Inspection Update: USAA Continues to Evaluate
Program; Safelite Officials Respond to Steering Concerns
March 14, 2011
Three months into the recently enacted USAA
auto glass inspection program, in which the company will
sometimes require an inspection prior to authorizing auto glass
work, company officials say they’ve not yet decided whether
to extend the program to the entire United States. It originally
was rolled out in only five states.
“We only recently enacted the program and are still evaluating
it, so we haven’t made a determination yet as to whether or
not to extend it,” says USAA spokesperson Rebecca Hirsch.
Hirsch also clarified what the technicians who conduct the inspections
(as employees of Safelite, which processes USAA’s auto glass
claims) look for during an inspection.
“The inspection is to confirm that there is damage to the
windshield that requires a repair or replacement,” she says.
When asked what kind of training the technicians who act as inspectors
receive and what they look for during an inspection, Safelite spokesperson
Melina Metzger answered as follows.
“Safelite’s techs undergo extensive training within
the SAFETECH® certification program,” she says. “Technicians
inspect for damage and make their determination based on their expertise
and generally accepted industry standards.”
Some independent auto glass shop representatives have expressed
concerns that this could open the way for steering of work
to Safelite shops. However, Metzger denied these claims.
“Safelite technicians inspecting vehicles simply verify whether
damage exists and, if so, whether it is repairable,” says
Metzger. “Once they verify the repair or replacement is needed,
they notify the insurance company, which then coordinates with the
customer to schedule an appointment with their shop of choice.”
Hirsch echoed Metzger’s thoughts on steering.
“ … I do want to emphasize again that we respect member
choice,” she says. “If damage is found, our members
are free to choose their own auto glass shop provider.”
Have any of your customers undergone an inspection prior to
authorization of auto glass work? Please e-mail email@example.com.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
Subscribe to AGRR Magazine.