SCRS Issues Position on Insurer Mandates of Vendors and Processes

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has issued a position statement regarding insurer mandates. The position statement is as follows:

In representation of collision repair businesses across the United States, The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) takes exception to business mandates that property and casualty insurers impose upon collision repair businesses; particularly those that specify required vendors, business platforms or internal processes that must be followed in order to be included in, or avoid being excluded from, certain lines of work. As an example, insurer mandates surrounding parts procurement platforms may inhibit independent collision repair businesses from utilizing parts vendors with whom they have an existing relationship, providing insurers with greater influence and control over the parts supply chain.

SCRS believes this control falls outside of the scope of the insurance business. Some insurers are stipulating agreement to these terms, as a condition of being recognized in Direct Repair Programs (DRP). SCRS supports efforts that rightfully seek to eliminate such intrusion into the collision repair business, and enforcement of existing laws, regulations and codes that currently prohibit such actions. It is the opinion of SCRS that voluntary agreements cannot include stipulations which violate existing laws, rules and regulations. SCRS believes that collision businesses are capable of establishing successful vendor relationships and internal processes that will best accommodate the needs of the consumer, and that service providers will continue to respond to the market with increasingly creative solutions that drive performance for their customers and the respective market entities. We believe that solutions with tangible value propositions will be utilized and supported by the marketplace without the undue influence of insurer mandate.

As an example of the concerns addressed by the position statement, SCRS used the elimination of the “fax-only” option in the PartsTrader electronic ordering system that State Farm’s Select Service repair facility participants are required to use. The elimination of the fax-only option effectively requires suppliers to fully participate in the electronic parts marketplace or lose business from Select Service repair shops.

According to the press release announcing the new position statement, SCRS explained, “The rules of the game are changing and it is apparent that maintaining the relationships and negotiated deals of participating repair facilities is only a priority, so long as all involved submit to do business in the manner prescribed by State Farm Insurance, and other carriers with similar programs. Today these mandates address parts sourcing and ordering, but there is valid concern that they open the door to future market manipulation and influence over other similarly critical collision businesses purchasing habits as well.”

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