This past January, I wrote out my “wish list” for the year, things that I’d like to see happen in the industry during 2012. I’m happy to say that, thanks to an announcement from CCC Information Services recently, the very first thing I had on that list is now happening.
What I’d asked for is the ability for a shop that’s not on an insurer’s direct repair program to be able to exchange estimates, supplements, digital images and reinspection requests electronically with the insurer.
CCC’s new “Open Shop” product, which they’ve had in limited release for a few months now, makes that possible. If a car comes into your shop and you’re not a DRP for the insurer involved that insurer can still electronically send you an assignment through your CCC ONE system, and you can electronically send back your estimate and photos for approval.
I’m not one to endorse products, but I think this is an awesome thing. It addresses one of the primary complaints of shops not involved in certain DRPs: the need to rekey estimates and endure long waits for reinspections.
This isn’t a cure-all. More than ever, shops will still need to be able to write the estimate right, include good line notes and take good photos. But that’s something shops should be doing anyway. Approvals might not be instantaneous, and in some cases a physical reinspection might still be needed, but I think for a lot of jobs, this will expedite the approval process tremendously, wasting less of your estimator’s time and letting your shop get to work on the car more quickly.
This is definitely something I’m going to be looking into more during NACE, and I’d encourage you to do so, too. Kudos to CCC for making it happen (here’s a link to CCC’s video about Open Shop www.ccc-one.com/openshop). I think this is one of those win-win situations for shops and insurers.
I’ve heard several insurers have been trying it. I look forward to seeing greater adoption over the coming months and make this a solution everyone in the industry benefits from.
By: Mike Anderson, Collisionadvice.com
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