The first afternoon of the AGRSS Conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas got underway yesterday with a presentation by State Farm's Bob Bishoff that was designed to provide information on the insurance industry.
Bishoff, who is in charge of the company's glass program, pointed out that insurance is a highly regulated industry and explained what services the insurance industry offers and its role in the broader social context. He asked the audience how, as business owners, they manage risks. Buying insurance is one and he made the point that AGRSS is a manner of getting insurance for AGR businesses because they are performing their work in responsible ways which are designed to avoid losses.
He made the point that exclusions is one of four parts of a policy (along with declarations, insuring agreement and conditions) and corrosion in a vehicle comes under that category. "Rust is not part of the insurance policy and the insurance industry faces the question of whether or not it wants to include this," he stated.
In the part of his presentation that generated the most excitement, he announced that the company is starting a customized offer program, details of which were going out via email today. The program allows companies to make customized offers for non-choice work. If a customer calls LYNX, the State Farm third-party administrator, and has no choice of what shop does the work, then the AGR company which has made a customized offer will come up more frequently on the rotation based on what its custom offer is (the percentage off NAGS). "This is market driven and that's what we want to see," he said.
"What we're trying to do is take our agents out of the middle, and not be making a recommendation when the policyholder asks," he explained. He added that the Custom Offer agreement between the insurer and an AGR shop would be for a minimum of 60 days to avoid a company going in and out of it in short periods. "I can't guarantee that a shop which makes a Custom Offer is going to see its business increase," he explained. "It will depend on what the other Custom Offers are. It is market driven and you have to decide if you want to compete for the business."
On another much-discussed question (cash versus insurance jobs) he made the point, in response to a question, that he gets many calls from State Farm agents saying that a policyholder wants to know why he/she can get a replacement done for $100 less than what the insurance company is paying. "I try to explain that there are considerations that come into this situation, but it's a difficult question to answer. Why are we paying more? Policyholders don't understand."
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