The Office and Professional Employees' International Union (OPEIU) Local 378 in Burnaby, B.C., has charged the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) with lax oversight that resulted in ICBC's lawsuit against Speedy Auto Glass (Speedy Auto Glass Accused of Fraud/GlassBYTEs 2/26/04).
"ICBC was clearly told by our union long ago that self-regulation of the auto repair industry was going to lead to major problems," said Jerri New, OPEIU president. "And today we see the allegations of fraudulent practices in B.C. Supreme Court against Speedy Auto Glass, one of the biggest auto glass firms in the province."
New said that ICBC's Glass Express Program and Express Repair program allow claims to be administered without ICBC direct involvement with drivers going directly to glass firms and body shops to file their claims and obtain repairs and auto glass replacement. These companies, including Speedy, then complete the repairs and bill ICBC directly.
"Without ICBC estimators providing checks and balances for insurance claim repairs, it is inevitable that problems will result," said New. "Our members provide the objective assessment that private repair shops simply cannot give but ICBC has been cutting estimators and turning over their work to self-regulating, for profit firms. Now the B.C. government and ICBC are moving increasingly towards privatizing ICBC operations and B.C. drivers will end up paying a high price if it's not stopped," he said.
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