CCC News & Insights

September 12, 2022

“Supplement” Isn’t Necessarily a Dirty Word

by Brian Randolph, Manager of Market Alliances

Did you know that shops write nearly 20% more supplements now than they did just six years ago?

We can chalk this up partially to the increase in vehicle complexity. I know the process of creating supplements all too well. I’ve seen both sides first-hand. When I was just 16, I started working at a local collision repair shop. Later in my career, I spent a few years on the insurance side as an adjuster, and then went back to the collision side to run a 5-shop MSO before joining CCC. Seeing estimates and repairs from different angles has given me a valuable perspective on administrative and many other aspects of the repair process that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

When I worked for an insurer, “supplements” was a dirty word. When I worked for a shop, I didn’t enjoy creating them because the onus is always on the repairer to justify why the repair is going to cost more than the initial estimate. The problem is that an estimate – especially in a preliminary state – is not a repair plan. This is especially true when a customer comes in with an estimate from their insurance carrier written by an adjuster who might not be as familiar with performing a proper repair. Estimates simply can’t capture the nuanced repair process of a more complex vehicle.

Working With Staff-Written Estimates

When I worked at that local collision shop, if a customer already had an estimate, we had to get a copy (via email or on paper), put it on the desk, and then re-key every line into our estimating system. Oh, and let’s not forget that it had to be a 100% match too. If you're reading this article, you've more than likely participated in this process, and, spoiler alert: you will never get those hours and hours of your time back.

Years ago, CCC created the ability for repairers to import the carrier estimate, even if the shop wasn’t in the insurer’s DRP. It has eliminated countless hours of re-keying over the years, which was a huge win for shops as well as insurers. Personally, I was beyond thrilled to have a copy of the staff-written appraisal pop into my CCC system after clicking a few buttons. In fact, I remember thinking “Well, that just saved me at least 30 minutes of redundancy.”

To paraphrase Mr. Gates, automating the estimate import process had a downstream impact on our processes that helped us be more efficient with approvals, reduce our cycle times, and ultimately led to improved customer satisfaction and profits.

When You Know a Supplement is Necessary

Getting the insurer estimate into your system is step one. However, it’s possible that you’re still going to need to build a supplement and then get it approved. The process of submitting a supplement can be manual, time-consuming, and sometimes downright frustrating, but don’t worry, CCC can help.

This is the part where I talk about CCC® Estimate Share. Don’t stop reading just yet… this is NOT an upsell. In fact, if you are a shop using CCC ONE®, it’s already under the hood.

When you write and lock the supplement, CCC ONE automatically uploads it to the carrier for processing. This is called CCC Estimate Share and nearly 50 insurance carriers use it – which can lead to less back-and-forth and oftentimes faster approvals… not to mention fewer headaches.

Hundreds of thousands of supplements are sent to insurance carriers through CCC Estimate Share every year, which means we’re helping our customers avoid a staggering number of phone calls and emails.

As Mr. Gates suggests, let technology help you realize the benefits of automation. Our environment is fast-paced and every minute counts, so I encourage you to optimize your productivity by giving this time-saver a try.

Here’s how to get started.