One of the most common forms of auto repair that many people fail to contemplate when they obtain coverage is windshield and auto glass repair. Even though it can sometimes be easy to overlook the likelihood of its occurrence, it makes sense that broken, chipped or cracked windshields and windows can occur without notice due to the hazards of the road. Between large tractor trailers that can chuck debris at your vehicle without notice, to inclement weather that can turn nasty in the blink of an eye, the dangers your windshield and auto glass protect you from while driving are vast. Because of this, they can be very susceptible to an array of accidents.
Another thing that many do not know is that most auto insurance policies offer some form of coverage for auto glass replacements and repairs. When the damage is caught quickly, it can often be repaired without any out of pocket costs. This obviously provides incentive for drivers to rectify any small forms of damage as soon as possible, but what can be expected when you file an insurance claim for damage sustained to your windshield or windows? In the following article, we will discuss some of the important aspects of the process you should know before you file a claim.
If you currently have comprehensive coverage on your automobile, then you are virtually assured to be covered in the event your windshield or windows need servicing by an auto glass technician. The main difference between comprehensive coverage and other forms of auto insurance is that comprehensive coverage protects you against damage caused by accidents and collisions that are not vehicle-related. This means that a falling branch, hail or other forms of damage that can occur to your windshield are covered. Before you buy auto insurance, however, you should ask whether or not the coverage handles all forms of glass replacement and repair.
As mentioned above, most comprehensive auto insurance policies provide protection and assistance for needed windshield repairs, replacements and any other glass or window-related issues. In many cases, there is a deductible that you will have to pay before your insurance covers the remainder of the cost, but insurance policies can also be purchased with little to no deductible. In most cases, all window and windshield repairs are covered under your insurance, while windshield replacements may only be partially covered. This is due to a windshield replacement being much more costly than a typical windshield or window repair job.
Before You File
What exactly should you consider before you file an auto insurance claim for repairs to your auto glass or windshield? For starters, the deductible should be a prime concern. In the uber vast majority of cases, any needed repairs will be covered at no cost to you. Replacements, however, are a different story. In some cases, a deductible can be as high as $500 – which means that you have to pay this amount before the insurance will kick in and foot the remaining portion of the bill. In many cases, an auto glass replacement job will not cost this much, so some simply opt to pay out of pocket instead of filing a claim.
In other cases, the deductible may be much lower – from $100 to $250 – and makes more economic sense to file a claim. Other times, you may find that your deductible and the total costs of repairs are quite similar; maybe your deductible is $300 and the cost of repairs is $325. At this point, you will need to make a decision as to whether it is worth the time to file a claim for the relatively miniscule amount provided toward the replacement costs.
The Filing Process
If you have ever filed an insurance claim for car-related repairs or damage in the past, then you already know how to handle the process. If not, then you will need a few pieces of information before you can begin. For starters, you need your auto insurance policy number and details about when and where the damage occurred. In addition to this, you will also require your vehicle details, such as year, model and make, in order for insurance agents to corroborate your claim. In most cases, you will also need to have the damage repaired before filing a claim, although it never hurts to check beforehand with your auto insurance company for any precise details on how to proceed from start to finish. Many larger auto glass franchises such as Safelite and Glass America will even file the claim for you.
Whenever damage to your auto glass happens, it is vital that you act quickly to resolve the issue. Whether it is a simple repair job that is needed or a comprehensive replacement of windows and a windshield, your insurance policy most likely provides some or total coverage in the situation. As you are now aware of who is covered, what is covered and what to expect, you can breeze through the claims process with less stress and added confidence.