Glass Networks: What you should know before you call your insurance company!

This is the first in a series of newsletters designed to inform you, the consumer, about facts you need to know BEFORE you need to have your auto glass replaced or repaired. You need to know what "Glass Networks" are and how they will affect you when the time comes that you need an auto glass replacement or repair for your car.

Glass Networks were formed originally by one company, a large national glass replacement company, that saw that insurance company's costs for processing claims for relatively small dollar amounts (to them), were disproportionately high compared to other claims. The plan unfolded like this: Go to the insurance company, one of the largest insurers, and offer to process all of their glass claims for a VERY low price. The insurance company, seeing that they could eliminate hundreds of jobs from the payroll in their claims department, was instantly very interested. The glass company, under the guise of its new identity as a claims processing company not an auto glass company in disguise, now has first contact with the insured after the insurance company themselves. In this capacity, it is financially rewarding for the claims processing company, or Glass Network, to refer an unsuspecting insured to their own national glass company's own locations. Most of the time insured does not even realize that they are no longer talking to their insurance company when in contact with a glass network, nor do they realize that they are being referred to a vendor of the glass network's choosing, for the glass network's benefit.
Why do they do this you ask?

The Glass Network, or Claims Service, depending on which side of the fence they are standing on, cannot process claims any more cost effectively than the insurer, therefore they must make their profit somewhere else; that is, business, i.e. customers, being referred to "their" own shops. However, none of the national chains of glass stores that have these networks has the number of locations necessary to provide the national coverage of all an insurance company's claims from its insured. In order to provide the national coverage, the glass networks must deal with thousands of independent shops and locations. These shops participate in these glass networks because of the real fear of customers being "referred" elsewhere to other shops if they do not agree to the terms of the Glass Network. Usually these terms include a percentage of the billing for the glass Network middleman, and also the Glass Network will charge a processing fee to write the shop a check. All this so the shop can have "access" to the customers that the shop has strived to build over the years. The insurance company sees no lower costs in the product finally billed to them. Glass Networks that are not glass companies at all have also sprung up all over the country, and these people, to make their money, MUST demand a huge discount from the shop, above and beyond the discount that shop normally gives to the insurance company, so the Glass Network can in turn mark up his bill to the insurance company to the original rate the insurance company would have received from the shop in the first place. The glass network pockets the mark up. Many times, these types of Networks will demand a full third of the bill from the shop, or attempt to steer the customer to a shop that WILL allow them their "cut or take deep discount off the usual cost" so as not to lose the customer. What must the shop that accepts these terms do to make up for this discount when they were offering the insurance company a fully competitive rate in the first place? To add insult to injury, as a result of these discounts and / or sales tax resale exemptions, hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax leaves Washington forever!

When the auto glass shop you choose will not play ball with these people, many time you-the customer, are given misinformation and half truths to get you to utilize a shop in the network, thereby stealing/earning the network the work. Tactics to confuse and intimidate you include the following:

  • Informing you that the Non-network shop is not approved to do work for you.
    (The truth is you can state law allows you to choose whom you want and they can not do anything about it.)

  • Or that "THEY" the network or insurance company, will not guarantee the Non-network shop's work.
    (Of course they don't, we do the work so we guarantee it not them!)

  • Or that the prices of the Non-network shop are too high to meet the insurer's approval, and that you may have to pay the difference!
    (We abide by all insurance pricing for any work we do, many time we have direct billing arrangements which are outside the networks knowledge. If we feel there will possibly be an extra charge you will know about it up front!)

Now as you can see all of these are misleading and untrue! These statements made by the Glass Network middleman, can cause unsuspecting customers to be falsely convinced it is to their benefit to allow their car to be repaired some where they may not really want to. Insurance companies and Glass Networks guarantee NO ONE'S WORK, and many times the non-network shop's price is LESS than what the Glass Network is charging your insurance company.

WASHINGTON STAE LAW GUARANTEES YOU YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE the repair facility of YOUR CHOICE to repair YOUR CAR. It further guarantees that you WILL NOT have to pay extra for like kind and quality motor vehicle repair!

Exercise YOUR RIGHT to choose!

Choose a facility that YOU trust to repair your car, not "recommendations" from someone who has a vested interest in seeing you go to a facility that will allow a Glass Network to make a profit in the middle and then decide how to make up the difference in the services they provide you, the car owner, in order to survive.

BE WARY of glass networks pretending to be your insurance company.

Be AWARE of the safety risks of mobile-only glass installation companies that are not located in you state. If you are not sure, call us, and we will give you the FACTS to make an informed choice. And please, choose Apex Auto Glass, Inc for all your glass needs, we are here to serve YOU, THE CUSTOMER. Our interest is in YOU, OUR CUSTOMER, FIRST AND FOREMOST.

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