Whenever you find a crack or chip in your windshield, it can be a frustrating experience to consider what will need to be done to fix the problem. The same can be said for extensive damage to the windshield that will most likely result in a windshield replacement. In both of these circumstances, the costs can quickly add up if you have to pay for these services out of pocket. Fortunately, most comprehensive auto insurance policies carry coverage for these occasions, meaning that you will need to be very little – if anything – to have these repairs or replacements performed. Unfortunately, there can be some fine print and unethical practices on the part of insurance companies when you need one of these services.
Most insurance companies have a business strategy that requires them to muddy the waters as much as possible for customers in order to make money off of them. In the case of auto glass repair jobs, there are plenty of insurance companies that use questionable tactics to accomplish this. If you have recently spotted damage on your windshield or need a completely new one installed, then you will want to continue reading to find out about your options and how to avoid a less than optimal experience with an auto glass repair shop and your insurance company.
The Most Common Scenario
If you currently have comprehensive auto insurance coverage and are suddenly in need of auto glass services, there is a good chance that your repairs or replacement services are covered by your insurance. This is a fairly straightforward process and results in all or the majority of the costs being absorbed by the insurance provider. In many cases, a claim is filed by the company or yourself once services are rendered, with the auto glass company being reimbursed by your insurance. Since this is one of the most basic auto insurance elements provided, it is virtually certain that your repairs will be covered if you have full coverage insurance.
Choosing a Repair Company
It is highly recommended that you do some research and contact several auto glass repair shops in your area before you contact your insurance company. Each auto glass repair shop will be able to confirm whether or not they accept your auto insurance. Once this process has been completed, you may then contact your insurance company to begin the claims process. Only after you have picked the desired auto glass shop for your repairs should you contact your insurance: why is that?
Unfortunately, many unsuspecting customers will contact their auto insurance companies first, in the hopes that they will provide a list of auto glass repair shops that are covered under their policies. While any insurance company will provide this service, they often leave out auto glass shops that will result in higher costs to them. This can result in a lower quality of work being performed on your vehicle. Most auto insurance policies are accepted by most auto glass repair shops, so you should always initiate contact with the repair shop before you take the advice of the insurance company.
National Warranty Excuses
There is a national warranty that exists on every insurance policy in regards to auto glass repairs. The reality is that this is not a warranty for you, but rather, for the insurance company. Each insurance company receives a rebate toward the repair if you use one of their special auto glass partners. When you select your own auto glass company for the repairs, they do not receive this warranty. In many cases, insurers will try to push you into having the repairs done at their select partners’ facilities and tell you that you will lose the national warranty. The reality is that you have lost nothing but a potentially better rate or quality of repair when listening to them on this matter.
There are many watchdog groups that work to ensure that this happens to as few consumers as possible, but the practice is still very common. If you have been coerced by your auto insurance company to have repairs performed or risk the loss of a national warranty, the National Windshield Repair Association recommends that you contact your Attorney General’s office to report such activity. In many cases, agents via the phone use scripts that encourage this sort of the behavior; when a report is filed, it often leads to a cessation of such activity by the insurance company.
There are many different tricks that an insurance company may attempt to use when you are needing auto glass repair services, but we cannot cover every possible scenario here. The most important thing you can do is be insistent with your insurance company and find the auto glass shop best suited to perform your repairs. Assuming that the shop accepts your insurance, you should have no real issues when it comes to your insurance paying for the repairs or replacement. If you have any issues, then you should contact the offices of your state’s Insurance Commissioner and Attorney General for more information.