The windshield has become an integral part of the vehicle’s safety system. It is not a place to cut corners when a windshield needs to be replaced...Rick Rosar, President of Rapid Glass
Minneapolis, Minnesota (PRWEB) April 12, 2012
On Monday, April 9, 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals (No. A11-1492) issued an opinion affirming an arbitration award in favor of Minnesota based auto glass replacement company Rapid Glass and against Progressive Insurance. The court upheld a determination by an arbitrator that Progressive had underpaid Rapid Glass more than $150,000 for glass replacements. Progressive has lost multiple arbitration's over the last few years, as different arbitrators have concluded that Progressive’s glass reimbursement program does not satisfy the obligations contained in its insurance policies.
The central issue at the arbitration leading up to this case was whether the charges submitted by Rapid Glass were fair, reasonable and competitive within the local industry at large. The arbitrator considered evidence presented by both sides regarding the factors to be considered in evaluating pricing, ultimately awarding Rapid Glass a total of $157,851.46 for the underpaid and unpaid claims.
Progressive then brought an unsuccessful motion in district court to vacate the arbitration award contending that the focus should not be on Rapid Glass’s pricing but rather on Progressive’s reimbursement. When the district court rejected Progressive’s request to vacate the award, Progressive took an appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
As it had at the district court, Progressive argued to the court of appeals that, as long as they paid an amount that was within a range of reasonableness under the policy, it was obligated to pay nothing more, even if the claim that was submitted by or on behalf of its policyholder was also reasonable. At its core, Progressive’s position in seeking to set aside the arbitration award was that it had the ability to reject reasonable claims.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed with that position, noting that this same argument was squarely rejected by another appeals court decision in Garlyn, Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance, N.W.2d , 2012 WL 987321, at *3 (Minn. App. Mar. 26, 2012). Auto-Owners, like Progressive, are an insurance company that has lost to Minnesota glass companies several times in arbitration. The appeals court noted that, based on a plain reading of Progressive’s policy, there is no merit to Progressive’s assertion that they are only required to pay the lowest reasonable amount.
Chuck Lloyd, the Minneapolis attorney who represented Rapid Glass throughout this proceeding, said “the position asserted by Progressive in both the arbitration and in its subsequent appeals, that it did not have to pay reasonable claims, defies common sense. You certainly don’t see Progressive advertising that aspect of the claims experience. It is certainly not surprising that the courts have said that such a position is not defensible.”
Rick Rosar, president of Rapid Glass, said in response to the court’s opinion: “We are gratified by the fact that the court of appeals has affirmed an arbitration award that concludes that Progressive dramatically underpaid our company for the quality auto glass replacement service we provide. The windshield has become an integral part of the vehicle’s safety system. It is not a place to cut corners when a windshield needs to be replaced. We will continue to provide quality service and charge reasonable prices for that service.”
Progressive now has thirty days to seek review by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Such review is discretionary and is rarely granted.
For 25 years, Rapid Glass has been one of Minnesota’s premier Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair Specialists. We provide Quality Same Day Service for all of your Auto, Home or Business Glass needs. Our Customer Service representatives are friendly, knowledgeable and will handle all the paperwork and assist the customer with reporting their loss to ensure they are getting the full benefit that their insurance policy provides.