ADAS: Keeping Windshield Repair and Insurance Costs Low

Auto insurance premiums have seen a surge in recent years—up 21.5 percent since 2012, according to consumer price index (CPI) figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. These stats represent one of the largest increases in a five-year span, second to the early 1990s, according to Forbes. As the automotive industry increasingly incorporates Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which can lead to higher auto glass repair and replacement costs, how can the auto insurance industry maintain lower repair costs for vehicles equipped with ADAS features?

Rupert Armitage, managing director of Auto Windscreens

Rupert Armitage, managing director of Auto Windscreens, said in a webinar hosted by the UK news source Insurance Times that the industry needs to set a recalibration standard first and foremost. “I think as soon as the industry accepts the fact that if we have a standard and not 15 or 20 or 30 different ways of trying to recalibrate … I think we’ll be able to put a handle on the costs, at least in the initial stages.”

But one of the main risks insurers face when it comes to recalibrating windshields is the event in which the process wasn’t performed correctly. When a recalibration isn’t done properly, no warning signals alert the driver that a feature may not be working as it should. In addition, some manufacturers have different recalibration requirements for different makes and models, which can make the recalibration harder and more time-consuming for the technician.

“We approach this whole project from the point of view of the liability of ourselves, the insurer and, obviously, the safety of the customer which, ultimately, these ADAS features have to bring to the vehicle on their journey. With that in mind, we … approached the manufacturers assigning individual dealers only … simply because I didn’t want one of our technicians actually signing off on a recalibration that somebody’s vehicle is safe and then, God forbid, an accident occurs because that customer is relying on one of the systems in that vehicle, which, in fact has not been recalibrated correctly,” Armitage said. “The whole landscape of ADAS is moving so quickly … the only way that we felt we could give a 100-percent solution to this whole issue is by signing up with the manufacturers because clearly they will have the most up-to-date data which … is ever-changing.”

Armitage points out that one of the biggest issues customers and insurers are facing with windshield repair and recalibration is that some of the aftermarket recalibration systems that are being used throughout the market are unable to recalibrate certain vehicles to the manufacturer’s specification. “In that case, you’re then seeing the customer being affectively cut loose to arrange the windscreen repair and recalibration through the dealership where, in the majority of cases, they will have to pay for that recalibration and replacement up front, and then recoup the costs from the insurer, which, obviously, is not a very satisfactory claims journey for the customer or the insurer who won’t actually know the cost at all, or indeed that there might be a claim.”

Armitage added that Auto Windscreens handles the entire process, from purchasing the replacement glass to the recalibration, and the dealership or manufacturer bills them directly. This ensures the insurer will only receive one invoice in the case that the vehicle does need a recalibration.

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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3 Responses to ADAS: Keeping Windshield Repair and Insurance Costs Low

  1. Suhas Gurumurthy says:

    ADAS is “advanced driver assistance system” and not “automated”. We aren’t changing the industry norms/definitions are we?

  2. al says:

    I have a question who pays me for taking the time to set up the appointment at the dealership? who pays me for the travel time to go to the dealership to have recalibrated?
    who pays me for the extra accounts payable that I must deal with paying the dealer ships? who pays us for the cost of getting the approvals from the insurance companies? they allow $0.00 markup. who reimburses us for the all the phone calls, sending proof of purchases ect…. then after I have paid for the glass, moldings, calibrations, urethane, labor, fuel, and everything else I get to set back and wait for a payment that might get here in the next 45 days. tell me does anybody else feel the squeeze., do more make less all liability on the installer its a damn shame it used to be a good business to be in. I just don’t know anymore. it has to stop. I have a job to do for one of the networks Monday if it wasn’t for the fact the is one of my commercial accounts id tell them where to shove it. here are the discounts 62% off nags flat 50 labor 15 for urethane. some might think im just a newbie and don’t understand the glass business. let me tell ya i’ve been in the glass industry more than 35 years and it keeps going further in the tubes each year. don’t know why anybody would want to get in this business

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