Body shop owners and workers converged on the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday to seek relief from collision repair rates that they say have not increased in 11 years.
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts event organizers accuse insurance companies of setting ‘abnormally low rates’ and made their case to large crowds of attendees and flatbed trucks carrying damaged cars that circled the area as part of the State House rally.
According to Brian Bernard, co-owner of Total Care Accident Repair, the reimbursement rate of $40 per hour is the lowest in the country and “falls far short of covering the cost of labor, equipment, training and of body shop owners”. which he says forces many consumers to “pay the difference out of pocket”.
“We’ve done our best to bring attention to this issue, but at this point we need to make it clear to insurers and consumers that we can’t do this job at current reimbursement rates,” Bernard said in a statement. communicated.
The association says the labor rate has risen just $10 since 1988, while the consumer price index has risen 137.7% and insurance premiums have risen by 254%.
Senator Michael Moore said he was continuing to push for “legislative change that increases the labor rate to make the industry viable and consumer safe”.
The questions were aired in September 2021 before the Financial Services Joint Committee, and a select committee on auto body labor rates released its report on the subject last month. Speakers scheduled for Wednesday include Representative James Hawkins and former Senator Guy Glodis, as well as “concerned consumer” Dennise Caratazzola, and the owners of Cape Auto Collision Center and Total Care Accident Repair in Raynham.