Auto Glass Fraud

August 10, 2017

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), summer and early fall are the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road.  Americans drive more miles during the summer months than other times during the year.  The IIHS also reports that fatal crashes are more prevalent on weekends and in the late afternoon and evenings.

This increased summer traffic adds to your chances of windshield damage, warns the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).  “Traffic congestion has been cited as a reason why the number of auto accidents have been going up and it also can increase the chance for vehicle windshields to be damaged by rocks and other debris.”  PCI also warns consumers of fraud involving windshield repairs and replacements.  The warning is specific to Florida but is beneficial to travelers across the nation.

A cracked or damaged windshield is often covered by your auto insurance policy, even if you’re traveling out of state.  In this scenario, your insurance company will work with a nearby company to have your windshield repaired as quickly as possible.  According to PCI’s assistant vice president of personal lines policy, Bob Passmore, some of these auto glass repair shops will try to convince consumers to sign over their insurance benefits.  These shops are not affiliated with your insurance company, and they may exaggerate the glass claim.  They will then sue your insurance company, often without the policyholder’s knowledge.  PCI is seeing an increase in the number of these types of fraudulent claims in states like Florida.

What precautions can you take to avoid auto glass fraud?  PCI recommends consumers beware of any glass repair shop representatives who approach them at local car washes, gas stations, parking lots, or even at home.

  • These representatives will often offer to waive deductibles, give cash rebates, gift cards, and more.
  • They claim the possibility of a “free” windshield replacement by working with your insurance company.
  • Consumers should call their insurer before signing any documents, even electronically.

“That scheme ultimately drives up auto insurance rates and the overall costs of auto glass repair services,” states Passmore.  Be prepared and be cautious as you travel this summer and fall.


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