audi windshield picture

It’s time to talk about auto glass claims.  Many of us have heard it.  That *crack* sound is unmistakable.

Have you ever been driving down that road and you hear that rock hit your windshield?  If you didn’t see it, you most likely heard it.

Maybe it was a pesky gravel truck (good luck pegging liability on the business).  Or maybe it was a single rock that flipped up off the road from the car in front of you.  Is this a covered peril on your auto insurance?  The answer depends on the insurance policy that you selected.

Auto insurance companies provide coverage for certain types of damage.  All windshield repair or replacement jobs are assessed on a case by case basis.  It is important to work with a competent auto glass repair technician.  And it is important that you know what windshield coverage options are available to you.  There are two types of windshield claims – repair and replacement.

Repair

If it is a small windshield chip most likely you can get it repaired from a company like Safelite.  Most carriers have contracted glass repair shops that can handle the claim quickly and easily.  Talk to your agent about a local shop that also has mobile glass units that will come to you.  Better yet, most carriers will cover it without a deductible because they don’t want it to turn into a larger replacement claim.

Even if you do not want to turn it into insurance or don’t carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle it is a fairly inexpensive repair bill typically running $75-$100.  Get your windshield fixed as soon as possible.  We have seen “I’ll take care of it next week” turn into three months later and now you have a much bigger problem.

Replacement

If it is more than a chip and you need to replace your entire windshield you still have options.  You may be covered if you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle in two ways:

  • Replacement is covered and you are subject to your comprehensive deductible
  • Replacement is covered and you have no deductible – this feature is often referred to as “full glass coverage.”  This means if you need to replace the windshield you do not have to pay the deductible.  This is especially a nice feature for those of us that carry higher deductibles in order to save on our insurance premiums.

Windshield replacement may not sound like a big deal but consider the increased costs of better technology – including better displays, sensors, and cameras integrated into your front windshield.  If your windshield needs re-calibrated after replacement your glass technician will also require special tools and labor costs.  There was a time when windshields cost $300 – $500, but as vehicles become more advanced costs to replace and re-calibrate your windshield can now approach $2,000.

We expect these costs to continue to rise.  Why?  We continue to see labor and material costs increase and trends in the auto industry show standard equipment features continue to become more technologically complex.

Be intentional with your personal insurance and cover what has enough value to you.  Talk with your trusted insurance adviser to best understand your options.

Jeremy Hyde | Colligan & Company