“Strategic Partner” to NICB
Safelite’s third-party glass claims administration division, Safelite
Solutions, has become what the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
is calling its first “Strategic Partner,” according to a joint release
issued by both NICB and Safelite. “NICB has a lot of insurance company
members and a lot of those companies will look for ways to address their
claims handling, and so really it was nothing more than approaching Safelite
and looking at ways we could help each others’ businesses,” says NICB
director of public affairs Frank Scafidi. “Now if they see trends, whether
than having to go through this convoluted process of reporting back to
individual companies in terms of volume and trending, they can report
that directly to us now, assuming all the other parts in are in alignment.”
Safelite will provide the information to NICB only for its member companies.
“We couldn’t do this for a company that’s not an NICB member but is a
Safelite customer,” says Scafidi.
Scafidi says Safelite, like other NICB members, does pay a fee to engage
in the partnership.
“There is a fee or an assessment for our membership and I don’t even have
a clue what it is,” he says. “It’s a sliding scale.”
The “Strategic Partner” classification was created for companies such
as Safelite that share interests with the NICB, but don’t fit the standard
membership profile, according to Scafidi.
“Our members primarily are insurance companies within the property and
casualty industry,” he says. “So Safelite is a company that [is not an
insurer], but it does serve our membership and customer bases to work
together on fraud.”
The partnership also includes Alliance Claims Solutions of Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, which Safelite’s parent company, Belron, acquired in 2009.
According to the latest report from NICB, “questionable” auto glass claims
dropped 68 percent for first three quarters of the year, when compared
with the same period of 2010.
The group defines “questionable claims” as “claims that NICB member insurance
companies refer to NICB for closer review and investigation based upon
one or more indicators of possible fraud.”
NICB officials say they received only 659 “questionable” auto glass claims
in the first three quarters of 2011, compared with 2,036 received during
the same timeframe in 2010.
Going back to 2009, NICB says only 332 “questionable” auto glass claims
were received in its first three quarters—a 513 percent difference from
the reported 2010 surge.
Consumer Trust of Insurers is Low, According to Latest Study
Only 48 percent of consumers in both the United States and the United
Kingdom trust their insurance providers, according to a study recently
commissioned by Pitney Bowes Business Insight, a software solutions provider
for the insurance industry.
Only 41 percent of respondents reported in the study that they trust insurance
companies to do what is right, and 45 percent of customers believe that,
if they shared their problems with their insurance providers, they would
“receive a caring response,” according to the study.
When it comes to electronics, 47 percent of survey participants said they
trust self-service technologies such as e-commerce platforms and online
Fifty-three percent answered affirmatively when asked whether they feel
satisfied with the treatment they receive from their insurers, along with
the relationship in general and service provided.
The study also found that 32 percent of respondents think that their insurance
providers are doing a good job of implementing policies that favor customers’
“One of the major struggles for the insurance industry is commoditization
and customer churn,” says Bill Sinn, strategic marketing director, Pitney
Bowes Business Insight.
According to the study, the majority of consumers said they believe “improv[ed]
customer communication” is crucial for developing trust with insurers,
and some cited that higher levels of quality, clarity and transparency
would be most helpful in communications from their insurance providers.
Inside the Safelite/NICB Partnership
In light of the recently announced Safelite/NICB partnership, Safelite
spokesperson Melina Metzger provided some additional insight on the partnership
to AGRR™ magazine.
AGRR: How did this partnership come about?
Metzger (MM): Safelite Solutions’
claims investigations unit has worked with the NICB and our insurance
clients to report suspicious claims for years. With the spike in those
questionable claims last year, we began conversations with NICB to begin
to work more closely in order to provide information and investigate shops
that may be filing fraudulent claims.
AGRR: What type of information will Safelite share under the terms
of the partnership?
MM: For insurance clients that grant
permission, Safelite Solutions will share data about shops who submit
frequent questionable claims for NICB to investigate rather than funneling
that information through the client as was done in the past.
AGRR: Is there a reason the company decided to head in this direction,
rather than continuing to allow the insurers to submit the information?
MM: As a program manager for our insurance
clients, it allows for a quicker, more seamless flow of information and
places less burden on our insurance partners.
AGRR: Are you able to comment on the terms of the partnership, such
as any costs involved?
MM: We pay a membership fee like all
members of NICB.
AGRR: How would you respond to concerns from reputable shops that
are fearful that their claims information might now be shared with NICB?
MM: Reputable shops following the
law have nothing to fear. As an industry, we should benefit by seeing
a decrease in scammers who hurt our reputation.
AGRR: What types of items does Safelite look for that might make a
claim seem questionable?
MM: This is determined by our insurance
AGRR: Recent reports from NICB actually showed a drop in questionable
auto glass claims. To what would you attribute that drop?
MM: The drop in reported questionable
claims may stem from a combination of increased awareness of the consumer
as well as the various inspection programs being implemented by many insurance
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