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July/August 2002

Field of Vision

The Ordeal Revisited
by Penny Beverage

Several months ago, I had an interesting experience with my own insurance company and chose to write this column about it. It was called “The Ordeal.” (For those of you who may have missed it, see November/December 2001 AGRR, page 4). It wasn’t very complimentary toward my insurance company. In fact, it was downright negative, written just a few hours after what I considered a trying experience. But, it elicited quite a bit of response from readers. 

“The Ordeal” also generated a response from someone I never thought would see it—the head of glass claims at my insurance company. You see, this column also stirred the interest of that large glass chain (which still shall remain nameless) that manages glass claims for my insurer. This company not only called me to confirm that it was the nameless company, but it also forwarded the column to the friendly insurance company itself.

The head of glass claims at this company—which I would like to now reveal, but can’t because of the earlier article—was not angry with me, but rather, he was embarrassed by the “ordeal” through which I’d gone. He’d pulled the tape of my call (yes, they actually record them and keep them on file) and had listened to it several times while reading my article. As I waited for him to point out an inaccuracy (the call was 14 minutes, 30 seconds, which I rounded to 15 minutes, for example), he began to apologize and explain.

This very nice man first explained that the person who took my call was a new employee and had not quite learned the system when she took my claim, and that’s why I was put on hold those numerous times.

He was most upset with the nameless glass chain that wasn’t available when the insurer attempted—numerous times—to transfer me, to no avail. (He planned to meet with them about this. More on that later? We’ll see.)

He ended by saying he appreciated the feedback—even though it was negative and in a public forum—and that his company tries to respond to any complaints it receives.

I hope that this really is the case, because I urge you to share your concerns with insurers and I hope you also receive some response.

This issue contains articles on a number of topics about which you might like to speak with insurers. Contributing editor Les Shaver writes “Back to the Future,” about what you—and insurance companies—are saying about the latest NAGS price changes. Also, read about how some larger auto glass companies are handling the problems of steering, and how it’s affecting many of your businesses in my feature, "Steer Crazy."

I encourage you to let us know what you think about these issues, and as Mr. X suggested, let insurers know. (By the way, for those of you who have e-mailed me and guessed my own insurance company—quite correctly—you know who to call.) Maybe together we can end this ordeal. 

P.S. We just received some exciting news. Contributing editor Les Shaver’s 2001 series about the future of plastic sidelites, “Seeing the Lite,” won an award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) for best feature series in its region. 

E-mail Les at to congratulate him. 


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