Auto Repair Estimates – Part 4 – How To Get Paid For What You Do

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Get Paid For What You Do
If you write auto repair estimates for a body shop and you’re not looking though all of your not included items in your p-pages, you are leaving a lot of money unclaimed.  These are operations that must be performed to complete the job.  Therefore, the shop and the technician should get paid for it.  

What Do Insurance and the IRS Have In Common
Insurance companies are a lot like the IRS.  There are many things that the insurance companies are willing to pay for just like the IRS has many tax saving benefits for businesses.  However, if don’t ask for it, neither one of them will offer to give it to you.  I am not saying that the insurance companies will pay you for everything you ask for, but it is certain you will not get paid for the operation if you don’t ask for it. There may be as much not included time on a part as the time given to R&R it.  Let’s take a look at an example.

The P-Pages
If you google Motor Guide to Estimating, you will see the p-pages for CCC Pathways.  There, you can see the included and not included items for each operation.  If you look up a front fender you will see this listed:

Included Operations Include

  • Align to vehicle
  • Fillers (if mounted to fender)
  • Cornering lamps (if mounted to fender)
  • Fender liner
  • Scoop
  • Side marker
  • Side repeater lamp

Non-Included Operations Include

  • Antenna
  • Bumper R&I
  • Battery
  • Emblems & nameplates
  • Grille
  • Header panel
  • Hood Inner panels
  • Lamp aiming
  • Mirror
  • Moldings
  • Mud guard
  • Road wheel
  • Spoilers & flares
  • Stripe tape, decals or overlays

Ask Yourself
If you are a new estimator, you need to get this list out and go over it for every part that you are replace.  Ask yourself if any of the not included item are required to perform in the specific job that you are estimating.  For instance, on the fender above ask: Will I have to R&I an antenna?  If the fender has an antenna add time for it on the estimate.  If not, don’t add it.  Next, ask yourself if you will need to R&I bumper to replace the fender.  If you will, add the time.  If not, don’t add any time for it.  Go through each item on the non-included list and ask if this task will be required.  

Increase Shop Profits

Now you can see the amount of money that you may leave unclaimed on each panel.  Many of the non-included items will need to be performed on each fender you replace.  Of course, you would only add what applies.  You would not want to add time to R&I hood, if you do not need to remove the hood to R&R the fender.  Look over the list on each panel that you estimate and add what applies to the estimate.  If a fender pays 3.0 hours, you may be able to add an extra .5 to 1.5 or more hours of non-included operations.  This will lead to major profit for the company and technician at the end of a day.  Who know how much .2 or .3 for every emblem you replace may add up to at the end of one year.  

Tell A Story
The key is to list each item separately.  You need to tell a story with your estimate and it needs to be easy to understand. If you try to bulk or clump items together, chances are the insurance adjuster may refuse to pay. 


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