I wrote this blog on the day that the incident occurred. I decided to wait a few weeks and give myself time to cool down so I wouldn’t be posting in anger. Nearly a month after the fact, I’m keeping it intact, as it’s mostly not about anger so much as it is informative about what’s going on out there. On with the show:
Hello estranged readers! (all 3 of you)
I’m going to describe an incident in my life today, to defend my industry. I’m going to eliminate many of the identifying details; the situation is on-going. However, I think the lesson it holds is an important one.
Very simply, one of my vehicles is in a repair situation that normally would be resolved via the insurance company. It is, however, being paid out of pocket by the party responsible. To make a long story short, I was told by the garage that I am being charged a higher rate for my repair.
When I asked why, I was told “Because the insurance companies will pay the higher rate.”
“How is this a defense of the insurance industry?! They are paying higher rates than necessary when they could negotiate reductions in cost!” you might ask.
“While that may be accurate on the surface, there are some factors at play that make that not necessarily correct.” Sammy would rebut.
To make it as straight forward as possible – the increased cost that’s being charged is lower than cost of negotiating the correct amount. If an insurance company were to take the time and manpower necessary to haggle for better prices, they would pay more for the hourly pay/salary of their employee than the increased cost of repair – in my case, about $75 total. It may not seem like much, and in my case, it’s not. But when you multiply that by hundreds of cases a month (see “A form of insurance fraud” at bottom), every month of the year, well, you can see how it adds up.
One very important point needs made – not every repair shop operates in this fashion. I was not aware this was going to be the case in my situation, or I would not have gone to the garage that I did. Now, I’m stuck overpaying (albeit slightly), but I’m aware that it happens, and I’m aware that I need to be more wary of where I go to get repairs done.
Most importantly, I want you all to be aware that in a world of rising insurance costs, it’s not simply a case of the insurance company raking you over the coals. Insurance companies are being nickel and dimed in this fashion quite often, and there is no simple solution to the problem. To be blunt, some repair firms will take advantage of this situation, and that results in all of us paying higher rates for insurance.
And to the shop in question, Sammy only has one thing to say: