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Data shows collision repair industry needs to ‘wake up’ on weld testing

Only 33 percent of repairers say they are regularly paid by insurers for the procedure, according to survey

Portland, Ore.—More than one-third of repairers (37 percent) have never sought to be paid to perform test welds, according to the latest results of the “Who Pays for What?” survey. While that is a big improvement from the 80 percent of repairers that acknowledged in 2015 never charging for that procedure, it still leads Mike Anderson of Collision Advice to question whether that one-third of shops are even conducting weld testing.

“We need to wake up on this one,” Anderson said. “This is a non-negotiable procedure that every OEM says is necessary. If your techs aren’t doing this, don’t delay, get them doing it today. I recently was at a shop that set up and performed a destructive test weld that failed because the welding equipment did not have the latest software update. That was not the first time I’ve seen that happen. Be sure to check with your welder equipment company to know when any updates should be performed.”

In 2015, 78 percent of repairers said that the eight largest insurers never paid for the time it takes to make and destructively test welds prior to welding on the vehicle. That number has since dropped to 38 percent, but still only 33 percent of repairers say they are regularly paid for the procedure.

Anderson said he’s disheartened by the fact that only one-third of shops say insurers pay them for destructive testing of welds.

“Our whole industry needs to acknowledge how critically important test welds are,” he said. “Repairers need to perform them routinely, and insurers need to pay for them routinely.”

Latest ‘Who Pays for What?’ survey now open to participate

The latest quarterly “Who Pays for What?” survey is now open through the month of October. It focuses on billing and payment practices related to scanning and calibrations, aluminum repair and shop supplies.

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.

The survey can be completed in about 15 minutes by anyone familiar with their 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.

Collision Advice ( is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. CRASH Network ( is a subscription newsletter.

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