05 Apr 6 Skills an Adjuster Needs to Apply to Your Fleet’s Damaged Vehicles
When a vehicle in your fleet is damaged, it’s the adjuster’s job to make sure the repairs are done right. It can get complicated. Here are 6 keys for returning vehicles to service safely, quickly and cost-effectively.
Sources: Stuart Braun, Adjuster & Maintenance Manager, Fleet Response and Jason Tidmore, Claims Manager, Fleet Response
1. Blueprinting repairs
A blueprint is more than a repair estimate. It considers origin of parts, delivery, production timetables, and a repair strategy aligned with the fleet owner’s priorities. It streamlines the repair process and eliminates costly surprises. The better the blueprint, the better the repair.
2. Reviewing repair estimates quickly
Letting an initial repair estimate sit around creates cascading delays in returning the vehicle to service. At Fleet Response, 90% of estimates are reviewed within 4 hours so repairs begin quickly.
3. Knowing when to go OEM v. LKQ
Like Kind and Quality parts can save a lot of money, but the price of a part is only part of its cost. How long will it take to procure and deliver? What’s the cost of shipping? Will it fit right? It takes part-by-part experience to know when LKQ actually costs less.
4. Minimizing supplements
38% of all fleet repairs have supplements, which add cost and delay repairs. Fleet Response has cut that to just 20% through detailed fact-finding about the accident itself, and an experienced team that uses this insight to sniff out secondary damage before repairs begin.
5. Knowing when to do a visual inspection
Virtual review of repair estimates is fast and effective. But some claims require boots on the ground. “If you’re going to spend $35,000 to repair a $50,000 vehicle, and your gut tells you there’s a chance of a problem that hasn’t been identified, you don’t want to find out about it later,” Braun says.
6. Proactively driving production schedules
Rule of thumb: 1 day in the shop for every 5 hours of repair work.
Fleet Response tries to beat that clock by working closely with repair partners to plan every detail of the job. Everyone wins: Repair facilities see higher productivity, vehicles return to service sooner, and Fleet Response earns loyalty from the fleet managers, risk managers and insurance companies it serves.
Stuart Braun, Adjuster & Maintenance Manager at Fleet Response, grew up in a repair shop as a technician and manager. He’s been with Fleet Response since 2007. Before joining Fleet Response in 2016, Claims Manager Jason Tidmore spent 15 years managing property damage claims with major insurance carriers.