GEICO lawsuit against glass company prompts 2 questions to FL Supreme Court

In a legal dispute between Glassco Auto Glass and GEICO, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has deferred judgment, sending the case to Florida’s Supreme Court. Glassco filed a lawsuit against GEICO in 2019, alleging that the insurer consistently underpaid claims for auto glass repairs between 2016 and 2019. The dispute centered on GEICO’s use of the National Auto Glass Specifications (NAGS) for payment calculations, leading Glassco to claim $700,000 in unpaid differences. While the district court ruled in favor of Glassco on various counts, GEICO countered in federal court, citing Glassco’s alleged violations of Florida’s Repair Act. The 11th Circuit’s decision to involve the state’s Supreme Court revolves around key legal questions regarding written repair estimates and the voiding of repair invoices due to Repair Act violations.

This legal battle is part of a broader issue in Florida’s auto glass industry, where a surge in lawsuits has occurred. More than 46,000 auto glass lawsuits were filed in the state in 2023, with a substantial increase attributed to the practice of shops soliciting repairs and subsequently billing insurers for inflated amounts. Recent legislative changes, such as the glass repair bill signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, aim to address the problem by eliminating the assignment of benefits (AOB) on insurance claims related to auto glass repairs. Despite these changes, challenges persist, and the GEICO v. Glassco case raises critical questions about the application of Florida law in such disputes, prompting the 11th Circuit to seek guidance from the state’s Supreme Court.

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