In Louisiana, collision repairers joined forces and filed a lawsuit against multiple insurers for a distinct violation of the federal antitrust guidelines. Insurance companies are being put on check and I think I speak for every body shop owner and technicians, both shop technicians and PDR technicians, when I say “It’s About Time!!!”
The numbers in collision repair filing suit started at 39 but are expected to only grow from there. Issues brought are labor rate suppression, steering and failure to pay for procedures necessary for the correct repairs are just some of the allegations leveled at about 35 insurance companies.
Louisiana seems to be a state where its shops have really been pushed around by its insurance companies. So much so that hundreds of collision repairers turned out for a meeting held on December 3rd, 2013 in Baton Rouge to determine whether there was enough support in starting a trade association. I would say by the turn out alone, that shop owners are at their wits end and almost unanimously believe that it is in fact, time for a huge change.
This was the largest meeting of its kind according to association leaders from Texas and Tennessee. The association will represent, not legally, but in strength and spirit over 200 shops across the state.
One of the attendees of the meeting, who held a supervisor position with State Farm for almost 23 years, said that he feels that the collision industry in Louisiana had, for decades, been controlled by fear. Body Shops and professionals in the industry have treated each other the Hatfields and McCoys up to this point. Lies and deception from the insurance companies have made each other think that the other is plotting and planning against each other.