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Senate Bill 1169 – No more Full Glass Coverage, what it means for you

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Senate Bill 1169 – No more Full Glass Coverage, what it means for you

We all know the sound. You’re driving down the freeway and “POP!” – a rock-shattered windshield.  You call your favorite insurance agency and file a glass claim. You have ‘full glass coverage’ and your windshield is replaced for free! That all may change with a bill moving through the Arizona Senate.

Sen. Karen Fann is sponsoring a bill (SB1169) to remove the requirement that insurers offer a $0 deductible for glass replacement on auto insurance policies. SB1169 would instead let insurers to charge a deductible for glass replacement. Fann says there’s too much fraud in the glass replacement industry, with small repairs being boosted to complete replacements and kickbacks being given to customers.

Arizona Auto Glass Association President and owner of a Tempe-based auto glass replacement company, Rex Altree argues that drivers will forego fixing cracked windshields that are a safety hazard if the bill passes. Also, Altree says many glass companies will go out of business and cost many jobs. Insurers can and many do charge higher premiums for the coverage.

Did you know? The 8 States that require a zero-deductible glass coverage make up 88% of the glass claims nationwide.

Here’s my take on it:

Driving around with a damaged windshield is a safety issue and its illegal. ‘Full Glass’ coverage has been around for decades and people are used to replacing their windshields for free; however, in recent years it has been a huge source of fraud costing insurance companies in Arizona millions of dollars – which in turn causes everyone’s premiums to go up.

We’ve all seen signs on the side of the road – “$100 CASH WITH INSURANCE REPLACED WINDSHIELD” or the guy at the car wash pestering you to replace your windshield.  Unfortunately, this causes many to submit glass claims when there is little or no damage to their windshield just to get some extra cash or Omaha steaks in their freezer. Many times, if glass damage is small the windshield can be repaired costing the insurance company $50 instead of $500.

Furthermore, glass companies charge auto insurance companies much more than what the ‘no glass coverage/no insurance’ rate is. One of our clients just recently replaced their windshield on their 2011 Ford Truck. The price charged to the insurance was $495.69, I called the glass company directly and was told I could get it replaced for $210. This practice causes everyone’s insurance rates to rise.

In my opinion, SB1169 will not fix this issue. Most glass replacements filed by insureds are valid and the insurance company should replace it at no charge if the insured has ‘full glass coverage’. A more reasonable bill would be one that prohibits glass companies from providing kickbacks and incentives to replace a windshield.  A bill banning rebates failed to pass last year through the Arizona State Legislature. SB1169 is in the early stages and it is unclear whether it will pass.

What do you think? Comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Mike Robertson
Owner & Licensed Agent

Disclaimer: These opinions are my own and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance carriers I represent.

 

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