Insurance Actions (49)
State Farm has announced that it is officially recognizing the I-CAR Platinum Individual training program for its auto claim employees.
"Industry education and professional designation programs help ensure our people have continuous and intentional learning opportunities through development that supports our commitment to our customers," said State Farm Claims Consultant Chris Evans.
More than half of State Farm's technical field staff have already attained the Platinum Individual designation, says Evans.
"Recognition of professional development programs is consistent with our intent to develop the best claim professionals," he said. "The rapid pace of changes in automotive technology makes it even more valuable for our staff to have the opportunity to participate in industry-recognized training and professional designation programs."
Added John S. Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO and president, "We're pleased to work with State Farm on their Platinum initiative and believe that I-CAR training will provide tremendous value in their day-to-day work, both for State Farm and for the repair industry as a whole."
Mike Causey, a former Autobody News columnist, advocate and lobbyist for auto body associations in the Southeast has earned the Republican nomination for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner.
Causey ran for the office previously and once served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA). He was a registered lobbyist in North Carolina for the IABA, the North Carolina Autobody and Glass Association, and the Automotive Service Association of North Carolina.
He defeated Richard Morgan in a July 17 runoff election for the nomination, earning 57 percent of the vote.
Causey ran as the Republican nominee against former Democratic Insurance Commissioner Jim Long in 2000. He was defeated when Long captured 57 percent of the vote.
In a newspaper interview with the Beaufort Observer in January of this year, Causey said, "One of the main reasons I'm running is that I want to help people who are having problems with insurance companies."
Causey has a website to support his campaign: www.gocausey.com
Ford and State Farm Insurance announced that they have established an agreement that could offer lower insurance premiums to Ford drivers.
Owners of Ford vehicles can now choose to have their actual mileage reported automatically to State Farm using Ford’s SYNC technology as part of State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save insurance model.
The new program, which will initially launch in Utah before rolling out to other U.S. states, allows State Farm customers with select SYNC-equipped Ford vehicles to reduce their auto insurance premiums by using the Vehicle Health Report feature to report their mileage, Ford said.
Ford SYNC, a standard feature available on Ford’s 2009 and newer model vehicles, is an in-car connectivity system that provides drivers with the ability to voice command and control their mobile devices—such as cell phones and MP3 players—and provides services including 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report.
Ford said Vehicle Health Report is a standard, no-subscription vehicle feature that allows owners to request diagnostic reports about their vehicle’s performance and maintenance needs. Ford said Vehicle Health Report pulls the odometer reading directly from the vehicle engine’s computer. The mileage from the report is considered verified and can be shared with State Farm representatives to qualify the vehicle for Drive Safe & Save.
“We’re very pleased to be working with State Farm to lower the cost of vehicle ownership for the three million Ford SYNC owners who are driving vehicles with the Vehicle Health Report feature,” said Doug VanDagens, connected services global director for Ford. “SYNC Vehicle Health Report is free for the life of the vehicle, so our customers can qualify for insurance discounts without having to pay a monthly subscription.”
Ford said the magnitude of savings for drivers will be determined by the number of miles they drive. Individuals who enroll in the program will initially save roughly 5 percent on their auto insurance coverage. The amount of premium savings will be determined at each policy renewal date based on the number of miles driven during that period.
Ford said people who drive the national average of 1,000 miles per month will typically save about 10 percent on insurance premiums, and low-mileage drivers could save up to 40 percent.
“We’re excited to have Ford as a partner in this effort,” said Mike Wey, senior vice president of State Farm. “State Farm is always looking for better ways to serve our customers.”
A study finds that police are more likely to pull drivers over in Nevada, Georgia and Alabama.
The National Motorists Association studied the phenomenon by using Google's Insights for search. Google Insights indicates the relative popularity (based on a 100-point scale) of ticket-related search terms in a particular geographical area—in this case, each state. The scores were calculated by averaging the relative popularity of numerous, related search terms for the states and cities shown.
State Farm’s latest entry into the parts business is more threatening, robust and all consuming than anything attempted in the past. In my opinion, this program will destroy the OEM list price, funnel all of the shop and dealers confidential pricing, discount and profit information to the insurer, undermine the OEM parts distribution network, wipe out thousands of OEM wholesale parts dealers, give control of parts pricing to State Farm and other insurers, and eventually eliminate the shops profit on parts. The shop’s and OE wholesale parts dealer’s survival is now in serious peril. This is a crisis of unequaled proportions. And, that prediction is mild compared to my worst fears!
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CARSTAR announced March 21 that it has named three new members to its Insurance Relations Committee to help strengthen the lines of communication on the insurance issues facing the company and its shop owners.
The CARSTAR Insurance Relations Committee is a subcommittee of the Advisory Board, which is composed of franchisees who meet at least quarterly with the CARSTAR Insurance Relations Department to discuss store and industry insurance issues. This committee provides insight around the annual CARSTAR conference, industry issues (parts, CSI, refinish, rental, etc.), direct repair program management, aggregated performance numbers, concession based agreements and more, according to CARSTAR.
Joining the CARSTAR Insurance Relations Committee as new members are:
• Doug Pike, Pike’s CARSTAR Collision in Madison, OH
• Heath Harris, Steve’s CARSTAR Auto Body in Arnold, MO
• Sheri Johnson, ACS CARSTAR in Naples, FL
Returning to the CARSTAR Insurance Relations Committee are:
• Scott Hotalen, Vice Chair, Stanton’s CARSTAR in Binghamton, NY
• Dan Young, Co-Chair, CARSTAR Corporate in Overland Park, KS
• Doug Kelly, Collision Automotive CARSTAR in E. Hartford, CN
• Lynnette Greenemeier, Highland CARSTAR Auto Body in Denver, CO
• Corey Liss, Liss CARSTAR Collision in Crown Point, IN
• Jeff Middleton, Exhibition Automotive CARSTAR in Kent, WA
“We thank all of our Insurance Relations Committee members for their service and support that benefit all CARSTAR independent store owners,” said Dan Young, senior VP of Insurance Relations of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “It is important to have an open line of communication between the CARSTAR leadership team and the independent store owner as we work with our national insurance partners. They contribute a tremendous amount of time and intellectual capital helping lead and grow this organization. ”
In recent months, two of the most popular Mexican destinations for US and Canadian tourists have passed new laws requiring drivers to carry auto liability insurance at all times. Baja California Norte (home of destinations such as Tijuana, Ensenada, Rosarito, and San Felipe) and Jalisco (home of destinations such as Guadalajara, Lake Chapala, and Puerto Vallarta) have passed laws requiring that all drivers carry liability insurance. Other states have had similar mandatory auto liability insurance laws in place for some time.
Derek Kartchner, Vice President of Business Development for http://www.mexpro.com said, “We feel this is a good step towards solving a huge problem; whether in the US or in Mexico uninsured drivers create an unneeded burden at the time of an accident, and cost all drivers more. We applaud the states that have taken steps towards alleviating the number of uninsured drivers in Mexico, and encourage other states to do the same.”
Jim Labelle, CEO of IIG said, “While this is an important law, we would also urge our customers to ensure they are protecting their own interests. Not only should visitors to Mexico purchase Mexico Auto Liability coverage, but also Comprehensive and Collision coverage. We encourage all of our customers who drive to Mexico to obtain a similar level of coverage in Mexico that they carry in the USA or Canada."
Labelle's firm has insured over 1 million US and Canadian plated vehicles since launching its website a little over ten years ago. Visitors to Mexico can purchase and print their policies in real time on http://www.mexpro.com. All policies sold on the site meet the new state requirements, and many other optional coverages are available to ensure that consumers are properly covered when driving in Mexico.
For more information about these laws or to purchase a Mexico Auto Insurance policy visit http://www.mexpro.com or call 1- 888-467-4639.
ASA asks Florida repair shop owners to contact their state senators in opposition
Florida Senate Bill 540, the companion bill to Florida House Bill 885, is set to be taken up in the Senate in the near future. Florida H.B. 885 passed the House with language that eliminates the current 80 percent threshold for a total-loss vehicle to receive a certificate of destruction – which would allow potentially unsafe vehicles to be branded as “repairable” and put back on the roads. The language in H.B. 885 could potentially be added to S.B. 540.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes legislation that would eliminate the certificate of destruction for severely damaged vehicles and would oppose any possible related amendments to S.B. 540 that would include this language.
The Automotive Service Association asks Florida repair shop owners to go to ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com to send a letter to their senators opposing any amendment to S.B. 540 that includes language to eliminate the current 80 percent threshold for a total-loss vehicle.
Mitchell has announced the immediate availability of Claims Triage, a technology solution created specifically to streamline resource allocation decision-making for physical damage claims. Claims Triage allows insurance carriers to determine the most efficient resource for an assignment at First Notice of Loss (FNOL), thereby improving customer satisfaction by accelerating claims settlement.
"Mitchell is continuously striving to improve the insurance claims experience with the most innovative solutions, driven by our data-centric approach to high performance claims management," said Paul Rosenstein, Vice President for Mitchell. "Claims Triage is another compelling example of our commitment to serving the unique property claims needs of our insurance clients."
Claims Triage eliminates assignment guesswork by defining questions and criteria around the status of the vehicle. This permits claims representatives to consistently route the assignment to the best resource for timely and accurate completion. WorkCenter simplifies the process of configuring the questions by providing a user interface that permits any authorized insurance user to update or change the questionnaire within minutes-eliminating the manual changes that are typically required when handling FNOL within a claims management system.
Claims Triage is fully integrated within Mitchell WorkCenter™, an open, modular, and end-to-end physical damage claims settlement solution that powers all of an insurer's physical damage claims processing needs including dispatch, appraisal, total loss, repair management, review and customer satisfaction reporting. To learn more, please go to Mitchell.com/WorkCenter.
A scientific report issued by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration predicts that the Louisiana coast could see about 3 feet of sea level rise along the already low and vulnerable Louisiana coast by 2100 — a prediction that leaves this Cajun coast drowning and under siege from storm surge for decades to come.
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The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s (PCI) said auto body legislation would be one of its key priorities for 2012. PCI said it anticipates the major auto body repair and glass issues for 2012 will involve aftermarket parts, labor rates, steering and estimating systems. To help control costs and promote customer service, PCI said it will oppose legislative efforts that would restrict insurers’ ability to make recommendations or suggestions to consumers on individual repair facilities or that would impede insurers’ ability to manage the claim repair process and control costs on behalf of consumers.
“PCI is committed to advancing a pro- consumer agenda that supports healthy, competitive insurance markets across the nation,” said Paul Blume, senior vice president of state government relations for PCI.
“In these tough economic times consumers are best served by measures that address the cost drivers of insurance and provide individuals with choices. Our agenda will also help modernize state regulatory environments and improve insurance marketplaces.”
In addition to auto body legislation, other priorities include protecting and promoting the viability of a competitive private insurance market, curbing fraud and abuse in several no- fault auto insurance systems, addressing auto body repair and coastal property insurance issues, as well as advancing cost containment measures in state workers compensation systems. In addition, PCI anticipates credit-based insurance scoring and tort reform to once again be legislative issues during 2012.
PCI said it made significant progress at the state, federal, and international levels last year on many issues, despite facing an anemic economy, increasing political and regulatory pressures, and historic natural disasters. Looking forward to 2012, PCI said it anticipates facing many of these issues again, with the additional challenge of advancing its advocacy agenda during a watershed presidential election year.