Industry Responds to Farmers' New Requirements
for Inspections Prior to Repair and Replacement Authorization
March 29, 2013
by Jenna Reed, firstname.lastname@example.org
With Farmers' Insurance now
joining the ranks of other insurance companies requiring inspections
prior to authorization given for auto glass repair and replacement
claims via outside networks, several industry professionals responded
by calling this an attempt at steering. They shared their lack of
enthusiasm over this new trend with the editors of glassBYTEs.com.
"We have seen and heard the inspection stories. I see it as
a blatant move by Safelite to circumvent another company from performing
the repair," says David Casey, president of SuperGlass Windshield
Repair in Orlando, Fla. "Once Safelite inspects it, they usually
repair it as the same time, regardless of the prior vendor's involvement.
"A cell phone photo by the policy holder should be as sufficient
as an inspection by a Safelite technician with a conflict of interest.
It's not about inspections, it's about Safelite garnering every
single job within their reach," he adds.
Meanwhile, another auto professional based in Oklahoma who preferred
not to be named for fear of reprisal, says she has lost an average
of four to six Allstate jobs a week to Safelite. As for Farmers,
she has dealt with this inspection situation as well.
"Just yesterday [earlier this week], I asked a long-term customer
if she objected to filing her Farmers' claim on speaker. She agreed.
I identified myself by name and the name of the shop to the Safelite
representative. She took the customer's policy number, name, etc.,
from me. Safelite asked to talk to my customer and took all of the
same information from her they had just asked me. I was listening
on the speaker phone as the rep said repeatedly 'We highly recommend
the use of our affiliate Safelite.' She said, 'Would you like me
to transfer you to them to schedule your appointment?' My customer
said, 'Them who?' It was repeated Safelite."
The auto glass professional said she immediately asked the Safelite
representative for her name and informed her that her actions were
illegal and called steering.
"She apologized and said I'm sorry, I thought I was talking
to the agent," she says. "This just verifies the fact
that independents are losing more and more work to Safelite. All
they are doing is circumventing the new laws in place to stop steering,
which is apparently not working. Unfortunately, Oklahoma does not
seem interested in making us a fair marketplace to live."
Kerry Soat, CEO of Fas-Break in Chandler, Ariz., calls this trend
of inspections prior to claims' authorization "another attempt
at legalizing steering by an insurance company."
He says, "It is illegal in most states for an insurance company
to steer clients to a particular glass shop but not illegal for
an auto glass company or their solely-owned third party administrator.
These new inspection procedures from Farmers' Insurance, as well
as others requiring inspections, may be crossing the line of an
insurance company steering and the state insurance departments should
be investigating these allegations."
If your customers are required to undergo inspections, please email
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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