CIECAst It’s 2020: Where Are Claims & the Collision Repair Market Heading?

CIECAst - January 21, 2020
After watching the CIECAst webinar, earn Automotive Management Institute (AMi) Credit toward an industry-recognized, professional designation and specialty degree! 
The following questions were asked during the webinar and unfortunately, we ran out of time for Sean Carey to answer them. Thank you Sean for providing answers for our attendees.  
Q: What should a repairer do when an OEM  does not have a clearly communicated procedure that impacts structural safety? Have you seen repairers refuse to do work for that reason? 
A: I have not seen or heard of repairers refusing to do work because of that; in my opinion, repairers always find a way to figure it out. That is a blessing and a problem which needs to be resolved. The OEMs I speak to, and I speak to most of them, really want shops to report such issues directly to them so that they can address this with their engineering departments. I encourage you to reach out to specific OEMs whenever you come across this.
Q: What role do you see for the paint and supplies distributor in the future?  
A: I believe this is another “100 year” business model that will change in the coming years. The current model is too complex from paint/supply manufacturers to WDs to local distribution to shop. The driver for this is most likely to be in inventory management at shop level with some form of “intelligent” paint mixing scales that determines what current inventory levels are available and replenish based on usage. With respect to supplies, I am less knowledgeable but inevitably technology solutions will be identified to streamline the process. I wouldn’t sweat it for 3 years yet but there is no doubt the current model adds cost and complexity and will change.
Q: Where does Mr. Carey see for the salvage auctions and service providers involvement in the claims process over the next few years?  
A: I’m sorry to say I’m simply not close enough to this segment to comment. What is evident is that Total Loss is increasing and looks set to remain at above the 20% level as higher priced technology features on vehicles make their way into the vehicle parc, creating more economic Total Loss than ever before.
Q: Good Afternoon. Most insurers are pushing us to use the dealers more often especially when coming to mechanical inspections. What are your views on completing a repair or replacement of a structural component that could possibly void the customers warranty?? Some insurers will not allow you to sublet it to the dealer?? 
A: This sound like a very specific question based on an example. In the presentation, I mention “working closer with dealers” going forward. I believe the expertise required to repair vehicles is getting more and more sophisticated and dealers will need to play a role in either providing services or information to repair shops.  hat said, I am also aware of the “urban stories” of dealers not having any better knowledge than the repair shop. I default to “safe and proper repair” and becoming an “advocate” for the customer and the vehicle. In that default scenario, irrespective of insurer directive (or any other directive), in my opinion you must remove the “economic” solution and insert the “engineering” solution.