Volume 13, Issue 2 - March/April 2011

WGR Reports
repair news

USAA Joins Ranks of Insurers That May Require Windshield Inspections
USAA announced early this year that it may now require inspections of windshields involved in glass claims prior to authorizing work on the vehicle.

The inspections are conducted by representatives of Safelite Solutions, which administers the company’s glass claims program, according to USAA spokesperson Rebecca Hirsch.

“We’ve already heard from a couple members that they did not have to submit a claim after the inspection process because there was no damage,” says Hirsch.

USAA is not the first company to enact such a program. GEICO made a similar announcement last January and American Family also has been reported to require inspections prior to work authorization. Rich Campfield, owner of Ultra Bond in Grand Junction, Colo., says he also has encountered requests for inspections a few times with claims involving The Hartford in recent months. Some have suggested that the inspections could be opening the door for a new method of steering.

Campfield has encountered requests for inspections several times in his shop when calling insurers to set up claims with customers. One auto glass shop owner who requested to remain unidentified says that portion of the claim is key when it comes to inspections.

“If another glass shop calls for the insured it gets flagged for inspection,” he says.

“There is no direction or approval for repair given to these inspectors,” says Hirsch. “Once [the] inspection is completed, the member then has a conversation with a representative at Safelite Solutions to actually schedule the work and have it completed. If there is damage, the member chooses who does the repair.”

However, one Arizona auto glass shop owner who requested to remain unidentified says he’s lost jobs to inspections.

“A Safelite installer went out to do the ‘random inspection’ and conveniently had the glass for that vehicle on his truck,” he says. “The customer said the installer told him this, ‘the insurance company sent me out to inspect the vehicle’s damage and I have your windshield on my truck if you would like me to install it right now.’ Unfortunately it was a new customer to us and she had it done right then due to her busy schedule.”

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