The Time for Balance Billing Has Come
When an insurer refuses to pay for all the items on your repair estimate, what do you do?
I'm talking about after you've done your best negotiation, you've showed them evidence that the OE requires the operation, or you've shown them that the p-pages confirm it is a not-included operation, or some other industry documentation, and the insurer still says, "No, we don't pay for that." Then what?
The hard truth for body shops is this: either collect it, or eat it.
We say the only long-term, sustainable strategy for shops in this situation is to bill the customer for the balance due.
No way, you say. That's not fair to the customer. I don't want to lose the business. I don't want a negative review online.
We understand where you're coming from. Those are natural first responses.
But wait just a moment. Don't close the door this yet. Hear me out, and you'll understand why this is the right thing to do (and really the only thing to do) for shops to get paid for their work.
Did you know that many shops around the country do charge the customer the balance, and it's working for them? They are not losing those customers. They are not getting bad reviews. And they can even help customers get reimbursed for their out of pocket expense.
But there is a way to do this right, and it starts at the beginning.
Over the next series of blog posts, we'll unpack the many pieces of this puzzle, to discover the insurer's secret strategy, overcome common shop objections, and clarify the customer's role in all of this.
For now, don't close the door on this option. It's your only way out!
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Sam Valenzuela is the President of National AutoBody Research.