NICB Issues Press Release Warning about "Unsolicited Service Providers"
February 9, 2011
The National Insurance Crime Bureau, which has become well-known over the last couple of years in the auto glass industry for its “questionable claims" reports and recent “windshield bully” warnings, has issued a new press release warning consumers about “insurance scams involving unsolicited service providers,” including those representing auto glass repair and replacement businesses.
The consumer-oriented release bears a new slogan: “if you didn’t request it—reject it”—and speaks of “unnecessary auto glass repairs, aggressive and exorbitant towing charges, needless home repairs, total roof replacements, sinkhole damage, [and] solicitation of accident victims.”
“Repair scams have one common element—a solicitation from an individual offering repair services,” writes NICB. “If a homeowner has requested an inspection or if an insurance company has authorized a vendor to conduct an inspection, that’s one thing. But an unsolicited, unexpected and random ‘inspection’ visit from a service provider, whether it’s a glass repair technician, a roofer, or a structural engineer looking for sinkhole damage to your home could be the first step in a fraud scam.”
NICB is warning consumers to “always consult their insurance company[ies] first before allowing anyone to perform any inspection or repair work that will be ‘covered’ by their insurance.”
Additionally, the NICB suggests to consumers that any “unsolicited contact” could be an indicator of fraud.
“When you are approached at a service station by a glass repair technician offering ‘free’ repair work … all of these are potentially fraud precursors. That is why we stress, if you didn’t request it—reject it,” writes NICB.
At press time, NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi was not available for further comment regarding the latest warning.
This is the second consumer warning regarding possible auto glass fraud from the NICB. In December, the group ran several public service announcements warning consumers about “windshield bullies” on various national radio programs throughout the nation. The ads were developed with the assistance of Safelite Solutions.
The NICB is a not-for-profit organization funded by approximately 100,000 property/casualty insurance companies and is headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill. Its mission is to “prevent, detect and defeat insurance fraud,” according to the NICB website.
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