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OK, I'm really not as dumb as that question could make me sound, but I thought I'd double check... in case I missed something.
A Progressive "claims handler" told me yesterday having as assignment meant "nothing," as well as telling me he didn't care what my rights were. This guy actually told me if I wanted the claim paid I "HAD TO use Safelite" ... or I could try to hunt down the customer and collect from them.
Call your insurance commissioner immediately with this one, especially if you were able to record the conversation. Also get in touch with any local legislators you may have built a relationship with.
Remember Jess, the TPA/insurance CSR will tell you just about anything to get you to "follow the crowd" like telling you 'everyone else agrees to that price', 'assignment of procedes means nothing',etc.
Best advice is get your own lawyer involved, get legislators involved and help them understand that gravity of the situation, how these national companies are controlling you, their local businessman who is spending money locally and paying into your state's tax base.
Oh, and BTW....(Hal, feel free to confirm this) Progressive can tell you anything they want...they don't have a contract requiring them to pay you one thin dime.
They could tell you you must go outside in the street and do jumping jacks naked if they want to, and no rules/laws are broken. They have no contract with you.
Now, what they tell the insured, with whom they HAVE a contract, and what laws might be broken there, or what disparagement may occour to you and your business, that's a different story, and another matter.
The assignment of proceeds is a thorn in their sides that they are NOT willing to acknowledge even exists, no matter how bad it keeps biting them. Which is why denial is the best course of action for them at this point. Once they acknowledge it, then they MUST deal with you, on behalf of your, AND THEIR, client. Of course, they'd rather not do this, because they lose control.
The call originated over an unpaid chip repair, but that's irrelevant.
What it boils down to is a legality/rights issue. I DO NOT and WILL NOT allow TPA's to process my invoices. I DON'T HAVE TO.
As far as the assigment goes, the customer willingly signed it. Now the Progressive employee tells me to go back and collect from him (or send the bill to SGC). If I collect from the customer, when he contacts them for reimbursement they "will tell him how you are."
Sorry, buddy... that's not going to work for me. I don't care who you are, I will fight for my rights. It's my perogative and my duty.
A formal complaint is on its way to the Commerce Dept. I will be paid. If Progressive allows SGC, or any TPA, to handle the claim in any way, another formal complaint will be filed.
This seems easy to fight . I am hoping my two year old fight with the City trying to take my business to make a parking lot will be over next mo. and I might have time to help on some of the ways to get our rights back. This year between the law work and lower prices with higher cost I won't make it another without change.
I just tell my customer's the truth about the insurance company they choose. one, they are only getting what their insurance will pay for, no more & no less. Two, I tell the policy holder to contact the insurance company & tell them what they want most of the time the insured will never win with the aggressive insurance co's., but this will make the policy holder think twice as to what it is worth to save $300.00 a year ($25.00 a month) and to see that you get what you pay for! I have seen people drop their coverage on the spot only to have the insurance company call them back & give them what they want. In short... THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAY'S RIGHT!