6 Popular Questions about Auto Glass

Yesterday, we were visited by one of our glass vendors.  I always have questions for our vendors, and they are usually questions I get from our insureds.  I thought I’d start posting frequently asked questions here since I know they’ll benefit someone else.  Here are some questions about auto glass, and the answers I have gotten from our various glass vendors:

Q1.  Does my insurance cover glass replacement?

A1. If your policy has full coverage, then most likely you have coverage.  The comprehensive coverage of the auto policy covers theft, vandalism, windshield/glass replacement, damage due to fallen objects, weather and most other claims that is not a result of a collision.

The amount of your deductible will depend on whether or not it will be paid for by your insurance company.  If your deductible is higher than the cost of the repair or replacement, then this is an out-of-pocket expense.  But, my advice is to check your policy.  Some insurance companies offer a reduced or waived deductible or for glass claims.

Q2.  I only have a rock chip.  Will my glass be repaired or replaced?

A2.  I have asked several glass vendors about this, and the consensus is:  if the rock chip is smaller than a quarter (coin), or the crack does not exceed the length of a dollar bill then the glass may be repaired.  In some instances, the deductible is waived, if you have comprehensive coverage.

However, if the crack or chip is in your line of vision or the crack is an extension of the chip and is “growing”, the glass may have to be replaced.  Realize that if the glass is not repaired immediately, further damage may be done to the glass.

Q3.  Should I select dealer, OEM or aftermarket glass?

A3.  As with all automobile parts, the prices range differently among dealer, OEM (original equipment manufacture) or aftermarket parts.  This is a personal choice. If you want to ensure that the glass is set to the standards of the auto manufacturer, then dealer or OEM glass is the way to go.  Dealer glass usually has the manufacturer emblem on it, but the dealers aren’t glass companies so they will likely outsource the job to an OEM glass company.

Aftermarket glass uses the same measurements as the auto manufacturer measurements, but quality may not be the same.  If you are going through your insurance to pay for your replacement, check with the glass company to find out what type of glass they use. Also check with your insurance company to find out what type of glass they will pay for.  Some insurers may only cover the cost of aftermarket glass.

If you are leasing the vehicle and you are considering using aftermarket glass, check with the dealer first because if it’s not OEM you may be penalized when you return the vehicle.

Note that if you get into an auto collision and any of the windows need to be replace, all repairs will be covered by the collision coverage of your policy and all repairs will be managed by the auto body shop assigned to fix your car. This means that the window will be replaced by a company assigned by the body shop. Find out what type of materials will be used, whether OEM or aftermarket.  Again, the insurer may only cover the cost of aftermarket parts.

Q4.  I drive the car to work everyday.  I can’t be without my car.  Can the glass be replaced at my work or home?

A4.  There are mobile glass outfitters that will repair or replace the glass wherever the car is located.  However, since this work will be done outdoors be aware of the weather.  The adhesives used may not seal correctly under cooler temperatures.  A good mobile glass company will help you make this consideration.

Q5.  I don’t have comprehensive coverage on my insurance, how much will this cost?

A5.  This depends on on the glass company.  The average windshield is not more than $500, so even if you have coverage and your deductible is $500 chances are you will most likely be paying out of pocket to replace the glass.  The glass company may even offer the glass at the “insurance” rate.

Q6. Will an auto glass claim affect my insurance premium?

A6.  No. Any claim against the comprehensive coverage of your policy generally does not affect the insurance premium.   But it’s a good idea to check with your insurance carrier regarding your specific situation.

If you’ve got questions about insurance, let me know and I’ll answer it in an upcoming post.

Photo credits:
photo 1 by Collin Allen, photo 2 by rmisko, photo 3 by MelvinSchlubman