Farm Expounds upon New Policy; McCollum: "We're Not Saying Do or
Don't Use the Piece of Glass with a Logo or Insignia"
The following is a question-and-answer interview conducted by e-mail with State Farm spokesperson Jeff McCollum (JM), corporate public relations, regarding the company's new insignia/logo glass policy.
GB: We're still not clear on how State Farm determines what is the "most competitively priced piece of glass." What is this figure based on? Is it addressed in the Offer and Acceptance (O&A) contract?
JM: Our people and really the vast majority of the shops we work with understand this perfectly and it is indeed covered in the O&A Agreement. This is not a new feature nor new agreement. It's the same language that has been used since 2005.
Our sense is that the reality is that it is quite easy for glass shops to determine which is the most competitively priced piece of glass by using their online databases of parts. Sometimes it's the piece with the logo on it. Sometimes it's not. We're not asking the glass shops to put in the cheapest piece of glass they can find. We're not asking them to compromise on quality or safety. We're not saying do or don't use the piece of glass with a logo or insignia. We say use the most acceptable, competitively priced piece that returns the vehicle to pre-loss condition. And again, I want to add that the vast majority of the glass shops we work with have no problem understanding or abiding by this.
GB: Also, how does State Farm define "pre-loss" condition as it relates to glass?
JM: This is also spelled out in our customer's policy and in the agreement. My understanding of pre-loss condition refers to whether the glass might have had an internal antenna, defrosters, special tinting or another feature that would take it beyond your standard plain hunk of glass. So even by requesting the most competitively priced piece of glass, it would first need to contain the same fit and function as it had before the loss.
GB: Finally, you mention the "mutual benefit" of the program change-are you able to expound on the benefits of the change to policyholders?
JM: Well, firstly, as I said in the first question above, there is no change. This is the same agreement that has been in place since 2005. And what I said originally was that the majority of the shops we have had contact with understand the benefits this guideline brings to our mutual customers. I think the benefits are fairly clear. By keeping costs down, all our customers benefit from lower insurance premiums. The guidelines give the shop owners clear parameters within which to work and offer the best cost and quality to their customer, yet still give the customer the option to choose what glass they want. And most shop owners are pleased that the agreement also benefits by helping to combat the fraud problem that is seen from a few dishonest shops.
GB: Thank you.
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