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Breach of Contract

I'm going to try this again, a bit more carefully. The wife and I were sitting at supperlast week discussing our delimas in running a glass shop in todays environment and we where talking about quality and consistancy and how over the past several years the decaying profits squeeze us from the quality we try so hard to maintain. And looking again at our ins policies which basically state "to restore vehicle to same likeness". From there my wife asked, isn't it a flat out a breach of contract when an ins. co.or tpa doesn't or won't pay in full what it takes to make that restoration? My opinion was yes. And if tpa's enter into a contract with ins co's then aren't they also in breach of that contract if they are not willing to restore to same likeness? Now, no where does it state a dollar amount, or only up to any certain point, and yes I know this is where the big "fair and reasonable" kicks in. And I know this is the tough or very grey area. It seems to me, tpa's and ins co's are now trying to use that against shops to being paid fairly. In thier minds, fair and reasonable is not the same for shops, especially with the rising costs of doing business has become. So it seems, the only alternative is to fight them for what we,(as in our shop)feel we(our shop) need to charge for our goods and services. Also with tpa's and ins co's stating they do not consent to an assignment of the claim from the policy holder to the glass shop, it seems our,(as in our shop), only recourse is to get the customer involved in the arbitration and or court system to rectify the situation. Luckily our customers are our nieghbors and friends and are very willing to fight for justice. Now I am trying to choose my wording very carefully because I am NOT suggesting group action. I'm putting this out as it has been on our,( my wife and I) minds. I am just looking for views, opinions, discussion, and experience from others that may relate to or have some knowlegde there of! whew! I hope this is acceptable and brings about some construcive dialog. SO,,, What do YOU think?

Re: Breach of Contract

It would be good to have a lawyers opinion on this subject.

Re: Breach of Contract

I don't think we have any lawyers out here to comment on this. No one else has any experience of bringing the insured in on this? I really thought there would be more who would comment on this subject,,,,,,hmmm. Doesn't any one else see this as a breach or theft of service? We treat short pays as stealing no different than going to the gas station, pumping $25 bucks of gas and just try giving them $15. No other thoughts on this,,,, HUH????

Re: Breach of Contract

Here is a shortened version of my thoughts.As for pay in full for what it takes; That's problem #1.We as industry have no real price on what it takes.Yes we all have our own price thoughts and what coulda,shoulda,woulda.It all leads back to what the manufacture wants to sell it for.They are the ones that need to take a stand and let people know where the true costs start at.It has to start at the manufacturing level.Labor,materials etc... would come from the urethane manufactures,tech schools,blue collar workers.But nooooo;we are basicly stuck with a publisher who is stuck in the middle trying to make one party happy at a time.All three sides have to be together in order for us to have what is really fair and reasonable.
Fair and reasonable comes from the low price stores and their low price quotes.This comes from the younger owner/installers brought up in the enviroment of "i can do it much cheaper on my own".Only way i can see a change for this is proper schooling by everyone under thirty(some older folks could use the refresher course.

Re: Breach of Contract

I can see contractual issues, sure. But after reading this thread a few times, here is what I honestly see as the major pitfall to approaching this avenue; the cost.

I am sorry to say that, but realistically & honestly, this is the main thought that came to mind. The idea can have all the greatest merit, but most lawyers don't come free. The customer likely won't want to take on any of the expense, even if they're more than happy to fully participate in such an undertaking, and most shops that care enough to post here, don't have the spare cash flow to support what could be a lengthy battle.

Really, it bums me out to mention this perspective, but it is the first pitfall I see.

Re: Breach of Contract

It all comes down to money. XYG Glass shop will charge x amount to restore to "same likeness" while ZYX shop will charge a higher amount for same likeness. There is where they get us. Sure the labor quality may be better at one shop vs. another but try to prove that!
I agree with your thinking but the big dogs got us by the throat when it comes to pricing. Basically if you are not on a network and the insured signs the dotted line, the insured is to be held responsible for any amount due no matter what the insurance company pays (if you have your wording right on your invoice). Now I in no way agree with sending a short pay bill to an insured but the dentist office does it and so do the doctor's offices.
Out of time. Great subject that needs more thoughts!

Re: Breach of Contract

Here's something to consider with respect to "same likeness"; if you put a brand new piece of glass in a vehicle that has any wear and tear or mileage on it, have you breached the insurance contract by providing "betterment"? "Same likeness" in this case could only be used glass.

Take it one step further, if the insurer were to hold fast to this, they would only be obligated to pay for the used glass and the the car owner would have to make up the difference if they wanted new.

Re: Breach of Contract

Ever notice the insurance companies don't send out new pricing SGC does. Are they trying to get their costs down (less per claim on average) so they are profitable?

Re: Breach of Contract

Try this...

Take the price SGC faxes to you to your local Ins. Co. claim adjuster or to the regional glass claims manager. Ask them what price they are paying for glass work (if they even know as many do not they let SGC handle all of it) and then show them what SGC is allowing you to charge.

You might be surprised by their reaction when they see what SGC "allows" you to charge. There "pricing" is not always dictated by the Ins. Co. So SGC may be price fixing by telling you one price, while the ins. co. is dictating a totally different pricing structure to them. Guess who makes the profit guys and gals? Not you. Didin't you ever wonder how almost all SGC pricing structures use the same basic costs (same kit charges, labor rates, etc. )??? Do you really think all the ins. co. came up with those exact same prices all on their own????

This is why we MUST get laws passed that 1) only let TPA's charge a service fee for claims processing, not allow any mark up of the invoice, and 2) make sure the "players" in the TPA business are not retail chains or have any "financial affiliation" with a service provider chain, wether that be glass shop, auto body repair, etc.

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