Progressive Loses Appeal to Minnesota Auto Glass Company
April 12, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a decision that awarded Rapid Glass, an automotive glass repair and replacement company, $157,851.46 for 580 underpaid and unpaid claims from Progressive. In arbitration it was decided that Rapid Glass’ charges were fair, reasonable and competitive.

Progressive fought the arbitration decision in district court and lost. The insurance company then filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

“The dispute in this case is not whether a claim exists or whether coverage itself is available; both parties agree that respondent has a right to be paid by appellants some amount for the auto-glass repair work that is completed. The dispute before the arbitrator was whether appellants breached the insurance policy, or rather, whether appellants satisfied the contract by paying ‘the amount necessary to repair damaged property to its pre-loss condition,’” reads the court’s decision. “The arbitrator was not required to interpret the term ‘necessary’ because the contract provided the definition ... Under the terms of the contract, ‘necessary’ means ‘a competitive price that is fair and reasonable within the local industry at large’”

The court also pointed out that after reading the insurance company’s policy, Progressive’s assertion that they only have to pay the lowest reasonable amount is without merit.

The court did decide to reduce the amount of awarded interest from 10 percent to four percent, but it upheld the rest of the district court’s decision stating, “... appellants’ motion to strike is denied as moot.”

“We are gratified by the fact that the court of appeals has affirmed an arbitration award that concludes that Progressive dramatically underpaid our company for the quality auto glass replacement service we provide,” says Rick Rosar, president of Rapid Glass. “The windshield has become an integral part of the vehicle’s safety system. It is not a place to cut corners when a windshield needs to be replaced. We will continue to provide quality service and charge reasonable prices for that service.”

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