Consider the Research

Research Points to the Impact of Calibration Has on Insurance Claims

By Tara Taffera

Vehicle calibrations and their impact are entering into data surrounding auto glass claims, according to recent research. Kay Wakeman, research analyst, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute, presented some of this info at an industry event earlier this year. IIHS and its Data Institute are supported by insurance companies.

Wakeman offered some insights-based on car models different than the data she collected from the previous year.

This newest research focused on glass losses for select Subaru and Honda models, and takes advanced systems, and the need for calibration, into account.

“With Subaru, we compared glass losses to Subaru systems [2013-2017 Subaru Legacy and Outback] that have the EyeSight system to those who don’t,” said Wakeman. “We found that vehicles with Eye-Sight had a 3% increase in glass claims frequency, 16% increase in claim severity and 20% increase in overall losses.” Additionally, comprehensive glass claims for these models were 68.2% and 13.3% dollars by loss type.

“We think the increase in EyeSight in severity is likely due to fact that calibration has to be performed be-cause the cost of the windshields was the same,” said Wakeman.

The study also looked at the 2013-15 Honda Accord models with two- and four-doors. The study compared Hondas with a camera mounted behind the windshield to those without a camera mounted. “For the 4-door Honda we saw an 8% increase in frequency and an 11% increase in severity and 20% increase in overall losses,” said Wakeman. “When we looked at two-door Accords, the severity was much higher. For two-door Accords we saw a 19% increase in claim frequency, 69%n in claim severity and 102% increase in overall losses.”

Wakeman explained a possible reason the increase for the two-door model was so much higher than the four-door.

“We found the aftermarket price of a windshield for a two-door with a camera was double the price of the 4-door with a camera, Wakeman explained. “The two-door and four-door windshields from the manufacturer were the same price but for whatever reason the aftermarket price was much higher for the two-door which accounts for those increases.”

She added these are the first two vehicle models that study the impact of a camera system in glass losses. She also explained this data comes from the vehicle identification number (VIN) which shows if a model has a camera or not.

“We don’t need data from the manufacturer so that is how we were able to look at these,” she said. “And these are popular high selling vehicles so we have the data …,” said Wakeman. “So the camera and the calibration can be a contributor. I don’t know if it can explain all of it but it can be a contributor.”

The study also looked at moon-roofs in the Subaru and Honda models. For the former, there was a 5% increase in glass claims frequency, no change in severity and a 6 % in-crease in overall losses. The data for the Honda models was very similar.

“We found that the claims frequency increases a little but not when it comes to claim severity as it’s relatively easy to do a moonroof repair,” she said. “There is more glass but not much change.”

TARA TAFFERA is the editorial director for AGRR magazine. She can be reached at

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