SB 1169, a bill designed to remove zero deductible glass coverage from Arizona policy holders has died for the time being. Republican Senator of Prescott Karen Fann introduced the bill as a means to thwart what insurance companies are calling over-utilization and fraud regarding windshield replacements.
Senator Fann was interviewed on KTAR during Darin Damme’s Reality Check, where she apparently had to be reminded that a significant portion of her campaigns funding came from the Insurance lobby, according to the interview.
You can find the link to the podcast here, the bit on auto glass begins around the 6 minute mark.
Is it a stretch to think that someone with a vested interest in obtaining and maintaining campaign contributions from the insurance lobby would over-utilize words like fraud when describing Arizona’s windshield replacement and repair market? Does removing zero deductible increase the bottom line for insurance companies?
As a small business operating in this market, the F word is flat out bad for business. We applaud the organizations designed to tackle evildoers, like the Arizona Department of insurance, that recently arrested a glass shop owner for filing illegitimate claims and participating in identity theft.
The removal of zero deductible wouldn’t just be bad for business, it would be bad for the consumer. If you’ve driven on the freeways in Arizona for any significant amount of time you might notice that rocks being kicked up are a fairly common occurrence.
As Arizona laws are written, it is a ticket-able offense to drive with a cracked windshield. With the cost of windshields generally increasing and with many newer models of vehicles requiring calibration at a dealership after install, the cost to repair ones windshield is an added burden on the consumer.
Often times we hear that zero deductible is the elephant adding to increased insurance premiums. According to the National Highway Safety Council, 1 in 4 accidents in the US are caused by texting and that 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
In Arizona, we can’t really control the amount of rocks flying at our windshield, but we can limit our texting. Another one of Senator Fann’s bills is aimed at teenagers operating their cell phones while driving. This provision would benefit the consumer and likely lead to a reduction in casualties and fatalities on the road.
But forcing the consumer to pay out of pocket for their windshield breaking, which is most often out of their control, will not have long term positive effects for policy holders.
At Cash Back Auto Glass, we advocate on behalf of consumers and small businesses. We offer cash back not as a means to harvest claims or induce fraud, but as a means for acquiring new customers. We don’t have robust advertising campaigns, million dollar televised commercial budgets, or a PR firm to advocate our principals for doing business. We offer modest rebates to remain competitive and rely on word-of-mouth from our customers.