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I say the NWRA and the glass manufactures split the cost for an unbiased study on if repairs really are the same as replacement. The cost would be between $3,000 to $10,000 which a drop in the bucket.
This offer has been on the table before at the CT glass board meetings with believe or not, a very cold reception (mostly by the attending NWRA members.) This long standing question could be put to bed with a very small amount of money, why hasn’t it?
the question isn't if repairs work or not, it's what did the customer pay for, if they paid for glass coverage then they have the right for a replacement. If you are in a fenderbender and you have a dented fender, chances are they are going to replace the fender, sure you could hammer out the dent and fill in the remaining imperfections with bondo, but thats not what you paid for when you got collision coverage.
I may not understand this, but I think the issue is one between State Farm, and its insured's. Not between the shop and the insured, nor whether repair is safe, or whether or it is a viable option for consumers.
Look, it's a non-issue that repair does not return a consumer to pre-loss condition. It's a patch, designed to keep the damage from spreading. You don't magically weld the glass back together. However, if a monetary incentive (waiving the deductible) is offered to the consumer, rather than opting to pay the deduct and replace, both the insured and the insurer win. But that's still not the point as I see it.
I think the point of this case is whether or not State Farm took the savings of repair, even after waiving the deductible, and passed those savings on to the consumer in the form of lower premiums, or didn't, and pocketed the cash. Did the Farm continue to charge the same rates for replacement of glass even though they put a program in place to save millions upon millions in losses without passing any of those millions back to the policyholders (MUTUAL COMPANY,READ THAT OWNERS) of the company?
As I read this so far, it's not about anything to do with repair. It's about the Farm and their customers contract, and their performance as a MUTUAL company.
No one can argue that repair is a safe, cost saving service to consumers, performed correctly, of course, just like anything else.
I seem to recall something similar to this a while back, where the Farm was accused of putting millions into offshore 'jack accounts', and Wendy Graham, (wife of senator Phil Graham of Texas), who served on both Enron's board, and State Farm's, was tied in to that, but don't know what ever came of it. It was about money that should have been going back to policyholders since the 80s, but hadn't, and amounted to some $50+ Billion, if memory serves. Memory isn't what it used to be.....
It would really be wild if this could turn into a class-action suit and any SF Insured that has ever had a chip fixed could be involved. Could you imagine the damages if they were entitled to the difference between a repair and replacement cost?
And if so shouldn't that money really go to the glass shops that should have been replacing rather than repairing the w/s? :)