Some Shops Say COVID Sanitation Fees Being Denied

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 ttaffera@glass.com.

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to Some Shops Say COVID Sanitation Fees Being Denied

  1. Initially we were approved through SGC for MOST insurance companies. USAA West Bend and Geico have always denied it. Lynx even denied us for State Farm. However, even when we were approved with pre approval on SGC’s website, we billed how they told us, then they denied stating it was billed incorrectly and to reinvoice it, which was done, then they wouldn’t pay and we’d have to email and pray for a response, a week later, we would receive a response stating ‘oh, it’ll have to send to research.’ we would eventually get paid but 6 months later.

    • Ryan says:

      We have experienced the same problem with sgc. Weird thing is, is that if you bill for fee on replacements, everything goes good and simple. But if it’s on repairs. That’s when everything gets messed up. I wish they could make things simpler or at least bring in a call center so that we may finally talk to someone instead of a lousy email that takes forever to get a response and when they do respond it’s as if they forgot what you were asking.

    • Kris Griffin says:

      They are doing this in regards to paying claims too! If you’re a non SGC shop they throw an attitude and now that “ShopCare” is no longer reachable when you email them they then give an excuse of it’s an internal RIC error and that you need to email the research department. And hope you get a timely response. Also curious if anyone else is having them not pay for recalibration after it was authorized before work was done and PRoof of calibration was uploaded and only pay glass portion of the claim The glass industry needs to stand up to these guys once and for all in a large capacity as I never get these bogus edi rejections from any other tpa other than SGC.

  2. Lynn Dooley says:

    We are having the same issue with camera recals also.They have decided hat 300.00 is the limit even though the dealer charges what they charge.We have started calling the carrier and the customer to let them know about the payment.It seems when the insurance company and the customer gets involved things move a lot faster.This needs to happen more to get them to move off this policy.Delivering the vehicle to Safelite so they can recal for $300.is not an option.

  3. Tara Taffera says:

    Thanks to everyone for your comments. Yes, we have heard similar reports as well with issues regarding payments for calibrations. That is the next story I will be looking into. Thanks so much.

  4. Dale Williams says:

    Farmers Insurance along with there 3rd. party administrator Safelite Solutions has reduced the Fee from .$25.00 to $12.50 since first of December. It is sad that Insurance Industry takes advantage of the small and struggling small business person with help from there 3rd. party administrator. They care more about there bottom line than the safety and well being of there Insureds.

  5. Keith Greenblat says:

    The Hartford which is the preferred vendor for AARP has denied COVID disinfect since the beginning. You would figure the company whose demographic is the elderly would be the first to want to help their insureds. Mercury Insurance also refuses to pay for it also. (they also do not pay for hazardous waste)

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