Jammed up dent shops costing insurance companies a LOT of money...
I've seen stories that talk about numbers in the 50,000's when referring to the number of cars that got hit by recent storms, and that was addressing just one storm. Now we've had three major hail impacts in the area starting with March 17th in the Arlington Fort Worth areas, then 6 days later the west side got hit from Lewisville, to Plano, and on out to Wylie on March 23rd. On April 11th a diagonal line hit from above Decatur all the way over smashing Plano and Wylie again. Everywhere I go I see hail damaged cars, you can't stand in one place and throw a rock in any one direction and NOT hit a hail damaged vehicle.
People who got their cars in the shop in those first few days after the first storm avoided the traffic jam most are now experiencing. But now that the tsumami has finally made it ashore we're starting to see the real impact. Some shops have waiting lists ranging into the months. If you work in the industry like I do then you know that in addition to there just being a lot of cars being scheduled into the shops there are two more sources of delay.
The first one is scheduling the supplement which 99.9% of the cars have done on them and then waiting for the supplement to be either approved by desk review or an adjustor dispatched back out to the shop for the final inspection. If this goes well this occurs in 24 to 72 hours.
Here's the second one, and the biggest and most important one right now if you are an insurance agent or adjustor. Once that supplement is approved, how many cars are in line ahead of it?
I've seen shops with a hundred cars or more that are in line waiting to be approved and with more cars being scheduled in behind them. For claims where insurance is providing rental car coverage on a vehicle while the damaged vehicle is waiting to be supplemented, then waiting on it's turn in line to go into production, this is a financially critical factor. At $30 to $50 a day the cost of rental adds up quick and in most cases it's due to lag in the system, waiting for the adjustor to get out for the final inspection, THEN waiting for its turn in line as the cars that were approved before it get worked on. The big well known shops are vicitims of their own success and advertising. People go where they know to go and right now that's causing this huge delay.