AGRR Magazine

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.

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