Friday, May 14, 2010

Vancouver-based Cascade Auto Glass fined for overbilling

A Washington auto glass company has pleaded guilty to attempted insurance fraud after charging insurers more for repairs billed from a non-existent office.

Cascade Auto Glass, apparently headquartered in Vancouver, will pay a $1,000 fine, $500 victim penalty assessment and $200 in court costs. Cascade, as a corporation, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted fallse claims or proof in an insurance claim, a gross misdemeanor.

The state insurance commissioner’s Special Investigations Unit found multiple cases of overbilling by the company.

Some insurance companies pay auto glass claims at different rates, depending on where the shop is located. Rural windshield replacements, for example, are typically paid at a higher rate due to higher transportation costs compared to urban shops.
Cascade offers a mobile windshield replacement service and generally goes to customers homes, workplaces or schools. The investigation found that the company repeatedly did work in large urban areas, but billed insurers as if the work was done from the rural Port Townsend area.

The company’s Port Townsend location consists of a storage unit. Cascade does not use that location to conduct their business.