New Offer & Acceptance Language Regarding Insignia/Logo Glass Took Two Years to Develop, Says LYNX Representative
May 15, 2009

The recent addition to the State Farm Offer and Acceptance Agreement (O&A) language took two years for the Bloomington, Ill.-based insurer to develop in conjunction with LYNX Services, according to Paul McFarland, director, programs administration, for the glass claims administrator.

McFarland (right) participated in the IGA's town hall meeting yesterday on a panel with members of the IGA Board, including Bryan Yarborough (left).

"It's a big change and State Farm recognizes that it's a big change," he told attendees at the Independents' Days Conference. McFarland noted that the actual change to the State Farm policy was implemented at the same time as the company stopped waiving deductibles for windshield repair, but only recently announced the change to program participants and began enforcing it.

McFarland compared the program to many health insurance programs that only pay for "generic" prescriptions-and policyholders may upgrade to insignia/logo glass, as long as they're willing to pay the difference. McFarland also clarified the policy a bit.

"State Farm will pay for NAGS published list price parts according to your program agreement," he said. "What State Farm won't pay for is the Ford part number [when there isn't an associated NAGS number]."

He also noted exceptions include cases in which there is no NAGS part, or cases in which the company has records of a mechanical issue with a particular NAGS part. LYNX keeps a database of these issues, which McFarland said he would look into making open to O&A participants.

"If you have a situation where there's a mechanical issue, those are the kinds of things we need to trace back to a NAGS part and place in our database," McFarland said. Bob Beranek of Automotive Glass Consultants pointed out that one particular issue he's found is that rain sensors in luxury cars don't always work properly with generic replacement glass. McFarland said that he believe this issue is included in the database in some form, though he said that there are no fit or quality issues listed in the database of which he's aware.

"That's always a challenge you [glass shop owners] have-buying good, quality parts from reputable manufacturers," he said.

After several attendees noted particular repeated fit issues they've had, McFarland said they should let LYNX Services know about these as they encounter them.

"If you run into the same situation multiple times, we'd love to know about it," he said. "We're as starved for information as you are."

Ultimately, though, McFarland said that despite all the questions and confusion regarding the recent implementation of the logo glass change, the consumer does have the option of paying the additional costs involved in having logo/insignia glass installed.

"Remember, the vehicle owner is the ultimate consumer who decides what glass they want in their vehicle," he said.

Many still say, though, it comes back to the glass shop to relay this change to the customer, who isn't always going to be happy about this policy.

"We just try to be the customer's advocate and just let State Farm and LYNX take the heat for a policy that's not very popular," said IGA board member Bryan Yarborough of Glass Doctor of Tampa.

Several attendees expressed frustration with the change.

One suggested that an OE rider—so that the consumer could make an "add-on" to his insurance policy so that State Farm would pay in full for insignia logo glass-might be an answer.

"They added no room for flexibility," said Raymond Jones of Absolute Glass Inc. in Columbia, S.C. "It's like they just threw the gauntlet down and said 'there it is.'"

Another issue brought forth was what happens when the part with a NAGS number isn't available—and how that might be proved to LYNX.

"Field support does have the ability to check Pittsburgh Glass Works' inventory," McFarland responded. "It's a pretty good representation of availability."

One attendee questioned whether State Farm might pay for shipping on a NAGS part that has to be shipped, when logo glass is available locally.

"Historically, it probably wouldn't have been authorized, but that's something I'll talk to State Farm about," McFarland said.

McFarland's discussion was a last-minute addition to the conference. State Farm representatives originally were supposed to provide a session on the new policy, but cancelled their plans to attend based on the outbreak of the H1N1 (swine) flu and a company-wide restriction on travel. In addition, the scheduled tour of LYNX Services also was cancelled due to the swine flu and concerns that attendees coming from all over the nation might have been in contact with the illness and might transmit it to LYNX employees.

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