Replacing a windshield out-of-pocket can be pretty expensive. According to CostHelper, the average cost of a windshield replacement ranges from $100 to $400 for most passenger vehicles. So having your auto insurance company pick up the tab seems like a sensible and cost-effective solution, right?
As you prepare to file a windshield replacement claim with your insurer, there's plenty you have to keep in mind. The following goes in-depth about how the process works, as well as the exceptions you may run into along the way.
How Does It Work?
The process for filing a windshield replacement claim is the same as any other type of auto insurance claim. You can call your insurer to report the claim in person or do so through the insurance company's online process. Once the insurance company has verified all of your policy information and determined if you have the necessary coverage needed to fulfill a windshield replacement claim, the insurance company will help you arrange an appointment with a certified glass repair and replacement facility. In many cases, you can use the facility of your choice.
In most cases, you won't have to pay any deductible in order to have your windshield replaced. In fact, some states require insurance companies to waive any and all deductibles for windshield replacement claims.
Are There Any Prerequisites?
Most insurance companies require you to carry comprehensive insurance coverage in order to benefit from no-cost windshield replacement. Comprehensive coverage takes care of any non-collision damage incurred by your vehicle, including fire, hail, vandalism and theft. You won't be able to benefit if you only have liability coverage, since that only covers damages caused to another driver's vehicle during an accident.
On the other hand, your insurer may pay for a windshield replacement if the windshield was damaged during a collision in which you were found not at fault for. If you carry only collision coverage, your insurer may cover the cost of the windshield replacement, but only after you've paid the stated deductible for your coverage.
Will It Raise Your Insurance Rates?
That actually depends on who you talk to. Most insurance companies won't count a windshield replacement claim against your insurance record, but there are exceptions. Many insurance companies have different ways of handling certain claims, including whether or not minor windshield replacement claims are counted against your record. The most prudent thing to do is to ask your insurer before filing a claim.
Claim frequency happens to be one of the numerous factors that insurance companies look at when calculating your semi-annual premiums. If you happen to make several claims within a short amount of time, that may bump you into a high-risk bracket, with higher premiums as a result.
Should You Go For A Repair Instead?
If a windshield replacement claim dings your insurance record and results in higher rates, you may have to look for alternatives. One possible alternative involves opting for a windshield repair instead of a replacement. This may be possible if your windshield has minor cracks or chips that can be repaired relatively successfully.
The vast majority of insurance companies don't count simple glass repairs against your claims record. On the other hand, a complex repair could have just as much impact as filing a windshield replacement claim. There is also the possibility that the damage may be too complex to repair, making a complete replacement the only option available.
Keep in mind that policies governing windshield replacement claims tend to vary among insurers. For this reason alone, it doesn't hurt to talk to your insurer to not only determine your eligibility for a no-cost windshield replacement, but also to find out whether or not it affects your rates. In most cases, asking your insurer to foot the bill is the most cost-effective way of having your car's windshield replaced. For more information, visit a website like http://www.mrgoglass.com.