GEICO Warns Calif. Consumers on Repair Companies

September 28, 2004

If one’s car windshield has any small glass chips or cracks, be careful about where it is taken to be fixed. That is the warning put out by GEICO to avoid potential costly problems.

GEICO’s Regional Vice President Nancy Pierce in San Diego is alerting policyholders and consumers in the California area about fraudulent glass repair shops – frequently set up in malls, county fairs, local car wash operations – that are taking advantage of people.

Fraudulent glass companies often operate by doing improper repairs,
causing cracks or chips to ultimately spread. This may necessitate the replacement of entire windshields and windows if repairs aren’t done correctly.

GEICO considers these practices a form of fraud as policyholders turn in claims for inflated glass repairs by companies who knowingly make improper glass repairs. GEICO works with local police units to identify fraudulent glass repairers.

“We’re particularly concerned about the potential safety hazard for our
policyholders and for consumers,” Steve Rutzebeck, GEICO’s director of claims security, Special Investigative Unit said. “We know that many of these fraudulent companies do not take the time to install the replacement glass properly. That’s why we take fraudulent auto glass repair seriously and why we vigorously investigate questionable glass claims.”

GEICO’s policy is to repair small glass chips and cracks at no cost to
policyholders with comprehensive coverage. In most cases GEICO will reportedly provide a free, safe, quality repair at the policyholder’s home or workplace.

“We need to make sure that our customers are well educated on the
practices of these shops,” Suzanne Worthen, GEICO’s general manager for centralized services, added. “They should always contact their insurance company first before letting anyone repair their vehicle.”

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