Augie DeFeo wants to know why GEICO is suddenly denying the $25 reimbursement for COVID sanitizing even though cases continue to soar.
“GEICO has consistently been paying a standard fee of $25 per job for cleaning/sanitizing the vehicle,” says DeFeo, the founder and CEO at Competition Glass in Port, Washington, N.Y. “As of recently, this service charge is being denied for GEICO on the SGC referral website. There has been no communication to us that this is no longer authorized.”
GlassBYTEs reached out to other shops to find out if they are having the same issues, and the answers point to inconsistent policies.
For instance, while DeFeo’s invoice item is denied, Peter Brown, president of Tiny and Sons Auto Glass in Pembroke, Mass., says GEICO is paying the fee for his company.
“We receive $25 per car,” says Brown. “As long as I get pre-approval for the product I am asking for I get paid.”
But DeFeo says he always submits for pre-approval as well, yet his are no longer being paid. He doesn’t have the same issue with other insurers such as State Farm.
deFeo provided glassBYTEs with a copy of a letter, dated April 15, 2020, from State Farm which says, “We have received several inquiries regarding charges for cleaning of vehicles related to COVID-19. State Farm will allow up to one hour at your body labor rate for cleaning of the vehicle. We will also allow up to $25 for cleaning supplies. Any such charge should be listed on the estimate as COVID-19 cleaning.”
The letter went on to say, “We plan to continue to accept these charges on your final bills consistent with the Federal government directives related to social distancing and will continue to monitor as activity in the marketplace evolves.”
Not only are there inconsistencies with GEICO, but other insurers as well.
“They [GEICO] won’t pay and now others are stopping also. USAA just denied me,” says Jeff Wacker, owner of CBA Glass in Phoenix, a network shop.
“I got it once [from GEICO] and then couldn’t get it after that,” adds Chris Grafe, owner of Glass on the Go in Martinez, Calif. “I tried a couple more times and gave up.”
Adding to mixed signals, after not getting paid from GEICO, DeFeo reported that on January 21 when he told a BMW customer that insurance won’t pay the fee, the customer then called GEICO to complain and it was approved.
GEICO has not responded to glassBYTEs request for comment. The claims administration arm of Safelite’s SGC network, also did not provide additional information. glassBYTEs will continue to cover this story, so post a comment here or email Tara Taffera at firstname.lastname@example.org.