Volume 10, Issue 4 - July/August 2008

Independent’s Day
an IGA viewpoint

Roping the Steer
by Dave Zoldowski

If you have been following the words in this column over the past year then you are well aware of our efforts at the Independent Glass Association (IGA) concerning illicit steering. You may also be following our progress in this publication and others. I’m not afraid to declare that IGA is actually making progress in helping its members protect themselves from the steering practices of insurance companies and their competitor-administrators (CAs). I am also not afraid to say that we have the attention of the CAs and insurance companies. I am also confident in proclaiming that we are breaking new ground with our successes and that other industries facing the same difficulties are paying close attention to our methods and results. 

Why am I so confident? I’m confident because our membership is maintaining a level of growth that is very encouraging. I’m confident because our anti-steering marketing materials are being distributed nationwide by our members at breakneck speed. The first printing of our landmark comic book, “Don’t Get Steered!!”, sold out in twelve days. 

I’ll be the first to admit that the time and energy we dedicated to creating “Don’t Get Steered!!” was a calculated risk. It had never been done before by an industry group such as ours. We really did not know if it would hit the mark. Gratefully, the early returns are in and the comic appears to be one of our greatest successes. IGA members are already reporting that consumers are finally grasping steering after reviewing “Don’t Get Steered!!” Members are retaining network jobs by using the comic book in coordination with other anti-steering techniques advanced by IGA.

What does this mean for independents? It means we are on the right track, so the IGA is putting its foot down and trucking full speed ahead. Volume two of “Don’t Get Steered!!” will be on the streets by the time you read this column. It continues the first volume’s story line by explaining a unique steering technique used by competitor-administrators. In addition to our comic book efforts, IGA is deep into developing a new online steering tracking system we hope to have ready by our fall Marketing Conference November 7-8 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center where it will coincide with Auto Glass Week™ at NACE.

Designed to correspond with the development of our new website, IGA’s steering tracking system will allow IGA members to track instances of steering by either manual inputting the each instance or by uploading recordings of three-way phone conversations between members, customers and CAs. 

The compilations will be made available to members when they undertake anti-steering efforts such as supporting consumer choice legislation in their home states. The steering tracking system will also allow the IGA to monitor the scripts used by insurance companies and their CAs in an effort to track scripting trends and ensure new scripts follow applicable laws. 

IGA’s anti-steering tracking system will eliminate the argument that steering does not occur also once and for all. We know it does. Now we will finally have the proof we need. 

All of these efforts will move us closer to our goal: a level playing field. If you haven’t yet reviewed the comic book, please do so at http://www.iga.org/uploaded/files/dont_get_steered_low_res.pdf

If you haven’t yet become an IGA member, please visit www.iga.org to do so. 

Dave Zoldowski is president of Auto One in Brighton, Mich., and serves as president of the IGA. Mr. Zoldowski’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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