Auto body shops say they, not insurers, should set costs, from USAToday.
Auto repair shops are stepping up their efforts against insurance companies, which they argue are controlling their prices by steering customers toward preferred businesses that do their bidding. Auto body trade groups are promoting bills in state legislatures from Massachusetts to Iowa to try to change the rules of the game.
At issue is who gets to decide prices for auto body repair — shops or insurance companies. Laws and prices vary by state, but repair shops say if they don’t charge what insurance companies decide are fair prices, they lose business, sometimes to shops that use substandard parts.
Insurance company officials counter that they deal with thousands of vehicle repairs each year and figure out who can do the best work for the lowest cost. That, they say, saves money for consumers.
Some consumers disagree. About a year ago, Kris Weaver hit a deer with her red pickup. She says she took the vehicle to O’Mara Auto Body in Martensdale, Iowa, a company she had used and trusted. The truck needed a new bumper, license plate mounting, grille and air conditioning condenser.