been going on for years, makes you wonder how all of a sudden Insurance co. just realize it! They must all be deaf and blind.


biggrin True. 



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I agree that working with insurance companies adds a bunch of bureaucracy, and who likes filling out insurance paperwork? Doctors charge for having to fill out forms, why not body shops? How much does that cost on a $10,000 repair bill? I'd say maybe 10%? That's 200 hours at $50/hour (how much do you pay your office clerk?). I'd think that'd be lots. Any more than that and in my opinion, they're gouging - no different than those dealerships that tack on the "administration and documentation charges".

The way I see it, insurance companies don't really have a lot of incentive to reduce costs. Especially with government monopolies. The higher their costs, the more they can charge. Their profits are a percentage of revenues, so higher costs = higher revenues = higher profits. I believe this is still true for non-governmental insurance systems, with government review bodies validating insurance premium increases. If costs go up, then premiums must go up. Simple. Doesn't really matter if the costs are inflated.

I wonder every time I see a series of personal injury claim advertisements on TV. Some nights they're almost the only advertiser. Then I think of the increase in the 'recommended' 3rd party liability insurance to $3 million. If everyone carries $3 million in liability insurance, I wonder how much the ambulance chasers are going to be asking for? Does that raise my premiums? But everyone is warned to never sign anything until you've called to get your free consultation.

Bloating insurance claims has been going on for decades. It seems every 10 to 15 years there's a big scandal. Some shops are undoubtedly padding the bills, writing off cars they know will bring good money in salvage, or if the shop is slow, not writing off some piece of twisted junk that should have been written off. Always going to be some bad actors and they tend to reproduce (if shop XYZ is doing it, then shop ABC figures, Why not?). There are also a lot of guys (and gals) just trying to make an honest buck. I feel sorry for them because they get painted with the same brush.




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What about the adjusters? Don't they verify and estimate the damage anymore? That's how it was when I worked at the dealership. Years ago when a 5 year old could steal a Caravan we'd get a ton of them towed in. We'd do a preliminary inspection and create an estimate but it was always the adjuster who would show up, verify our estimate, and then give the ok, often with changes he made to it.


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Canadian Poncho wrote:

What about the adjusters? Don't they verify and estimate the damage anymore? That's how it was when I worked at the dealership. Years ago when a 5 year old could steal a Caravan we'd get a ton of them towed in. We'd do a preliminary inspection and create an estimate but it was always the adjuster who would show up, verify our estimate, and then give the ok, often with changes he made to it.


Now, you just take a picture of your "dent", send it in a phone message, and they tell you how much damage there is. biggrin

By-the-way, my '64 Parisienne insurance appraisal was done from "not-too-detailed" pictures (similar to below). I couldn't believe it!no

Parisienne 4.jpg

 



-- Edited by Pontiacanada on Thursday 15th of March 2018 05:05:08 AM

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Here's the W5 report



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It comes down to doing your own due diligence when considering having repairs done. Body shops have a "DRP" -Direct Repair Program- with shops who conform with their regulation and policies regarding how the repairs are done-quality- to how efficient, time frame, the jobs are put through. I do work at one of the Carstar's here in Calgary so I do know how the system works. Aviva sends us a ton of work as well as TD insurance.

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According to the W5 report Carstar was the only body shop (out of 10) to only repair what was needed. I have to say Carstar has always been the best body shops to deal with- esp from working at a dealership and subletting work to them. Always straight shooters.



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You know, Insurance Companies want to low-ball the body shops, insisting on only paying for aftermarket junk parts rather than OEM in order to contain costs. Never mind that the junk parts don't fit right and take double the time to make fit. That's right, they take MORE labor (i.e cost more time and MONEY that body shops are expected to eat), and even then they still may not fit right. I had to deal with that back in the 1990s. I learned to go in with eyes wide open. When my old Corolla GT-S ended up being written off in 2003, I provided the insurance company with a professional & current written appraisal with numerous pictures done before the accident. I also brought in a big box of receipts showing that the car was fanatically maintained. They paid me decent money for my 14-year-old, 375,000 km Corolla (that I was planning on keeping forever).



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In order to get OEM parts on your new car that's up to 3 years old make sure you have 43R on your policy. After that it's aftermarket or salvage used parts which ever is available or cost effective. No if's and's or but's. That's what we have to follow as part of the insurance guidelines everyday. Sorry fffffolks.......

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