If you have ever lived in an area prone to spring thunderstorms, you have probably encountered a broken windshield or two due to hail. However, broken windshields can be caused by anything at any time.
And usually at the worst possible time.
Ever been driving down the highway and rock flies up and pings the windshield? You then watch in horror as a hairline crack begins to form across the windshield and you just pray it does not shatter or that it is covered by insurance.
Chipped, cracked, and broken windshields are at the top of the list when it comes to the most common car repairs. Read on as we review ways to pay for auto glass replacement and when to use your auto insurance.
First, You Have to Understand Glass Coverage
If the windshield or any other auto glass is destroyed by something other than a collision, you will typically pay for it using your comprehensive coverage. However, keep in mind this coverage is elective, and if you do not carry it, you will be covering the damage out of your own pocket.
Comprehensive coverage or physical damage covers will often pay for damages occurring from:
- Animal collisions
Be sure to read over your policy to see whether your car insurance policy includes windshield repair and replacement in your comprehensive coverage.
If you are confused about the coverage or what it provides, please do not hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email.
Before Filing a Claim, Consider Your Deductible
It is a wise decision before calling your insurance company to compare the cost of the repair/replacement with the amount of your comprehensive deductible.
If it costs less to repair your windshield than your deductible, it will not be worth your while to file a claim.
There are car insurance companies and some policies that offer glass replacement without requiring payment of a deductible. Typically means higher premiums, but you will save on your deductible.
Does Filing a Glass Claim Affect My Premium
Most of the time a claim for glass damage that does not result from a collision generally does not increase your car insurance rates. However, each insurance company has a different policy.
You may want to reconsider filing a claim if the cost of the repair is only a little higher than the amount of your deductible.
Your windshield gets cracked by a flying rock and:
The cost to repair the windshield is $300.
You have a $250 deductible.
The insurance company will only pay $50. Is saving $50 worth the possible increase in yearly premiums?
Even if the insurance company does not increase your premium, the claim will go on your claim record. The more claims you have on your record, the more your perceived risk increases and, in turn, the likelihood of seeing an increase in your auto insurance renewal rates.
Submitting Your Claim
Once you decide that your deductible is small enough, and the damage is big enough to turn in an auto glass claim, proceed in filling it with the insurance company as soon as possible. Each carrier is different and will have their preference on how to file. But typically claims can be filed:
- By Phone
- In person
- Mobile application
Before filling, we can confirm whether you are covered for the windshield repair or replacement and explain all of your options. You may need to go to submit photos that prove repairs are completed.
Fixing the Damage
Your next step will be getting your windshield repaired. Some insurance companies will let you submit the claim for reimbursement after repairs are complete.
There are two popular options for auto glass repair:
- Going to a specific car repair shop with whom the insurance company has a contract with.
- Going to a repair shop of your choice.
Things to Remember
There may be a limit on the reimbursement amount.
If going with your own repair shop, be sure to select a reliable one, such as one that meets Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council standards.
Submit Your Receipt for Reimbursement
Your car insurance company may authorize you to upload or fax your receipt or invoice with:
- Your name
- Policy number
- Phone number
- Date of damage
Be sure to ask your claim representative exactly which details you will need to submit.
If you need help with filing a windshield claim or have other concerns, please give us a call. If you are not sure if glass is covered by your policy, we will be happy to review it with you.