New Progressive Pricing Strikes a Nerve
Progressive Insurance sent out a fax on Tuesday, October 17, setting
out its new pricing schedule for glass replacement and repair. The amounts
the insurer is offering vary, but are significantly off the NAGS pricing,
and the payment schedule has sparked a revolt by glass shops.
On the AGRR Magazine Industry Forum, jrobe reported that his fax offered
a 34 percent discount (in D and E areas). GlassWoman reported that her
fax stated it was going from 35 percent off to 48 percent off, although
the price for kits was increasing by $5.
glassBYTEs has found a variety of different circumstances and options.
Clyde Stephens, owner of Visions Glass, Perham, Minn., said that the new
offer had not come through to his shop yet, although he was expecting
to see the fax today. "Progressive has been asking for 2 percent
off NAGS, but we've mostly been able to keep it +NAGS because we're in
a small rural area," he explained. "For Progressive, we've turned
down some jobs and we've done a few. It depends on the vehicle and the
customer. If it's a good customer, we've done the work," he added.
Stephens says that he has found Progressive willing to negotiate in its
pricing. "We take the job, not the pricing," he stated. "I
fight a little with the network and then deal directly with the company.
They'll bend a little, not a lot. But if there's deep discounting, we
turn it down. Our customers know us and we explain the situation when
there is the deep discount and then the customer calls the insurer and
demands service, so it works."
Stephens makes the point that "the insurers see that if they keep
chipping away at the price they're not going to get the work done."
According to Dave Hackett, operations manager for Premier Auto Glass in
Waukesha, Wis., his company has been forced to pick and choose the rare
referrals it receives from Progressive via SGC network. "Most of
the Progressive work we receive are employee, dealer, and body shop referrals.
The revised pricing in our area is now 48 percent discount off NAGS, from
the previous 46 percent off. This is a net of approximately 4 percent
dip in what they allow to charge for the part."
He adds that the insurer also dropped the price on high modulus/non-conductive
kits as well.
"Our problem is not necessarily with network assigned jobs, however,"
he explained. "The fact is many of our body shop accounts, and in
particular our largest customers (three body shops), are direct repair
for Progressive so when the adjusters estimate glass replacements they
call Safelite for pricing and we are finding Safelite quoting 60-65 percent
off NAGS. This is really hurting us in some cases, but we will always
still perform the work at the pricing on the estimates, due to the large
volume these accounts generate, and the large number of cash referrals
received from them."
And Becky Bechtel, Know Chips Auto Glass in Des Moines, Iowa, tells this
story. "A couple of years ago, we had a Progressive agent in our
shop for a rock chip. We handed him the bill, and told him to bill his
insurance himself. We also asked him to let us know if he ever gets paid
on it. To date, we haven't heard if he did or not."
Attempts to reach Progressive officials for comment were unsuccessful.