Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE: WMABA Adds West Virginia to Membership Territory

WV_state copyThe Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) announces today the addition of West Virginia as a state it will represent within its membership territory, as the association also prepares to turn the mid-century mark of fifty years in operation.

Excited by the addition, one specific West Virginian has led the charge to see the Mountain State join the fold. Steve Krieps, Shop Manager for Greg Cline Automotive in Winfield, West Virginia, and the newest board member of WMABA, commented on the inclusion process, saying, “The collision repair industry is changing at a rapid pace. As vehicle technology advances, the repair process must evolve as well. As repairers, it is absolutely critical that we stay informed on local issues, and act when necessary. We must educate our consumers so they can make informed decisions and stay consistent with our training, to benefit of consumer safety and quality of repair.

WMABA has been navigating the socio-economics and technical aspects of the collision repair industry for nearly 50 years. With their presence at trade conferences across the country, they are on the forefront of progress. This partnership with WMABA will be instrumental to the Mountain State, and we are ecstatic and honored to be members of the WMABA family. We are more than prepared for a brighter future.”

“WMABA has two major milestones cresting into 2018 with the 50th Anniversary and now the West Virginia addition,” commented WMABA President Mark Schaech, also Vice President of Mark’s Body Shop in Baltimore, Maryland. “I am so pleased to see this new growth, probably to go along with additional re-branding opportunities, and the excitement of this is very refreshing. As collision repairers, we can get bogged down in the minutia of shop life. It’s easy to lose sight of all we are really capable of when we lock together. It could be the best thing to happen in my time with WMABA, both on the board and as a longtime member.”

Coming in the near future, WMABA will also release additional information about the anniversary and initiatives in the works for continuing to be at the forefront of education, mentoring, and membership advocacy. The entire Board of Directors of the association are pleased with the potential opportunities these milestones offer.

For more information, please go to www.wmaba.com or contact Jordan Hendler, Executive Director of WMABA at (804) 789-9649 or jordanhendler@wmaba.com

By |September 21st, 2017|News, Press Releases|0 Comments|

Press Release: WMABA Opposes West Virginia Parts Bill, Neighboring States’ Efforts Will Be Affected

http://conta.cc/2mxrWLz

Richmond, Virginia – March 15, 2017 –  In reaction to the recent legislation, Senate Bill 544, proposed in West Virginia and reducing the consumer protections related to collision repair parts, the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) strongly urges representatives to vote “NO”.

After years of efforts to push forward similar protections in both Maryland and Virginia, the WMABA has utilized the neighboring state of West Virginia as an upstanding example of how a state can protect consumers when it comes to the collision repair parts used during the collision repair process. Having the majority, if not all, of the warranty period covered, those consumers with newer vehicles do not have to argue with insurers about what is best for their car and can get the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts without any out of pocket expense. This is something not afforded their neighbors, who applaud this type

Screenshot from Maynards Auto World, Facebook showing company parts sales.

of protection and disclosure.

Finding outright fault in the argument that this proposed legislation reduces the deductible charge in any way, the association also urges legislators to check the facts and the other consequences of this bill. The deductible is set by the policy, and would not be changed.
Customers will not always know what kind of parts they are getting, unless they ask. The “fine print” parts disclosure required at the end of each repair estimate or repair order that explains the use of aftermarket parts is also a necessary consumer protection, so that they know what parts are being used in their repair. There is nothing else that would mandate a repairer or insurer educate the customer on the parts types written into the charges. Knowing what kinds of parts are used is a right-to-know that should not be altered.
It appears that the Senator Maynard, who proposed the bill, also would take personal interest in this cause, as his own business deals in aftermarket parts for cars (see picture from Maynard’s Auto World, Facebook). Without doubt, WMABA knows that insurers, aftermarket parts companies, and others will take benefits to this bill through the course of their business. Insurers believe that this will save on claims amounts, but also push or shift the cost onto the policyholder or claimant by making them pay out of pocket to get what the law already provides. Aftermarket parts suppliers benefit through the additional usage of their parts, which are not covered by the vehicle’s existing warranty, something that consumers often find subpar to their “pre-accident condition” where the warranty is fully intact. They are not made whole to the point of value or condition they were when the accident occurred.
WMABA again urges all West Virginia legislators to carefully review the consequences of these language changes, and to vote against changing a consumer protection that needs to stay.
For more information please call 804-789-9649 or email jordanhendler@wmaba.com

WMABA Urges Support of Maryland Parts Bill

The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) is proud to announce their support of Maryland’s 2014 Senate Bill 487 (House Bill 574). Download: Bill Text

This important consumer-protection bill sponsored by Senator Astle (D, 30) and Delegate Olszewski (D, 6) as well as several others in both houses, will prohibit insurer mandated parts procurement processes or vendors and the usage of aftermarket parts for the first three years of the vehicle. (Check out our Maryland Legislative page)

WMABA believes that this important consumer protection bill that was originally proposed in 2013 by Delegate Fisher (R, 27B), a former repairer himself, will be met with favor by other Maryland legislators. Consumers purchase or lease a new vehicle with an existing manufacturer’s warranty or lease agreement that specify particular parts for the vehicle in the event of necessary repairs. They inherently expect that the repair process will not conflict with those interests, and that their insurance policy would cover this expectation as well.

“These are issues any consumer can identify with,” says Jordan Hendler, Executive Director for WMABA. “And at the end of the day, that’s what each of these legislators are. It’s about the belief that cost containment cannot come from consumer harm. Our industry recognizes that there is a place for aftermarket parts, but not when their use would be direct conflict with existing warranty, lease or lienholder agreements. We know of vehicles with as little as 15 miles on them have been written for aftermarket parts. It’s just not fair to our customers to pay the difference, and that’s what we’re seeing happen.”

Consumers and collision centers should have the innate right to choose their vendors for parts or materials necessary to repair the vehicle, especially when price is not a factor. Insurer mandates not only intrude into the customer-repairer-vendor relationships, but also do not add value to their customer experience and decrease productivity. If the consumer’s vehicle repair process is held up due to parts choice limitations or unreasonable cost-controlling measures by the insurer, they are likely then out-of-pocket for additional rental car costs.

Insurers should be held accountable to the problems caused by their mandates, and WMABA feels that this important legislation is a step in the right direction to protect the collision repair industries’ customer during the process of repair.

For more information please call 804-789-9649 or email jordanhendler@wmaba.com

By |January 30th, 2014|News, Press Releases|Comments Off on WMABA Urges Support of Maryland Parts Bill|

WMABA Takes Lead on Maryland Parts Legislation

March 13, 2013; Richmond, Virginia – Attention has recently been focused on the 2013 Maryland House Bill 1375, introduced by Delegate Mark N. Fisher (R-27B) which would inhibit insurers from specifying the use of aftermarket parts for the first five (5) years of the vehicle, and would prevent carriers from requiring the use of any specific process or vendor for the procurement of parts or materials. The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) assisted Fisher in crafting the language that was used to introduce the bill, and strongly support the efforts to see it passed into law.

“When Delegate Fisher began working with us through his constituents, he indicated a need for consumer protection legislation relating to the use of aftermarket parts,” says Jordan Hendler, Executive Director of WMABA. “We aided his efforts to introduce this bill in this session by providing guidance and information on the subject matter, outlining the issues currently faced by our membership. We support the Delegate’s pro-consumer viewpoints, and agree that the language will offer added protection for our member’s customers in the state of Maryland. Additionally, we firmly believe that it is outside of the business of insurance to specify any process or vendor in the repair process, and this legislation will provide much-needed protection in this area, given growing advancements of insurers mandating parts procurement practices.

Insurers in other areas of the country are increasing their involvement in the repair process by mandating processes in which parts are located and purchased, which will eventually reduce the existing free marketplace. Our organization strongly agrees with the bill sponsors that Maryland representatives ensure the health of a marketplace free of undue manipulation that only serves special interests; and that it is imperative to protect Maryland consumers from allowing the insurance industry from taking such controlling measures, which only benefit their bottom line.

If you would like to support the association in their efforts and find out how to help, please call or email the office today. Maryland repairers are urged to contact their legislators in support of this legislation. Financial contributions are also greatly appreciated.

About WMABA: The WMABA is a regional collision industry association, currently covering the areas of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC whose mission is to serve the best interests of collision repairers through leadership, education and initiatives that strengthen the professionalism and business conditions for the professional collision repairer. If you would like to find out more information about WMABA and its activities, you can contact Executive Director Jordan Hendler (Phone: 804-789-9649 or Email: jordanhendler@wmaba.com) or visit its website at: http://www.wmaba.com

 

Contact Information:
Jordan Hendler, Executive Director
Ph: 804-789-9649 / E: jordanhendler@wmaba.com

By |March 17th, 2013|News, Press Releases|Comments Off on WMABA Takes Lead on Maryland Parts Legislation|