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July/August 2003

Insurance Talk
   
policy briefs

State Farm Issues New Offer & Acceptance Prices

In response to a recent price increase by National Auto Glass Specifications International (NAGS), State Farm has decreased the prices on its Offer and Acceptance (O&A) Program, effective immediately. The pricing change is shown to the right. 

At press time, Allstate was expected to follow suit by changing its windshield pricing to 62 percent off in A markets, 61 percent in B, 55 percent in C and 47 percent in D markets.
Bruce Bielecki, sales manager for Auto Glass Specialists (AGS) in Madison, Wis., said the increase of “R” parts (see "NAGS Notes" for related story) has had a greater effect than the latest State Farm changes, though.

“The net affect of State Farm’s latest discount adjustment against the recent NAGS change was nominal in terms of AGS’ average revenue per job,” Bielecki said. “However with the growth of “R” parts, the increases in employee wages and benefits and the reluctance by insurance companies to increase labor rates, the overall impact is reduced margins to the glass vendor. Margin depreciation is the number-one financial issue plaguing our industry.”

State Farm’s Pricing Change

Glass Product
and
Market Area 
Q & A
5-7-02
Q & A
5-12-03
NAGS point
change
Percentage 
change in price
Windshield A 59% 61% +2 NAGS pts. 4.8% decrease
Windshield B 48% 53% +5 NAGS pts. 9.6% decrease
Windshield C 38% 41% +3 NAGS pts. 4.8% decrease
Windshield D 29% 32% +3 NAGS pts. 4.2% decrease
Windshield E 18% 20% +2 NAGS pts. 2.4% decrease
Tempered A 59% 60% +1 NAGS pt. 2.4% decrease
Tempered B 51% 52% +1 NAGS pt. 2.0% decrease
Tempered C 45% 44% -1 NAGS pt. 1.8% increase
Tempered D 39% 38% -1 NAGS pt. 1.6% increase
Tempered E 33% 32% -1 NAGS pt. 1.5% increase
Source: Independent Glass Association



Anti-Steering Bill Passed by California Senate Insurance Committee
California Senate Bill 551 (SB 551), introduced by Sen. Jackie Speier, was passed by the California Senate's Insurance Committee in a May 7 vote. 

If passed by the House as well, SB 551 will "codify existing regulation that prohibits an insurer from 'steering' insureds or claimants to a particular automotive repair dealer and would provide civil remedies for violators of the act."

North Carolina House Passes Crash Parts Bill
On May 12, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed the Motor Vehicle Parts Bill, which prohibits an insurer from authorizing or requiring the use of non-original crash parts for motor vehicle repairs without the consent of the insured or claimant, according to Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT. The bill was introduced by Rep. Nelson Cole 
D-Reidsville and had been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce at press time. 

Texas Insurer-Owned Repair Bill 
Passes Senate; Awaits Governor’s Approval

The Texas Senate voted unanimously recently to pass House Bill (HB) 1131, which could ban ownership of repair shops by insurance companies. Last month, the Texas House of Representatives passed HB 1131 by a voice vote. The bill now awaits Gov. Rick Perry's signature. If signed, the bill will take effect on September 1, 2003. 

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has been working with a coalition of auto repair groups in Texas, including the Texas Glass Association, for passage of this legislation. 

“ASA commends the Texas legislature for drawing a clear line in defense of the Texas motoring public and the small business community," said Bob Redding, ASA's representative in Washington, D.C.

If the resolution is signed, insurer-owned shops already in place will be allowed to remain in business so long as they meet certain criteria detailed in the legislation. The legislation came about as a result of Allstate Insurance Co.'s purchase of Sterling Autobody, and the company's attempt to open a shop in Texas. 

AGRR

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