GEICO on Wednesday reassured non-direct repair program shops they could continue to use faxes and emails instead of its vendor portal to submit supplements to the insurer.
A corporate representative cited local miscommunication about the company’s Vendor Online Services portal, which GEICO thinks will help collision repairers, for emails in two states which indicated that the insurer would cease accepting any supplements not delivered through the B2B portal.
One email from a East Coast branch of GEICO indicated such a restriction would be effective Monday. Another to a shop on the West Coast indicated such a change was coming.
Sixty percent of non-direct repair program shops already use the portal, which provides benefits like security and speed to users, Christine Tasher of GEICO’s corporate office wrote in an email Wednesday in response to our Tuesday coverage.
Tasher also recommitted GEICO’s respect for shop choice.
Here’s Tasher’s full response:
“Your recent story is not an accurate reflection of GEICO’s intended position on the handling of requested supplements.
“The B2B portal is a nationwide change in our process and it is not a requirement for body shops that are not a part of GEICO’s ARX program. We are still accepting and have always been accepting faxed or emailed supplements. The portal is simply a more secure and streamlined method to submit a supplement request for our mutual customers. We have clarified the message being communicated by some of our locations and we are encouraging everyone to take advantage of the new process.
“We believe any shop submitting a supplement request on behalf of a customer will benefit greatly by receiving an immediate acknowledgement (including the date and time of the submission) and in most cases a confirmation of the GEICO adjuster assigned to re-inspect for supplement damages. There is no communication exchange on the B2B site between GEICO and the shop regarding the supplement items. Any discussions will take place when the adjuster visits the shop and they negotiate the supplement damage request.
“I want to reiterate that this is not a mandate for body shops that are not a part of GEICO’s ARX program. Our GEICO customers will always have the right to choose a body shop of their choice and we will continue to provide the same efficient and secure method for that shop to submit a supplement request to GEICO. To date, the portal has been well received nationwide and through the second week of March, we are approaching 60% of non-GEICO ARX shops submitting supplements through the B2B site.”
Featured image: A GEICO-sponsored car races in 2011 in the Iowa Corn 250. (HodagMedia/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock file)