BC repair shops get thumbs up

Canadian Underwriter reports that the collision repair shop audit program is working in British Columbia.

"Out of the thousands of random drop-ins at collision repair shops by ICBC, only 48 collision repair shops required a formal audit because of a suspected problem so far this year, according to the ICBC.

Of the 48 audits, only 39 have turned up a problem; in some instances, the problem was over-billing, according to Mark Jan Vren, manager of media relations with ICBC.

“These audits are triggered by our suspicion that there may be some sort of problem,” Jan Vren notes. “So we have this 80% rate of finding problems with these audits [i.e. 39 of 48 audits turned up a problem], but from our perspective that’s good news. That shows the system is working.”

So far this year, ICBC has had to reverse roughly Cdn$15,000 in charges out of 700 estimates. The company spends roughly Cdn$600 million a year repairing automobiles, and so if the audits turn up roughly Cdn$60,000 annually in instances of improper paperwork of over-billing, that's insignificant, Jan Vren says.

“The fact that their audits have turned up these problems shows us the system is working,” he notes. “There are so few of them, and the dollar amount is so small, we don’t see a serious over-billing problem from the auto repair industry here. All these checks and balances are in place and we work with them as partners.”