Assignment of benefits can put all parties involved in a vulnerable position, but the practice is necessary for the survival of the automotive glass industry, according to Morgan and Morgan attorney Anthony Prieto.
“You see that assignment of benefits are going away every year,” said Prieto. “People often blame third party administrators, but if consumers were left to deal with their own claims, the industry would collapse. We do a lot every year to make sure than doesn’t happen. But we have a hard time getting everyone together because it’s a cutthroat industry. Everyone should do what they can to make sure assignment of benefits stays intact. If it’s good for everything else, why not the glass industry?”
Prieto advised auto glass shops to avoid prejudice against insurance companies. Otherwise, the shops may never get paid for the work they do.
“If you don’t cooperate, they will presume prejudice,” he said. “If the insurance company wants to send someone out to do an inspection, make sure you give them a timeframe so you don’t hold up the customer. Glass companies stand in the shoes of the insured.”
Prieto called assignment of benefits the key to this industry.
“I personally don’t think it’s going to go away,” he said.
According to Prieto, having a tight assignment of benefits policy that includes all the necessary information will help prevent litigations over insurance language.