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Shops increasingly billing for – and being paid for – seat belt inspections, according to ‘Who Pays for What?’ survey; latest survey open through July

General Motors’ recently-revised post-crash inspections continue to call for inspections of seat belts “after any collision,” and “Who Pays for What?” surveys continue to find an increasing percentage of shops are billing for – and being paid – for this procedure by the eight largest auto insurers.

Back in 2016 when Collision Advice and CRASH Network first asked about seat belt inspections in their “Who Pays for What?” survey, nearly two-thirds of shops (63 percent) said they never had billed for it. This year, that has nearly reversed, with 62 percent of shops reporting they have charged for the labor to inspect seat belts.

Among those shops, about 1 in 3 (34 percent, up from 24 percent in 2016) say they are paid for that procedure “always” or “most of the time,” and nearly an equal percentage say they are paid at least “some of the time.”

The trend is good news for shops and consumers. But for this procedure in particular, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, who conducts the surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network, is concerned more with just making sure that it gets done.

“Every OEM has a very specific procedure for how to inspect seatbelts,” Anderson said. “No matter whether you charge for it or not, we have an obligation to make sure that we’re fixing vehicles safely and properly, and that means following the OEM repair procedures when it comes to seatbelts.”

The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey is now open through the month of July. It focuses on “not-included” frame and mechanical labor operations. Shops can take the survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L3H3JQP

Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with analysis and resources to help shops better understand and use the information presented.

Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-20 minutes, can be completed by anyone in a shop familiar with the shop's billing practices and the payment practices of at least some of the largest national insurers. Each shop's individual responses are held in the strictest confidence; only aggregated data is released.

The results of previous surveys are also available online (https://www.crashnetwork.com/collisionadvice).

Collision Advice (www.CollisionAdvice.com) is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com) is a subscription newsletter offering news and information not available from other industry sources.