The recession has etched permanent changes into the auto-physical damage industry, according to the “CCC Crash Course Update 2010,” a semi-annual publication written by CCC Information Services Inc. Contributing to the situation is the fact that consumers remain burdened with significant debt, unemployment remains high and consumer spending and consumption are still reserved, notes the publication’s author Lead Analyst Susanna Gotsch. The slow economic recovery is causing lower claim frequency and fewer repairs, which translates into a soft market for the automotive insurance and collision repair industries.

In addition, Gotsch stated: “The Internet and social media have changed the speed and manner in which consumers get their news and communicate, and, perhaps more significantly, changed the expectations and desires of the consumer. Companies need to be even more aware of variances among their customer base–by age, demographic, employment situation and geography–than potentially ever before. As it often does, technology is leading us into a new era. The key is for shops and insurers to understand and adjust to the changing market, and use the technology to provide customers with a transparent and efficient claims experience.”

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