Glass will always behave in a relatively predictable way. There are a few “enemies” of windshield repair. Extreme temperatures is one of them. Glass tends to expand in the heat and contract in the cold. The windshield is comprised of three layers, UV glass on the outside, UV glass in the interior of the car and a synthetic in the middle, laminated together to create a strong bond. When it is very hot outside, especially when the car has been sitting in direct sun, the windshield can heat up to well over 110 degrees F. More than likely, drivers will run their car air conditioner on a hot day and if there is a rock chip or a small crack on the windshield, the variance in the temperatures from the outside of the windshield and inside the car, can easily cause the damage to grow in size resulting in the need for a costly windshield replacement. Here’s why: The outer layer of glass is expanding in the heat. The middle layer is fixed, and the inside layer is contracting from the cold air blowing from the air conditioner. This causes a certain amount of pressure, and to relieve the tension, the glass cracks. It is the same principle that cause a hot glass to shatter if it is held under cold water or visa versa. In the Winter, the same thing can happen, only in reverse. The outer layer of the windshield is icy cold and when the car heater is turned up, the inside layer begins expanding with the heat.
The take away from this, aside from having your windshield repaired asap when you have a rock chip, is:
Avoid extremes in temperature. If you are still using the vehicle before you have a chance to have it repaired, try to park it in a shaded area, out of direct sunlight.
Avoid using sun reflectors that are shiny. Shiny reflectors will shield the interior of the car by reflecting sunlight away, but they are also known to heat the windshield to temperatures that can easily cause a small rock chip to spread. Instead, use opaque, or satin-finished sun guards.
If you are using your air conditioner, keep it on low, and keep the setting adjusted so that the air flow is focused mainly on your legs and not on the windshield.
-Simple tips that can help to save your windshield.
Most of the time anything free is usually too good to be true. Not so with windshield repair. Almost all auto insurance companies will waive your deductible, and cover the cost of windshield repair with no negative effect on your premium. Here’s why they do so. Many policy holders have low deductibles, $0.00, $100, $200, etc. These people could literally claim a new windshield for just a small rock chip. This would cost the insurance companies a small fortune. So, the insurance companies offer free windshield repair to e everyone who has comprehensive coverage, regardless of the deductible. It appears as though they are doing you the favor by offering free windshield repair, but it is you doing the favor for your insurance company by being willing to have your windshield repaired instead of replaced. Only two of the large insurance companies, State Farm and Mercury, do not offer free windshield repair.
Here’s what to do:
Call the claim number on the back of your insurance card and tell the rep you want to file a simple windshield repair claim. The rep will ask you two or three questions which are purely informational. Answer to the best of your ability. It does not matter how long ago the rock chip occurred, so there’s no need to get creative with your answers.
Let the rep know if you have chosen a glass shop that you would prefer to use for the repair. Your insurance company will try to steer you into using one of their preferred shops, but you have the right to use whichever shop you choose. if you don’t have a preferred shop, they will assign a shop for you.
If your chosen repair shop is included in your insurance company’s list of providers, they will fax your contact info along with the claim to the shop a moment after you hang up with your insurance company. The shop should contact you shortly thereafter.
There you have it – FREE rock chip repair.
Most vehicle owners are not aware that insurance companies provide free rock chip repair. It is not a perk that most insurance companies want to publicize. Free, anything, obviously effects their bottom line. Before paying out of pocket, typically for around $70, to have your windshield repaired, contact your insurance company to ask about free rock chip repair. -And if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, by all means, let them know that you would like American Glass Repair to do the repair. We would appreciate that.
Not all glass shops are the same. You owe it to yourself to do the research to find a glass shop that meets high standards. To begin with, when filing a glass repair claim with your insurance company, ask them to refer you to a “tier one” shop. Here’s why that makes a difference. With exception of a few, most insurance companies use glass networks who contract glass repair shops and technicians to do their glass repairs. In fact, most often once you tell the initial representative at the insurance company that you are filing a glass repair claim the next person you are transferred to is not even an employee of your insurance company, they work for the glass repair/replacement network. The network has contracts with hundreds of glass shops and technicians, all who have varied levels of expertise and experience. The networks need to match up your claim with a technician in your area based on your zip code. This is where requesting a tier one shop / technician makes a difference. Often, tier one service providers are rightfully busy, because they are in demand. If the network can not find a tier one shop to do your repair they move down the list until often your repair is being handled by someone with little to no experience at all. Ask yourself one question: do you want your windshield repaired by a glass technician with little to no experience? The answer is obvious, no.
Search out reviews on Yelp where you will see what others are saying about a shop the network has recommended. if the reviews are not primarily 4 and 5 stars let the network know you prefer another shop. By law, you have the right to choose whichever glass shop you want to use to do the repair. Networks will often engage in an illegal practice known as “steering” where they funnel business primarily to their own shops and technicians that are in fact working directly for them. It is important to use a shop that is independent of the network so you know the only criteria used for the referral is the work the shop does and not any financial arrangement the shop has with the network.
Windshield repair is a one shot deal. By that I mean that once a rock chip or a crack has been repaired, there is no do-over. A bad repair, can not be re-repaired to make it better. Getting it right the first time is essential. To do this, you need to have a professional technician with a proven track record do the repair.
You’ve probably seen ads for Free Windshield Repair before, usually at a local service station or maybe at the carwash. Sound too good to be true? Actually unlike a lot of other ads promising free goods and services, windshield repairs can often be done with no out-of-pocket cost. Here’s how.
All but a handful of auto insurance companies will waive your deductible for windshield repair if you have comprehensive coverage. They do this because the cost of replacing a windshield is so much greater than covering the cost of the repair. Many people carry a zero or very low deductible on their auto policy. If everyone who had a rock chip filed a claim to replace the windshield the insurance company would be paying out a small fortune. Rather than doing so, most insurance companies will waive the deductible in favor of a repair because it saves them money -big money.
Filing a windshield repair claim is very simple and takes much less time than filing a body damage claim. To file a claim you call the claim number on the back of your insurance card and immediately let the insurance rep know that you would like to file a glass repair claim and you would like to know if they will waive the deductible. Its important to let them know you want to file a repair claim or they will automatically set it up for a replacement claim, in which case your deductible will apply.
Shortly after filing the claim, your insurance company will place the claim with a glass repair shop and either connect you to the shop or have the shop contact you to schedule a repair. Repairs are usually mobile, which means the repair technician comes to your home or place of business. When setting up an appointment with the glass shop its helpful to know that the insurance company has an agreement with the shop that the amount they are paying the shop to complete the repair includes all expenses. This means that the shop should not be charging you any additional money, (bridge tolls, gas, mileage, etc) for coming to you. In fact, the shop signs a waiver and it is against policy to charge you any additional money unless they are providing additional services not covered by your insurance company. One such case would be that the shop agrees to repair more than the 3 rock chips that most insurance companies allow for.
Insurance Companies That Waive The Deductible For Windshield Repair
If you’ve ever seen one of these signs advertising “Free Rock Chip Repair” you’ve probably wondered, “what’s the catch?” Actually, there is no catch. The list below represents most of the auto insurance companies that will waive your deductible if you opt for a windshield repair instead of a more costly replacement. By doing so, you are saving the insurance company from having to cover the cost of replacing your windshield. In turn, they are doing you a favor by waiving your deductible, with no impact on your premium. Most insurance companies will allow you to have up to three rock chips repaired and they will permit you to claim additional chips on subsequent claims should you have any.
Filing a glass repair claim is a lot simpler than filing a body damage claim or liability claim. Since most insurance companies do not advertise that they will waive your deductible in favor of a windshield repair, many insurance agents are not even aware of this great benefit. Here’s step-by-step instructions on how to file a glass claim.
On the back of your insurance ID card you will find your insurance company’s claim telephone number. Contact you insurance company using this number.
One of the voice prompt options will usually include something about filing a glass claim. If so, select that prompt and follow the instructions until you reach a live agent.
One you are speaking to a live agent, immediately let them know you would like to file a glass repair claim. (Its important to say “glass repair claim” as a repair claim is different from filing a replacement claim.
Ask if they will waive the deductible for filing a glass claim. If so, continue reading further. If not, there is no point to filing a glass repair claim unless your deductible is lower than $250. The reason being that almost all windshields cost more than $250 to replace and so filing a claim with a deductible of $250 or more would serve no purpose.
The agent will ask you several questions, including: When did the damage occur? What was the cause of the damage? How big is the damage? Answer theses questions as best as you can. They have no bearing on whether your claim is approved or not. Telling the agent that the damage more recently than it really did, or that the size of the damage is smaller than it is will not make any difference unless the damaged area is larger than a dollar bill, or 6 inches in length.
If you have a preferred glass repair shop, let the agent know that you have already chosen a repair shop and you want the claim assigned to that shop. The agent may try to shift you to one of their preferred shops by telling you that their provider has a better guarantee or that they do better work. It is not only not true, it is illegal for an insurance company to steer your claim to another shop if you prefer otherwise.
Soon after you end your call, your insurance company will transmit all of your vehicle info and your contact info to the glass shop you’ve chosen and you should hear from them shortly to schedule a repair. Make sure you ask the agent for the name and phone number of the repair shop if it is not one you’ve preselected so you are able to contact the shop directly if you do not hear from them in a timely manner.
That’s it. It is a pretty simple and straight forward process. In a subsequent post I will list most of the insurance companies that will waive the deductible if you opt for windshield repair instead of a more costly windshield replacement.