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Minnesota Glass Network Closes Doors

The Minnesota Glass Network, which was originally co-founded by the Minnesota Glass Association (MGA) and the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents (MIIA), has closed, according to Mike Schmaltz, executive director of the MGA.

"It has ceased processing claims and we are wrapping up on work processed prior to close," Schmaltz says.

The network officially closed its doors in September 2008.

"Insurance agent referrals did not reach the levels needed to justify continued participation by member glass shops," Schmaltz says. "This was aggravated by slow and short payment of claims by insurers and their third-party administrators. The network was operating profitably until the end, but we were unable to deliver the benefits needed by member shops. A trend of declining claims reached a point where we knew we would begin to lose money; we had worked diligently on root issues and did not see a way to reverse the trend so we had to close."

Shops on the network were notified when the decision was made to close, Schmaltz says.

"[Member shops] were disappointed because they were excited about the possibility of developing additional new business and wished to avoid the frustration associated with third-party administrators," he adds.

Schmaltz adds that though MGA has no plans to begin another network, he is sad to see this one close.

"It is very sad to see this development, the MGA, member shops and the MIIA put a lot of time and money into the development of the program," he says. "We processed over 18,000 claims and had only two consumer complaints. Members are all AGRSS registered and the level of service was unsurpassed. The number of jobs we got simply because others didn't show when promised never ceased to surprise us. I continue to be very proud of the shops that made up the network."

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