Have you ever wondered how your claim is being processed when you call the 800 number you get from your insurance company? Brace yourself because it is as corrupt as it gets.
Networks are third parties in a bidding war to handle your automotive glass claims. How does it work?
A network is a group of shops working for 30 to 60 percent discounts for the network. The network gets a contract for a period of time (12 months or more) with your insurance company at a set discounted rate. A GLASS SHOP CAN BECOME A PREFERRED SHOP BY GIVING LARGER DISCOUNTS, allowing the network to make a larger PROFIT.
Is there a safety standard that has to be followed? The answer is, NO! There is the AGRSS standard (Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard); this is put together by a committee through the AGSC (Auto Glass Safety Council). The standards are great, but they are voluntary and have ZERO enforcement. Most glass shops don’t register, or their techs aren’t certified.
Training and equipment cost money, and this is hard to do when there is no money to do it with.
Why would my insurance company do this? The short answer — saving dollars on auto glass claims equals more profit. I also think these NETWORKS tell them that all their shops abide by the AGRSS standard. Ask the shop that does your glass work if they have written current documentation proving they are AGSC registered or if the technician doing my job is AGSC certified. There is a 60 percent chance they are not.
How do I protect myself from this corruption?
- Do your homework on the glass shop that’s working on your case.
- Are they AGSC registered?
- Is the technician CERTIFIED?
- Did they talk to you about pre and post–scanning?
- Did your car need to be recalibrated, and do you have ADAS (Automated Driver Assist Systems) on your car?
- Does the shop doing your work have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance?
- Get involved in your claim (i.e., don’t procrastinate because you’re busy; it‘s not just glass).
- What is your safe drive–away time?
- Are they certified in using the urethane/adhesive?
- Are they certified in DTC / pre and post–scanning?
- Are they certified in recalibration?
When it comes to Auto Glass, the laws are not there to protect us and prevent these networks from doing what they do. Unfortunately, the only way to see change is through lawsuits, and this is only when there has been an accident. Industry experts claim that up to 75% of all windshields are done improperly, and with new ADAS systems on today‘s vehicles, the number could be higher.
GET INVOLVED BY PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES
You may have to empty your pockets if your insurance doesn’t cover your glass claims. Don’t cut corners, and don’t look for the cheapest price. Life is too precious. PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE AS THE AUTO GLASS INDUSTRY NEEDS MANDATORY CHANGE!!!!!
The author of this article is Terry Dennis. He owns Auto GlassMasters LLC. www.autoglassmastersllc.com.
His company is a proudly registered member of the AUTO GLASS SAFETY COUNCIL. www.agsc.org
Master Certified technician with the AGSC
I – Car certified in DTC pre and post–scanning
Opti – Aim certified in Recalibration