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Western Edition California Nevada Arizona 31 YEARS ww Greg Coccaro Settles with Progressive Insurance After eight years of battling each other in court, Progressive Insurance and Greg Coccaro, owner of North State Custom in Bedford Hills, NY, have reached a settlement ahead of a Jan. 28 trial date. Coccaro said he could not discuss the specifics of the settlement agreement, but he did express relief that he could finally put this behind him now. “After eight years, it’s pretty weird not having to think about this anymore,” said Coccaro. “I basically can now have my life back and spend a little more time working on my business. You would have to go through the stress that I did to understand it. Once it was over, I still couldn’t stop thinking about it. It took me two to three weeks to get out of ‘legal mode.’ It never left me night or day for those eight years. It was very difficult for everyone involved, but we did what we did, stood up and didn’t cave. “I think a lot of good came out of the whole thing for the industry in a lot of ways. Anyone who has followed this can understand why. I’m very glad it’s over, and so is my family. It was a little difficult to live through some of the more stressful times, but I’m back and trying to get back to myself and how I was before.” Asked what advice he has to other shops considering legal action against insurers, Coccaro said it depends on the circumstances. “One has to think long and hard before taking on a billion-dollar corporation,” he said. “In my case, I felt I had no choice. The problem is that it has to be something that’s pretty egregious for you to do it. I felt if I didn’t do it, I had a chance of losing my business, so Greg Coccaro that’s why I did it. I don’t think it’s something that a single shop wants to take on. Anything similar to what I did would have to be done on a class-action where there are multiple shops rather than laying it on the shoulders of one individual shop. Don’t take anything on alone unless you absolutely have to.” PartsTrader Costs “$800 in Unseen Business a Month” Says Michigan Parts Wholesaler See PartsTrader Costs, Page 48 P.O. BOX 1516, CARLSBAD, CA 92018 Tom Kellogg—the wholesale director for the Zeigler Automotive Group’s 13 franchises in Grandville, MI—has been using PartsTrader the past several months as one of the first test markets in State Farm’s PartsTrader program. Kellogg has been with Zeigler since 2003 and in the industry since 1975. He says he wishes programs like PartsTrader would just go away. “We all know that PartsTrader isn’t the greatest thing out there,” said Kellogg. “I don’t know what I am going to do to stop it, because Change Service Requested by Melanie Anderson VOL. 31 ISSUE 2 FEBRUARY 2013 California Department of Insurance Approves New Aftermarket Part Regulations Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved amended regulations submitted by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regarding the use of non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement crash parts, generally known as aftermarket parts. These regulations were sought by Commissioner Jones to further protect California consumers from physical and financial harm caused by defective or inferior aftermarket parts and to enhance insurer accountability in the claims process, said CDI. The new regulations, originally released by CDI in June 2012, are to go into effect on January 30. Insurers will be required to comply on and after March 30, 2013. “The amendments build on existing protections by requiring insurers to settle automobile insurance claims using repair standards described by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, and not the insurer’s own standards of repair,” said Commissioner Jones. “This also places greater accountability on the insurer when they require use of an aftermarket replacement part so that damaged automobiles are repaired properly and safely.” After investigating complaints from consumers and automobile re- The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America issued the following statement pertaining to the new California regulations governing aftermarket parts: New California Department of Insurance (CDI) regulations approved by the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) are likely to drive up auto body repair costs for consumers and micromanage how insurers develop auto body repair estimates, cautioned the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC). “We want to send a cautionary message to consumers because these new regulations give auto body repair shops a distinct advantage in preparing scope of work estimates, which could drive up repair costs,” said Armand Feliciano, ACIC vice president. “Auto insurers write the checks for approximately 80% of all auto body repairs in the nation. Insurers work hard to give policyholders quality repairs and get them back on the road, while managing costs to keep premiums affordable. These regulations essentially require insurers to pay whatever auto repair shops demand. Insurers no longer have the ability to negotiate the most effective, less costly repair.” The CDI regulations were originally released in June 2012. ACIC provided comments expressing concerns in August 2012. The OAL approved the regulations on December 31, 2012 and will become effective on January 31, 2013. “These regulations let auto body repair shops—who have a financial stake in the repair process—to unilaterally set the repair prices, and insurers will not be allowed to counter those prices,” said Feliciano. “Additionally the regulations will incentivize repair shops to use original manufacturer parts—which are 60% more expensive than aftermarket parts even though the aftermarket part is equivalent, or in some cases better.” Under the new aftermarket parts regulations, insurer estimates for auto See Department of Insurance, Page 20 PCIA and ACIC Complain About New California Aftermarket Regulations Citing Consumer Costs See ACIC Complains, Page 16 Presorted Standard US Postage PAID San Bernardino, CA Permit #2244

February 2013 Western Edition

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