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Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Today's newsletter contains a story regarding an insurance company's recent announcement instituting a flat fee for windshield repairs, regardless of the number of repairs made on a windshield. What are your thoughts on the change to this pricing structure change? Do you think it will change the industry? If so, how?

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I think that if we continue to allow things like this they will keep pushing for lower prices on everything we do.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I believe several ins. co. have already been doing this. We simply tell the customer the insurance only pays us to $$$ to repair the windshield, at that price we will only fix ?? number of repairs, or since the repairs all happened at different times (different loss dates) we can call in two claims.

We reluctantly have to do this to cover our expenses. We prefer not to do to many repairs on the same vehicle at one time because in most cases if theere are 8 repairs, some of them have been there for quite some time. So we encourage every customer to get the repairs in asap for many beneficial reasons, not just that the insurance only pays for so many.

Speaking of which, SGC told an insured that we would repair 8 repairs for him last week, and argued with us on the phone about our the contract terms(wish we didn't have one at all), which clearly states "$50 first repair, $10 each add'l (maximum of 3)". We showed the customer this wording in the contract and he was very happy that we were on top of things despite him having to pay the add'l expense to fix the other 5 repairs. He said he would be back because he trust us much more than those "yahoos" (his words) on the phone(sgc network).

Sorry no spell check

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Everyone has spell check. Copy your text and go to Write Mail and enter it there. It will tell you what's wrong most of the time.
ONLY 8 Repairs on one windshield. When do you tell a customer they need a replacement??

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I believe that the majority of pit repairs are single.

I see this as a way for Safelite to bump the single repairs up by a few bucks.

Time will tell if those single repair customers all seem to go to the Safelite stores, and the multiple repairs get farmed out.

We've been noting that the ones that we get calls on from Safelite either are net priced parts, or are net priced parts that suddenly, Safelite does not 'service this area'.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Specualtion, speculation!

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Come on you people.

First off, I've been in this business long before the networks existed. Seventeen years now to be exact.

Any independent who already does business with the Safelite network has a screw missing. They are our competition don't you already know? Why should they suck off part of our profits as middlemen while providing primary insurance leads to their own company and using us as third rate alternatives while meanwhile sneaking into our privately generated customer lists that are EDI'd through them?

Wake up or get out of this business.

My company opted out of that network over three years ago and we are better off for it. Lynx and Harmon are at least honest in providing leads and referrals to their members. At least to my company they have been.

Secondly, any fool that would even bother to repair eight dings on a windshield deserves to have his head examined. There should be an insurance recompensed limit and I think that the reasonable limit is three for now.

Not because repairing eight might not be impossible assuming the right technician, but because NO insurance company is going to pay us to do it.

Get your priorities in order and stop thinking like car wash and side street businesses who are attempting to screw the customer and the insurance companies for "repairing"unnecessary surface chips that are nothing less than surface chips. Either become professional, proficient and honest when it comes to repairing windshields or do the rest of us a favor and sell flood insurance in Arizona or parcels of the Brooklyn bridge.

One insurance company today is requiring a digital picture of the damage before repair and I am all for that idea. I've seen the pathetic results of too many so-called technicians "repairing" windshields today that are incapable of setting the time on their own DVD players and they insult every decent repair technician in the field. I've given up drilling into their mistakes in a futile attempt to improve either the esthetics or insure that the damage won't spread.

It will certainly help to obliterate the con artists in this business just as IGA certifications will hopefully rid us of the con artists and incompetent installers in the replacement business.

I certainly agree that the minimum charge for a mobile repair ought to be fifty dollars plus twelve per additional up to three maximum.

And we can attain that fair goal assuming that we can erase the con artists out of our business who dilute the market with needless and unqualified invoices to the insurance companies.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I was curious if increasing the repair allowance to something like $100.00 flat would impact increased usage of this technology.

How many w/s are replaced that could have been actually repaired with this process?


Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Reapir is good preventative maintenenace, a long crack is 99% of the time neglected repairable chips that spread due to temp change or freezing moisture in the chip or crack.

Long crack repair is a gypsy job and the results typically are so so cosmetically .

100 flat on chips would be fin by me and offset a little of the poor paying insurance jobs we get these days (if any) especially by the SGC guys

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I think if we do the work, we should be paid. A flat fee crosses over the line to unfair. This turns in to just another way for the prices to be driven down. Call a spade a spade.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

$100.00 for a repair? It's a start. Our time is worth something too. Also, insurance agents being informed as to what a repair actually is and what it will or will not accomplish would be a nice start too. If I had a nickle for every time a customer told me their agent told them the windshield would be "just like brand new", I could buy a new house, pay off my daughter's student loans, retire and throw the biggest party this city has ever seen..... and you would all be invited...

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

We should start installing windshield for $125.00 flat rate on everything and then do repairs for $100 and then the Insurance companies and the repair only companies will both be happy.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Lee - Thank you for the directions about spell check. I did not mean to say I do not know how to use spell check, I simply meant at that moment I was in a hurry and did not have the time to use it properly. I was attempting to apologize for being lazy.

The ONLY reason we performed the 8 repairs in this case was the customer had not been to us in the last year since we changed our policy (which is currently maximum 3 repairs). We billed the insurance for the first 3 repairs according to our contract, and he paid all add'l charges. We explained in the future we would not perform the eight, and encouraged him to come in sooner if possible to save all of us added expense and time. He was very delighted with the service and the explanations provided.

I think the best way to help consumers understand what a repair should look like is thru normal advertising. Many consumers still do not understand that in most cases a repair should be barely visible, with a small scar left. We like to say the repair will look 80% better than what they are staring at now, but that it will NEVER be totally invisible. That it is a REPAIR and will not be "like new" (we have agents saying that as well all the time).

HAL - I do not think raising your prices (flat) on repair is the ONLY option and I am glad you asked for input. I think it would be far more valuable to teach agents and your insured’s what to expect when damage is repaired. Teach them to NOT ACCEPT bad looking repairs (understanding that the longer the repair is there, the more debris and contamination can be present). Increasing your $$$ alone will ONLY let the crooks make even more money in my opinion. EDUCATION will protect your bottom line, the insured's investment, and help our industry get rid of some abusers as well.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I'm going to try this with my barber...if he cuts one hair or all of them he is only getting $5.00.

He should be happy...

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs can't "Teach" a policy holder to "not accept" what may be a bad repair in their opinion. If they have a 250 or 500 deductible and the repair is "bad", they may not be able to afford, or give a crap, about replacing the shield. I think they can be educated on what to expect, though. We did a repair recently that was amazingly optically clear when completed, and the dude flew off the handle thinking it would be 100% optically clear, despite forwarning the freak.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I believe this comes right back to the old saying,,"YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR". Having a high flat rate for all chips on a w/s will work for the ones having 1 maybe 2 - 3 tops. More than that I will bet the vast majority will and maybe should be replaced, and mainly because the w/s is already so pitted you won't see through it when driving into the sun! Playing the game of win some lose some is what flat fees are about. If I want to play that game I would sell insurance! I do not believe shops should be doing work and not being paid for it. If flat fees for repair gets to be more common I beleive replacements will increase. JMHO. I for 1 will give customers exaclty what they pay for, anda bit more, we always try our best to go the extra mile for those $$'s. But I won't work for free. Flat labor, flat fees are just that,,,FLAT, Aand that works well with things like pancakes, frisbees, ect.I'd like to take the exuctives of the biggies, tpa's and ins co's and start paying them flat fee's,,, yea I bet they would like that real fine,,, right Hal??? how bout it, would you like to do your job Hal for let's say a flat 25k -30k per year???? And raise a family on that,,, I have!!!!!

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Glassgod, once again I have been got using a poor choice of words in my haste to post a comment.

You are correct "teach" was not the best word, educate is more in line with my thoughts.

I am starting to think I should wait until I get home, have eaten some food, and then post on this board. Don't get excited, it will not change my long windedness.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Car insurance should be a flat rate too, per driver not car. Please explain speel check for dummys.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Its people that are car wash kiddies in az and areas of the country like that that give eglassdirect alot of business, and legit chip repair companies a bad name.. You will not see me on my phone using a small screen to nab a vin, i paper bill my customers , and i bill for what i do... ..

How you like them Apples ?

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Actually, I prefer Dell rather than Apple, PokyMon.

But, seriously, I'm confused by your reference to E-Direct and its connection(?) to Arizona car wash kiddies. In order to EDI through E-Direct, one needs a reference or dispatch number along with other information such as VIN and sub model of the vehicle. And, when the entry to E-Direct is completed you can print out a hard copy invoice complete with individual RO numbers.

I assume that you initially first receive approval from the insurance company and after completing the repair(s) either EDI, Fax, or snail-mail your invoices to the insurance company. Good luck with timely payment or "lost" invoices in the event the latter method is utilized.

My business was established in Arizona in 1989 and during the mid nineties I was approached with a proposition to set up repair crews at ten planned and existing car wash facilities. I flat out said that I wasn't interested for a number of reasons. I agree with you that generally speaking, we are talking about unqualified repair "technicians" who might barely qualify to repair flat tires rather than windshields. That applies to oil change shops as well.

But, I still fail to field the connection between Car wash kiddies and E-Direct.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

Oh, a postscript in re the main topic.

I'm inclined to agree with XXX as per "flat rates" as well as most of his other comments.

In the case of four chips (I actually don't like that word as it minimizes the damage more than it should) if the fourth crack is small, we toss it into the job at n/c but inform the customer that we are doing just that and saving them ten bucks. Ergo: a repeat customer.

If large, we charge. If more; no more.

Predominately, someone with more than three chips has allowed many of those chips to ride for awhile. That, of course introduces the distinct possibility of a more serious laminate contamination which in turn increases the possibility of decreasing the integrity of the windshield not to mention the difficulty of performing a picturesque repair.

It should go without saying that we prime our customers and obtain a general description of the size of the damage BEFORE we spin our wheels on second-party insurance leads. For the reader who thinks we are picky, let me state that we repair cracks up to a foot long for a minimal charge of three "chips" if they aren't jagged or curved too sharp as well as any other large damage where the entrance can be covered by the injector tip to assure maximum vacuum and pressure.

The insurance companies paid $65 plus when I opened my business years ago. If we could rid ourselves of the dead-beats, the scum, and the scam artists who submit invoices for work that DOESN'T need to be accomplished--specifically surface chips and unnecessary replacements--perhaps the genuinely qualified windshield techs could realize a better margin.

The answers to the problem are neither difficult nor profound. I can sit down with any interested decision-making executive of any auto insurance company and prove to them how they can cut their outlay for windshield repair and replacement by at least 30% within one hour of implementation and yet obtain better repairs and safer replacements while paying repair techs and installers with more money.

I call that a win-win.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

How many repairs is too many?

I tend to not want to do more than 4 repairs, unless they are very small and not anywhere in the wiper path. I have done up to like 10 on a bus before, but that is a huge windshield. I am in Arizona and I do allot of repairs there, but they are 99% of the time people from out of state, that want to save money. It is very hard to convince an insured with a 0 deductible to convince them to repair, but i would say 6% of windshield replacements in other places end up being called back into the TPA as a windshield repair, rather than a windshield. It blows the csr's minds at the TPA's when i want to switch it from a windshield to a repair. I am here to give the customer what they want, after all in the end they are truly the one paying the bill.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

If the customer is insurance covered, we usually limit repairs to three and four at most depending on size and location.

If not insured, we negotiate a fair price up to five small "chips."

We are also located in Arizona. I have absolutely NO problem convincing customers that REPLACING a factory-installed REPAIRABLE windshield should be a last resort; foolish in the main; and a potentially dangerous proposition for many reasons. And that applies even when the factory installed windshield has already been replaced for a lot of other reasons.

We consistently run at least a 98% repair result apropos replacement when the customer understands the reasons

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs


Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

jim were in phx you in my neck of the woods? -- VERY hard to find good techs down here.. , i have great techs but finding others is a challenge

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs


Apologize for the delay in answering your question. I don't dial into the forum as often as I'd like due to time constraints.

We are located in Glendale. I agree with you about the difficulty of finding qualified technicians. Particularly if you couple that with dependability and the willingness to work an eight hour day.

But that problem seems to be endemic to Arizona regardless of what trade we can talk about.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

I think the problem is endemic everywhere Jim. Trying to find any kind of quality help here is near impossible as well.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs


Absolutely it is just so hard in AZ i could use about 2 more guys in AZ but need somone to move in from out of state. Yeah I spend too much time here "stirring the pot" lol


Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs

The other guy--I forget who--had it right.

Doesn't matter what state we talk about today. The work ethic is as dead as the Dodo bird.

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs


Yes it would increase because it is not cost effective for us to send out a tech in a truck for less.

Also how about a time frame on when the customer can change their minds about liking the repair?

Re: Flat Fee Payment for Repairs


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