Field of Vision March/April 2021

Insurance: Why Do You Deal?

By Tara Taffera

The headline in this column is a rhetorical question. But if shops had to answer perhaps the reason would simply be, “Because I have to.”

I wrote an article recently about the issues some shops have getting paid for COVID-19 sanitation fees, and wow, did I receive a ton of comments after that ran on our daily e-news service The floodgates opened and shop owners wanted to share their frustrations. And it’s not like they haven’t voiced them before, but it seems to be getting worse.

Peter Brown, president of Tiny and Sons in Pembroke, Mass., told me he is now having some issues getting paid for calibrations. “Ninety- percent of the time it’s covered,” said Brown. “We aren’t getting full price but every once in a while they will flat out refuse, for no reason, and it takes us a good two weeks of fighting for them to approve it.”

One of the reasons he shares these details is because he feels for what small shops in the same situation are enduring. He’s not blaming the networks, necessarily.

“I don’t think it’s intentional,” he said. “They have people they are using who have no idea what auto glass replacement is.

They are just pushing info in a system, while the more experienced claims person has 500 jobs to deal with.”

He added that the TPA’s are paying extremely slow—sometimes taking 90 to 120 days, and asking him to resubmit documents they already have. “Sometimes this happens two to three times before we are able to get a supervisor to intervene,” said Brown. “This is very
frustrating, especially when some of those parts are prepaid.”

“When I get the right person it’s fine,” he added. “But if you don’t have the knowledge or tenacity you won’t get paid.”

You know what else you need? Staff.

Another person I have been corresponding with frequently is Augie DeFeo, the founder and CEO at Competition Glass in Port, Washington, N.Y. You know when Augie has time to talk to me? Weekdays after 6:30 p.m. or on Saturday. He doesn’t have anyone in the office to do claims so that’s what he does on the weekends, then on Monday he starts the cycle anew.

“I have five people in my office just to do claims,” said Brown. “It now takes eight to 10 calls and 30 emails to get one job done.”

I have more stories, but ran out of space so will save them for next time. That alone says something, so stay tuned.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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