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2000 vs. 2004: Auto Repair Costs In Selected Ohio Cities

Factored into the cost of auto insurance is the cost of vehicle repair. Garage labor rates continue to rise, based on the Ohio Insurance Institute’s (OII) annual survey of average repair shop rates in Ohio’s major cities.1

Property damage costs, according to Insurance Services Office, Inc., have been on a steady rise, increasing over 43% between 1993–2002 ($1,790 compared to $2,564 per claim). The National Safety Council reports that average economic losses caused by a property damage crash (including minor injuries) in 2002 was $6,200. Economic costs include wage and productivity losses, medical and administrative expenses, property damage and employer costs.

Auto accident claim costs continue to outpace general inflation. While the average property damage claim rose 43% between 1993–2002, the overall cost of living increased 24.5%.

Hourly repair shop labor rates

32 insurance companies representing about 70% of the private passenger auto insurance market (based on 2002 direct premiums written in Ohio) responded to the 2004 OII survey. Repair rates in Ohio’s major metro areas increased by 13.5% in the last five years. Labor costs are based on auto body (sheet metal) repair.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that motor vehicle body work in the US rose 35% between 1993–2002, based on data provided by the US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1 NOTE: Average rates of these various cities do not necessarily reflect the actual hourly prevailing or market rate of an individual insurance company. These numbers are based on a survey of OII members who represent about 70% of the personal auto lines market (based on 2002 direct premiums written in Ohio) and should be used as a general guide in comparing the cost of vehicle repair in 2000 to 2004.