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
I’m Terry Dennis, auto glass industry expert. I’m a Master Certified technician, certified through the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC). My glass shop, Auto GlassMasters LLC, is a registered shop through the AGSC. My staff and I keep up with automotive technology through continuing education. Not only do we install glass, but we also have the tools and training to do pre- and post-vehicle scans and Automated Driver Assist Systems Recalibration when needed.
I encourage everyone that needs to get a windshield, or any piece of glass installed in their car, to educate themselves and get involved in their claims. Many people make the mistake of calling an 800 number and then they get steered to shops that are not registered and certified to the AGSC. These shops do not practice the auto glass replacement safety standards, but they work for discounted rates.
A lot of insurance companies sell you a policy that says your vehicle will be restored to pre-loss conditions using like-kind and quality parts. Those same companies send you to networks that use in-network shops where the only enforceable criteria is the shop work for the discounted rate.
I encourage you to go to www.autoglassmastersllc.com to look at our certification page and compare our shop safety standards to the one you are being asked to use. Alternatively, simply tell your insurance company that you want to use Auto GlassMasters LLC because of their safety qualifications.
Most shops are not registered to the AGSC and most technicians are not certified, leaving your family’s safety exposed and your very expensive investment compromised. This should not happen. Auto GlassMasters LLC, if given the chance, will help you through the claims process. It’s your vehicle and its your insurance policy, so know your rights. MOST OF ALL, DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR FAMILY’S SAFETY SO A THIRD PARTY CAN PROFIT AND YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY CAN SAVE MONEY. You own the vehicle and you bought the policy to protect your family, so make sure you know who is working on your vehicle, what their credentials are, and what kind of parts are being used. Also ask about the warranty and certifications.
Don’t put yourself in the role of victim. Be the customer and seek out shops that will work for you and not a third party.