Ask the Doctor
by Walt Gorman
Q. I have three employees and we do nothing but repairs. I must get workmen’s compensation insurance and was shocked by the premium cost. My insurance agent inquired about this and was told that there is no separate rating classification for windshield repair, but that we are lumped together with glass installers and auto mechanics. This is not fair—what can I do?
About 12 years ago, I questioned the logic of the same situation. I persuaded the Ratings Bureau to send a representative to observe some repairs and pointed out that we do not work with large power tools, gasoline and grease, lift heavy engine components like mechanics or work with shattered glass like installers, so chances of injury are very slim and the premium should reflect this. The Ratings Bureau representative agreed that our work was more like that of a dentist than the others. However, he said that windshield repair was so new that the bureau hadn’t been able to establish a rating, but that he would share the information he’d learned and attempt to get it changed. Some weeks later, I got a letter from him restating the same excuse. I brought this matter up at a recent NWRA board of directors’ meeting and am hoping we will continue to work on it. If any readers have further information on workers’ compensation insurance that would help the NWRA’s work, please contact me.
Q. I have been doing windshield repairs since 1991 and never had to go back on a repair. My reputation for repairing windshields in my community is good, but for some reason, I can’t increase my business. I advertise—what else can I do?
I have a couple of suggestions for increasing your business. First, join the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA). Every issue of the NWRA Newsletter has columns written by industry leaders, and NWRA members receive free subscriptions to AGRR.
As an NWRA member, you are also entitled to use and distribute a computer CD-ROM titled “What Every Insurance Agent Should Know About Auto Glass Repair and Replacement.” The CD can be played on the agent’s computer in just a few minutes.
You may not get any results from the first few calls to insurance agents, but eventually they will think of you when they have a need for your service. Keep your calls succinct and you will be welcome again. If you waste the agent’s time, you will not get another interview.
Walt Gorman is the owner and founder of A-1 Windshield Doctor in Seekonk, Mass. He has 15 years experience in windshield repair and runs a training school for
technicians. E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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