Presented by http://www.Glass.net – There are few parts of your vehicle that are as important to your safety, as your windshield. Your windshield is an important component of the Safety Restraint System (SRS) in your vehicle.
It keeps you inside the vehicle in the event of an accident, acts as a barrier for your airbags to bounce off of when they initially deploy, and can hold up to 1.5 times your vehicle’s overall weight if your car becomes flipped.
Knowing that may lead you to ask… If my windshield is so important, should I make an insurance claim to replace it when it’s been damaged? That depends on a few key things.
#1: What kind of insurance coverage is included in your policy?
Usually, for damage that has occurred for any other reason than a collision, you will need to have comprehensive insurance coverage.
Some types of comprehensive insurance policy will include auto glass coverage in the event of theft, vandalism, fire, flood, other natural disasters, or animal collisions.
And, some states require comprehensive insurance policies to include no-deductible windshield repair and replacement as part of their programs. The best way to find out if your comprehensive insurance policy includes auto glass service, is to look at your policy or call your insurance agent and ask them.
If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, then you may have been given the opportunity to purchase an auto glass rider in addition to your standard insurance policy.
The terms of your rider will tell you what type of auto glass damage is covered, and what is not. You also may want to check with your insurance agent to find out exactly what is covered and if there are any additional costs. If you have liability coverage without a rider, then you most likely cannot file an insurance claim to replace your windshield.
#2: Is it necessary to make a claim?
Making a claim with your insurance company can often result in marking points against your policy, and raising your insurance rate. Which is why it’s important to consider whether it’s worth it to file a claim with your insurance company, or if there are alternative ways to cover your windshield replacement.
In most cases outside of a collision, auto glass damage is considered “no claim” or “no fault” by comprehensive insurance policies. This means you don’t have to make a formal claim that will count against your insurance policy or driving record, and it isn’t going to raise your rate.
Situations in which you will usually need to make a normal insurance claim to get your windshield replaced would be in the event of an accident, or sometimes if you’ve had an animal accident (as you can be liable for hitting the property, in this case an animal, owned by another person).
#3: Double check your deductible
Before you file a claim, always check to see if your deductible is close to or exceeds the cost of your windshield replacement. This is important, as your deductible will largely determine how much you’ll pay out of pocket to get your windshield replaced.
#4: Know the claims process
If you have insurance coverage for your auto glass and the deductible is reasonable for your budget, you’ll want to make your insurance claim as quickly as possible.
Depending on your insurance company, you will usually find the appropriate claims paperwork on their website. If not, your best bet is to call your insurance agent and ask them to send you the right paperwork or fill it out on your behalf.
Sometimes the insurance company will require an inspection of the auto glass damage before they accept the claim.
Often they will then agree to cover up to a certain dollar amount to replace the windshield, and will make some service provider suggestions. Believe it or not, glass shops will often do all of this work for you, if you come to them first.
#5: Make sure the price is right
We recommend that before you file a claim with your insurance company, that you shop around for windshield replacement prices and shops. Not only will this help you get the best possible price and quality for your windshield replacement, but also most glass shops that are insurance approved will do the paperwork and filing process for you.
The best place to get competing windshield replacement quotes, is the free price tool at Glass.net. In just 30 seconds you can have up to 3 local windshield replacement quotes. The quotes can include whether a shop is approved to accept insurance as payment, their consumer ratings, and much more.
If you select an insurance-approved shop from the Glass.net network, all you have to do is call them to get your insurance claims process started. It really is that simple. Go to the Glass.net homepage to instantly get your quotes.
Because with Glass.net, you always have a choice!