Windshield Replacement Fraud: Scam Alert

January 6th, 2011
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Cracked windshield

Has a stranger approached you insisting they can replace your windshield for free, educating you that within your given state your insurance provider must replace your windshield with no cost to you?  The sales man insists, no matter the severity of the damaged windshield, it is subject to replacement at no cost to you.  Alert! You are most likely a victim of windshield replacement fraud.

Thousands of companies around the United States are convincing drivers to replace their windshields, whether they are in good condition or not, and billing their insurance providers.  In relation to many comprehensive insurance policies, the glass replacement companies are correct in one sense.  Insurance companies may be required to replace a damaged windshield in order to protect their clients from possible harm.  The problem is, the glass replacement companies are replacing windshields with a 3rd party aftermarket glass product, a significantly lower grade windshield and billing insurance companies for the expensive quality windshields.

So, how big is this windshield replacement fraud situation? State Farm estimated insurance fraud as a whole is a $30 billion a year problem, with numbers rising annually.  In 2009, State Farm conducted a study reviewing 117 policyholder’s windshields, resulting in 66 cases of the aftermarket glass being installed in place of the quality glass.

Although, the problem is on a national scale, states with no-fault insurance standards are seeing a noticeably large increase in such fraudulent claims.  Start-up companies are hiring individuals as sales representatives and offering $45 or more for each windshield replacement referral.  With Florida in an outcry for labor, with an unemployment rate of 11.9%, individuals are desperate for money and are going to extreme measuring to acquire their $45 sales referral.  A woman in Hernando Country was arrested for damaging windshields and later approaching individuals for the replacement.

Auto glass replacement companies that are involved in such cases of replacing drivers windshields with cheap glass and billing the insurance companies for an expensive windshield are committing a certain level of theft and insurance fraud. Investigators across the country are reviewing such companies and plan to take action in reducing the cases of fraud within the country, relating to insurance claims.

Insurance fraud is not only costing insurance providers billions of dollars, customers are noticing an increase in their premiums due to the fraudulent charges.  The average household pays up to $300 a year in addition to their premiums due to fraud.

To avoid becoming a victim of insurance fraud, contact your insurance provider in the event of a windshield replacement. Insurance providers can provide you with a list of respectable mechanics and glass companies. Visit www.autocricket.com to learn more about insurance frauds.

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