Had my last 4 farmers customers subjected to chip repair inspections. Couple of questions, we have been in business over 20 years and apparently our shop is being red flagged. Am I the only one getting this or has it been happening to you too? We received a fax a few months back saying with farmers you have to report the damage before beginning the repair (so a competitor can come inspect and solicit my customer I'm guessing, or is it just a phone call to verify damage from farmers?)
Another question is if this has happened to you do they stop after a while or does it just keep happening once it gets started?
We are not a car wash outfit nor do we go out and solicit repairs (nicks) that are not needed, never have, never will, so there's really no reason for this other than what was mentioned above. When people have damage they bring the cars in.
What state are you in?
Offer to do the inspection for them using a smartphone to take a pic and e mailing it to them. If they decline they're playing games.
I wish it was that simple, as far as that goes they could simply ask the insured if its smaller than a grain of rice or a pencil eraser but that would kill their chance to get my customer. Not gonna happen.
Thanks but back to my questions please
had a gieco within the last month crack all the way across w/s csr told customer will need to be inspected I said you're kidding right what is the inspector going to say yeah thats broke all right. I said if you want to play these games with your customers thats up to you but this vehicle is not safe to drive so you better get someone out right away. I asked for a ref# and she would'nt give me one I told our new state law states they have to @ the time of the call she said the customer may want a differant shop after inspection things got a little loud @ that piont. told her our new law also states the inspector can not mention anything about my shop or any other shop, asked for a suppervisor explained the law called back in 15 minutes said inspection would not be neeed. customer was ****ed we all need to fight for ourselves and our customers. hey ya know you just can't make this stuff up.
Which state has that law?
We feel your pain. Hopefully this will all blow over after a while.
We recommend calling the agent first to make sure they have comp coverage.
Tell the agent that the last few times Safl1te has tried to delay by invoking the "inspection" before the work is done tactic. Have the customer ask the agent if their policy doesn't also require that the damage be protected from getting worse. Since the windshield is not being removed, the inspection can be completed post repair.
When you call Safel1te, make sure the customer knows what is going on (educate them that Farmers makes you call your competitor in order to help them file a claim and to not let them try to steal them away from your shop. Make sure your customer knows they have the right to choose etc, make sure they know your warranty etc) and have them describe the damage ie, "it is a bullseye about the size of a nickel on the passenger side." or it is a starbreak about the size of a dime at the bottom of the windshield on the driver side." etc. If they still invoke the inspection, have the customer ask them if they are calling them a liar. Tell them that the agent has already been notified and the coverage has been verified. If that doesn't work, ask for the supervisor.
Have a well written assignment of policy proceeds signed by the customer that directs Farmers/Safel1te to pay your shop for this particular claim.
Read previous postings on this very subject dated Nov. 27, 2012 and Dec 12, 2012. There's a Safelite shop about a block away from us, since we added repair and replacement to our business it's been hell. Once you're flagged, you're flagged forever. We deal only with cash and cash reimbursement for Farmers. No inspection required.
Just had number 5 come in. He told me he would play their game. While the claim was being reported and they told him it required inspection he told them due to this he was dropping his insurance immediately and could they connect him to that department and the tsr apologized and said she had no way to transfer but they would give him a return call in 24 hours concerning the inspection. In short he was ****ed. The result was he left and two hours later they called him and said the inspection wasn't needed and the claim was set up. My guess on this is they listened to the recording and decided to back off.
Stay tuned and I will let you know the other results as they come in. BTW 4 of 5 have threatened to drop their insurance due to this. I plan to keep on defending my customers as well as my business and let them know right up front what to expect and why.
I can't see them continuing to shoot themselves in the foot and lose customers over and that's even if they know what's going on.
Again if this has been happening to you too please post how long has it been going on and does it stop at some point, thanks
Lasko, if you know of 5, the worry is, how many don't you know about?
Not really concerned with that, my focus right now is what comes into my shop stays in my shop. However thinking about it sending out a letter to my farmers customers as well as others on procedures nowadays might be a pretty good idea to teach what not to do if they want to use my shop. In moving forward in this new era this sounds to me like a great plus it's a way to stay in touch with your customers. Thanks.
Quite frankly I feel they are getting way too greedy with this and it's going to come back to bite them. As it is right now I have 4 farmers customers that have expressed they are ready to leave the company because of this. 2 definitely will I'm sure. Two paid cash and the other 3 I have repaired, with certain payment on one, and they other two the insured were told payment would be taken care of. And all this ends up with is 5 angry farmers customers. For what?
What has the company with the grand design gained? A bad reputation is about it along with damaging the hand that feeds.
So really who is winning?
This is just a flat out bad idea and I'd be surprised if it lasts. Which brings me back to my question, has this happened to you and for how long. These are my first five,ever, I really can't see it lasting, too much damage is being done. I will definitely continue to fight for my customers in my house, I'll defend it and counterattack if this is the game you want to play.
As it is I have to say I'm winning with educating my customers of what is going to happen before the call is made.
Update. The other two claims will not be paid. Got two livid customers that are dropping farmers.
Again, is anyone else experiencing this with farmers and do they back off of the inspections after a while?
Have had 3 Famers repair jobs in the last two days turn into a nightmare. 2 I finally got to go through after alot of yelling and the customers help. The last one SL plain just told me they won't do a thing even though customer has coverage. Still working on that one. I have not signed up as a contracted shop for SGC mainly because and in so many words that's seems to be the problem. I don't believe SL needs the inspection done since they do them. How ironic! 4WW3
1. Who is being notified of the inspection requirement upon FNOL, exactly? The shop, or the insured? I really want a CLEAR ANSWER on this one, PLEASE.
2. Read the policy. While there may be an insurer's right to inspect, there is ALSO VERY LIKELY in the policy a DUTY FOR THE INSURED TO MITIGATE THEIR LOSS. The only way to do that, is to repair before the damage has a chance to spread.
I'm reading that the insurer is going to deny claims because they were not afforded the chance to inspect, but the insurer could also deny a windshield replacement claim if the insured does not comply with their duty to mitigate the loss.
So, in essence, photo the damage, document, notify the agent of the loss, let them inspect, via an email with the photo documentation or personally, and move forward with the repair with the customer's permission. No one in there right mind could say that isn't "REASONABLE".
A good way to document damage is to hold the customer's registration behind the damaged area on the glass so it, and the damage, show in a photo. A second photo with the registration on the inside of the car and VIN showing together. A third photo also containing the car and license plate, perhaps with the customer also, is optional.
It would be very difficult for a fraudster to garner the first two photos, to have access to the inside of the car and the registration. The third photo would be a bonus, and most consumer's would be irritated to say the least that the insurer would require such measures, as well as requiring an inspection by an adjuster (a real one), and nearly infuriated if another glass company shows up to inspect. (especially if it's the one they didn't want to use; speaking from experience on both of these)
And of course, feel free to educate your customers. If a TPA has the right to educate their customers, then so do you; simple as that. Above all, let the customer know you're doing this to protect both their interests, and your business interests, alike, and BE NICE ABOUT IT. Let the other idiots hang themselves, they don't need your help, but feel free to supply the rope.
HTH, and JMHNLO
Three times this past week the same thing happened. One dropped her coverage and moved to state farm and the other two don't want the hassle. The funny thing is that our Farmers replacements are going through just fine, it's only the repairs that are being flagged for inspection. I'm also in Colorado and this has only been the case for the last week. If I take photos can I send the invoice along with them to farmers directly? We make sure to confirm coverage before any repair and this has only starting affecting us about 2 weeks ago.
I cant blame them. Finally they are putting an end to the scams of repairs. Cant blame them really. They are tired of being ripped off by scum.
Funny, Farmers don't seem to trust their own agents to verify the loss??
When they insist on an inspection, just have YOUR customer come to YOUR shop for the so-called inspection. Then just stand there with a camera and record the whole event. It would make for some interesting news.
Inspections are nothing less than another effort to steer more work to Farmers favorite glass repair and replacement shop. That's it. it has very little to do with fraud prevention. They want to control who does the work.
Now, out of nowhere, I receive a fax with a referral # for the first refused to pay repair job, work done in mid feburary.
My customer was sent a letter saying it was a over and done with deal, payment is refused (she is dropping Farmers due to the hassle)
so I called SL and spoke to two departments. They know nothing except it is cleared with a referral,, send in the bill. So I did.
beyond pathetic, having to beg to do the work at their price.
And that's something I don't understand at all, why would Farmers want to pay almost twice as much for safelite to do a repair? Unless SL is adding (or subtracting) processing costs to our invoices it makes no sense. I think we aren't the only ones being screwed by SL.
Here are some possibilities;
1) Unless the claim is approved, they don't get paid anything?
2) It could be that someone high up in Farmers claims division is on the take. Maybe even higher up than the claims division. Remember the Nationwide whistleblower?
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