It's a question that takes many forms and one that we hear a lot at Delta Kits. Where can I get a list of all the insurance companies? How do I submit a claim? How do I find “the networks”? While billing insurance companies for their customer's repairs is pretty straight forward, getting your company set up to handling insurance billing can seem a bit overwhelming.
The first thing to know is that the vast majority of insurance companies subcontract their auto glass claims to Third Party Administrators (TPA). So when you call the claims number on the back of your customer's insurance card and indicate you have a glass claim, you are transferred to the contracted TPA.
These TPAs currently include Harmon Solutions Group, Gerber National, Lynx Services, and Safelite Solutions Network. Safelite Solutions Network is owned and operated by Safelite Glass Corp. There are other TPAs as well but these four handle the vast majority of auto glass claims in the USA.
There are several ways to handle billing for the customer who does not want any out-of-pocket expense. The easiest for you is to simply provide the customer with an invoice that they can submit to their insurance company for reimbursement. However, this is not always the most convenient for your customers. They may want you to take care of the paperwork leaving you with two options: 1- You can hire a company to handle the claims for you, or 2- you can register with the TPAs and submit claims directly.
It's important to know that if you decide to work either directly or indirectly with TPAs, your business will need to carry at least $500,000 in general business liability insurance. Because every business is different, you should talk with an insurance agent that can recommend the appropriate amount of coverage for your unique financial situation.
Hiring a company to submit your claims through an Electronic Data Interchange or EDI, a preferred method, makes the setup easier and depending on the level of service you desire, pricing starts at around two dollars per claim and goes up from there. There are many companies that will provide this service for you, so shop around and find the one that's a good fit for your business.
If you decide to register with the TPAs, you will need to apply individually with each one. Check Delta Kits' website for current links and other basic information. There is some information you will want to have on hand before you start completing the applications:
- Your current certificate of liability insurance
- A fax number
- An e-mail address
- W-9 Form (tax identification number) from the IRS
- For the Safelite Solutions Network (formerly the SGC Network), a photograph of your business vehicle showing the company name or logo.
Other questions you will want to consider, if you haven't already, are your hours of operation and service area if offering mobile repairs. Having all of this information handy will smooth out the application process and allow you to get it all done in one sitting.
Once your application has been accepted, you will receive a confirmation with your shop number and the set prices the insurance company will pay for windshield repair services. These rates are rarely negotiable, and you will be asked if you agree to the pricing each time you start a claim.
To start the claim process, call the claim number on the back of your customer’s insurance card. After you provide basic information such as the VIN, size and location of damage, date of loss, etc., you will be issued a claim authorization number if windshield repair is covered by their insurance company. Not all companies cover auto glass repair, and those that do only cover repairs if the vehicle has comprehensive coverage. Liability only policies do not cover repair of any damage to the insured vehicle.
Delta Kits has an invoice template that you can use as the basis for your invoices and when filled out completely, will have all the answers you need when calling a TPA. (You can get the template by calling us at 800-548-8332 .)
After receiving the authorization number and completing the repair the invoice can be submitted either online, by fax or by EDI. The wait to receive payment for the repair will range from a little as six days up to thirty days depending on the insurance company and TPA, but on average you can expect payment in about 21 days.
Insurance billing should be considered as it is a convenience to your customer and a service that your competition is likely to be offering. Happy billing!