Is the USAA Auto Glass "Inspection" Program Expanding?
August 11, 2011

USAA had announced early this year that in some cases it may begin requiring inspections of member windshields prior to authorizing a repair or replacement. At the time, company officials said the program was a pilot, but this week, on August 9, another fax went out to glass shops describing the policy, according to a glassBYTEs.com™ reader.

“When a member files a claim with USAA and advises us of a potential windshield replacement or repair, we may require an inspection of the windshield prior to authorizing the work,” writes the company’s corporate glass unit in the fax, which is identical to the January 4 wording. “If we choose to inspect the vehicle, the inspection must be completed before we will approve any payment for glass replacement or repairs.”

The company continues, “Any work performed without proper notification and authorization may impede the term of the settlement. We will proceed with the claim based on the outcome of the settlement.”

It is unclear how many shops in what states received the latest fax, and company officials had not responded to requests for comment at press time.

When the program was first introduced, company spokesperson Rebecca Hirsch advised glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR™ magazine that inspections originally were only taking place in five states.

"Basically we started this program because we received feedback from our members that some of them felt like they were coerced or pressured to make glass claims when in reality there may not have been any damage to their glass," said Hirsch in early January. "… We enacted this to protect our members from any fraudulent activity."

Are you seeing USAA or other insurers utilizing this practice? Please e-mail pstacey@glass.com.

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