NICB First-Quarter Report Shows 72 Percent Drop in "Questionable" Auto Glass Claims
June 9, 2011

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has reported a 72 percent decrease in “questionable” auto glass claims for the first quarter of 2011, compared with the same period of last year. The latest drop comes after a series of NICB studies reporting mounting numbers of questionable auto glass claims, including a report earlier this year alleging that questionable auto glass claims were up 450 percent for the year of 2010 over 2009.

NICB reports that it received only 120 questionable auto glass claim referrals during the first quarter of 2011, compared with 434 for the same period in 2010. The 2011 numbers are close to what was reported in the first quarter of 2009, during which NICB reports that it received 101 questionable auto glass claims—an increase of only 18.8 percent.

While questionable auto glass claims have actually topped the list of items related to automotive claims for several recent quarters, this category fell to the bottom of the list of referral reasons for suspicious claims in the latest report. Topping the list for the first quarter of 2011 were suspicious claims related to hail damage, up 58 percent from last year.

NICB, an insurer group, defines questionable claims as “claims that NICB member insurance companies refer to NICB for closer review and investigation based upon one or more indicators of possible fraud.” Likewise, the group notes that these are “not definitive incidents of fraud.”

Overall, across all types of automotive claims, suspicious claims also were down, showing a 4 percent drop from the first quarter of 2010—from 8,615 to 8,289. However, questionable claims in every other category covered in the report—including property casualty, commercial, and workers’ compensation—were up for the first quarter.

The latest NICB report of a drop in questionable auto glass claims also comes after several warnings to consumers about “windshield bullies,” including a December 2010 press release that warned consumers about “insurance scams involving unsolicited service providers.” That release featured a slogan, “If you didn’t request it—reject it,” and mentioned “unnecessary auto glass repairs, aggressive and exorbitant towing charges, needless home repairs, total roof replacements, sinkhole damage, [and] solicitation of accident victims.” The group also ran several public service announcements, developed with the assistance of Safelite Solutions, warning consumers about “windshield bullies” on various national radio programs throughout the nation in December 2010.

The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. 

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