Volume 15, Issue 5- September/October 2013

Insurance Talk
Policy briefs

National news
Safelite Solutions Accepts “Recognition” for Pre-Inspection of Auto Glass Claims

AThough Safelite Solutions officials have repeatedly declined to respond to reports from AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™ about inspections prior to authorization of repair and replacement claims by out-of-network auto glass companies, Safelite recently was recognized by the insurance publication, Best Review, in the magazine’s Innovation Showcase for this very program.

The magazine recognized Safelite Solutions for instituting “pre-inspections for auto glass claims [prior to repair and replacement authorization] in order to reduce the increasing number of fraudulent claims.”

“As a claims management company, Safelite Solutions generated revenue based on vehicle glass transactions,” Best Review’s editors report. “Thus, this pre-inspection project not only reduced the number of vehicle glass transactions, but also impacted Safelite’s revenue. Safelite’s focus was to prevent fraudulent claim activity and raise policyholder experience and retention.”

The magazine reports that the program resulted in “fewer fraudulent claims and greater policyholder retention.”

“Safelite’s preliminary data from the pre-inspection programs also have shown a significant drop in questionable claims and customer complaints,” according to the magazine. “For example, one insurance company saw a 75-percent decline in referrals from specific glass shops since beginning pre-inspections.”

Feedback from policyholders on this program “has been positive,” Best Review reports.

Glass shop owners, on the other hand, do not see the program as beneficial. The program targets auto glass repair and replacement claims handled by “out-of-network” auto glass companies, according to reports from AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™ readers.

Many repair glass company owners believe the program is simply a steering tactic. One auto glass professional based in Oklahoma who preferred not to be named for fear of reprisal, says she has lost an average of four to six Allstate jobs a week to Safelite.

Dora O’Brien, owner of Long Star Auto Glass in Coolidge, Ariz., says both American Family Insurance and Encompass are now requiring inspections prior to authorization of repair and replacement.

“We feel so bad for our long-standing customers, not to mention what this is doing to our business,” O’Brien says.

Safelite Solutions officials had not responded to requests for comment. However the company issued a statement earlier this year claiming that Safelite’s initiative “saves the insurance industry an estimated $15 million in reduced questionable claim activity annually.”

“What is particularly notable here is that as a market share leader in insurance glass claims management, Safelite Solutions intentionally introduced a solution that they knew would negatively impact short-term revenue but in doing so has created invaluable long-term good will with clients and non-clients alike-demonstrating counterintuitive innovation at its best,” says Stephen Applebaum, senior analyst of property casualty insurance at Aite Group when reviewing the program.

“At Safelite Solutions, we strive to be a trusted partner of insurance companies of all sizes, and our effort to reduce fraud is just one way we bring value to the claims management process,” adds Jerry Beigel, Safelite Solutions’ senior vice president in the company statement. “We thank Best Review and the Innovation Showcase judges for recognizing our fraud prevention programs.”

If your customers have been required to undergo inspections, please email jreed@glass.com with details.


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