Safelite Launches Campaign to Warn Insurers about “Windshield Bullies”
December 15, 2010

Safelite Auto Glass has developed a brochure titled “Beware of windshield bullies!” that warns insurers about some possible aggressive and fraudulent tactics that have been reported to occur in the auto glass industry in recent months. The company’s area sales managers are distributing the brochure to insurance agents across the country, according to company spokesperson Melina Metzger. The two-sided brochure warns that “windshield bullies are on the prowl, and they’re targeting … policyholders.”

“They use aggressive—and in some cases fraudulent—tactics to solicit vehicle glass claims, preying on new drivers, the elderly and folks who do not speak fluent English,” writes the Columbus, Ohio based-company.

Possible tactics listed include pressuring policyholders at gas stations, car washes and parking lots, going door to door and impersonating insurance company inspectors, impersonating other auto glass companies, performing unnecessary work, creating damage when the driver is not looking and filing fraudulent or multiple claims.

The company cites statistics regarding “questionable” auto glass claims from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the alleged 527-percent increase in questionable auto glass claims for the first half of the year versus 2009.

Safelite urges insurers to make its customers aware of “these aggressive and sometimes fraudulent practices.”

“Help them select a reputable vehicle glass service provider like Safelite AutoGlass®,” writes the company, which goes on to cite its eight-week technician training program, its commitment to quality and safety and its national lifetime warranty.

When asked what brought about the program, Metzger advised, “Insurance fraud is a serious issue. It harms both consumers and insurance companies. To fight this unethical practice, Safelite is helping to educate insurance agents about the potential dangers of windshield bullies.”

She defines windshield bullies as follows. “[Windshield bullies] are not reputable vehicle glass businesses, but rather those who prey on policyholders, using high-pressure tactics to coerce them into filing a vehicle glass claim at gas stations, car washes or by going door to door,” says Metzger. “Their approach is typically pushy, and as mentioned, in some cases their actions are fraudulent.”

And sometimes this hurts the industry at large, she says.

“Windshield bullies not only hurt consumers and insurance companies, they hurt the reputation of all other vehicle glass shops who work hard every day to serve their customers,” she says. “At a time when many issues divide the industry, this should be one that unites us.”

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