‘Who Pays for What?’ Survey Shows More Auto Body Shops Billing, Being Paid for Masking During Priming


The percentage of auto body shops saying they are paid regularly by the eight largest auto insurers for the labor involved in masking prior to applying primer has grown significantly since 2015, according to the “Who Pays for What?” survey series.

Seven years ago, fewer than one in four shops (24%) said they were paid “always” or “most of the time” when masking was required as part of the priming process. In January of this year, that had grown to 45%, a figure that has been consistent for three years in a row.


Perhaps just as significantly, the percentage of shops saying they have never billed for the procedure has fallen from about 39% in 2016 to just 25% today.


While the surveys ask specifically about billing for the labor involved in the procedure, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice is concerned some collision repair businesses may not be sufficiently considering the costs for the materials involved.


“As inflation drives up the cost of shop supplies, it’s important for shops to review their billing practices,” said Anderson, who conducts the quarterly “Who Pays” surveys in conjunction with CRASH Network. “We see many shops billing for this masking procedure through their parts code tables as a body operation with a manual line for materials, and they are not capturing enough for materials. Shops should review this because it can vary based on the specific job.”


The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey is now open through April. It focuses on “not-included” body labor operations. Shops can take the survey here.


Survey participants receive a free report with complete survey findings along with…

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