Nobody wants to imagine they have been or could be a victim of fraud; worse still, it seems even more violating to have been taken advantage of and never even been aware. Unfortunately, this happens quite often in the world of auto glass repair, simply because of how easy it is for dishonest repair shops to scam insurance companies out of extra claim funds.
How Auto Glass Repair Insurance Fraud Impacts Everyone
First of all, no insurance claim happens in a vacuum; while it may seem like your auto glass repair claim is paid on your behalf using your premium without issue (and often, it is), when the number of auto glass repair claims jumps dramatically in a given area, it can actually impact every policy holder’s individual insurance premium and claim eligibility. It is important to note that insurance companies often choose to cover auto glass repair at a driver-friendly rate (typically with little or no deductible), simply because they believe a chip repair is a smaller claim investment than a windshield replacement would be. While this is of course true on an individual level, when hundreds of fraudulent claims get filed in a short span of time, it can become no longer worth the insurance company’s time to investigate the potential for fraud or pay for the heightened claims, leading to changed policies or heightened premiums across the board to cover the cost.
How Auto Glass Repair Insurance Fraud Impacts You
Beyond the macro-level potential for insurance premium increases or coverage decreases, a specific instance of fraud often impacts the vehicle owner directly. Typically, these fraudulent claims are made in such a way that overstate or overcharge insurance companies; this can be done in a number of ways, including but not limited to writing claims as though there were many more chips to repair than were actually present, coercing drivers into opting for a more expensive windshield replacement when unneeded, and even holding onto your insurance information to create another claim later on. These strategies work because drivers often don’t know enough or care enough about their insurance claim to bring light to the discrepancy or fight the coercion toward a more expensive repair. In any case, regardless of whether or not the driver pays a deductible — they often will have to for a replacement, making that form of coercion especially diabolical — the driver will have the negative reflection of the heightened claim on their insurance record; these heightened claims can lead to increased rates or ineligibility for “safe driver” reward programs offered by many insurance companies.
Fighting Fraud Together
Of course, it can be difficult for a consumer to know if they are at risk for being taken advantage of by an auto glass repair provider. The easiest way, by far, to protect yourself and others from becoming victims of fraud is to speak to your insurance provider’s claims department directly regarding a chip repair company. Aside from contacting your insurance provider, inquiring with the auto glass provider for recent scores from either the National Auto Glass Association or the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council. Any reputable auto glass repair provider will have no problem being forthcoming with this information and, if you cross reference them with your insurance provider, then you should be good to go! If you are ever, or have ever been, taken advantage of, be sure to contact your insurance provider’s claims department to report the repair shop to not only dispute the legitimacy of the claim, but also to allow your provider to raise suspicion with the company and deter others from being abused by the service. Together, we can rid the country of auto glass repair fraud by shining light on those that wish to scam the system at the cost of everyone.
Contact Us Today
At West Texas Windshields, we are proud of 98% rating for national insurance chip repair legitimacy, which is the highest rating. Give us a call to learn more about insurance billing and potential appointment times for any of our auto glass repair locations and mobile services, ranging all along West Texas, including Odessa, San Angelo, and more.