Industry Responds to Insurer Auto Glass Inspection
January 14, 2011
In light of the recent announcement that USAA has joined the ranks
of insurers that have said they may require "inspections"
prior to authorizing auto glass work, several industry representatives
have expressed concern with these policies (and the fact that in
some cases Safelite
representatives are conducting the inspections).
In addition, one reader has reported that the Hartford has requested
inspections for jobs he has completed. Rich Campfield, owner of
Ultra Bond in Grand Junction, Colo., says has encountered requests
for inspections a few times over the last month with claims involving
"[The CSR] asked [the customer] if [the glass was] repaired
yet or not, then they stated that the damage might have to be inspected
by Hartford," says Campfield, who observed the conversation
as the customer called the insurer from his shop, utilizing a speaker
phone. "The consumer told [the CSR that he was] at the shop
and wanted the repair done then."
Though he says he didn't initially receive pushback at the time
of the call, Campfield says the customer did end up with a bill
from his insurer, who declined to pay the full amount of the charges
billed for the work Ultra Bond had done.
But Campfield (and others) have suggested that the inspections
could be opening the door for a new method of steering.
"They ask, 'is it repaired yet?'
," says Campfield.
"If it's not repaired yet they're going to try to get them
He adds, "We've had two appointments this week cancelled because
[the customers] called their insurance companies."
At press time, neither Hartford nor Safelite officials had responded
to requests for comment.
In response to concerns that inspections could lead to steering
at USAA, company spokesperson Rebecca Hirsch advised the following
regarding the Safelite technicians conducting the inspections.
"There is no direction or approval for repair given to these
inspectors," she says. "Once [the] inspection is completed,
the member then has a conversation with a representative at Safelite
Solutions to actually schedule the work and have it completed. If
there is damage, the member chooses who does the repair."
Some have expressed concern for the consumer as well.
"I sure feel sorry for those insureds," says Alan Maupin,
president of Riteway Auto Glass in Shepherdsville, Ky. "They
don't have a clue what's coming. Talk about steeringit doesn't
get any more direct than this."
Have you encountered an insurer that required a windshield inspection
prior to authorization? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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