Our office has encountered many inquiries from clients asking about filing windshield claims. If you carry comprehensive auto insurance, you can file a windshield claim to cover repair costs. When you purchased your insurance you had the option to purchase what they call ‘Full Glass Coverage’, which in essence waives the comprehensive deductible. But is this really the smart option?
No matter what type of claim is involved, filing an insurance claim should always take careful consideration. Insurance is designed to cover you for catastrophic losses, those that can cause financial pain. Any claim, no matter what the size, may cause your premiums to increase. So if you have that basic $200 windshield, and you also maintain Full Glass Coverage, the company will pay for the entire $200 claim. But in most cases that $200 expense would not be considered a financial hardship.
As an example, not too long ago one of the employees at Seely & Durland had a large crack in their front windshield of there Mazda 3 and needed a replacement; the cost of a new windshield was only about $160. The employee thought it best to “self-insure” the claim rather than risk an increase in premium at renewal. Think of insurance as reassurance if a catastrophe were to happen that would financially drive a hole into your wallet.
Here is another example of a windshield claim if you do NOT have Full Glass Coverage. If you have comprehensive coverage with a deductible of $200 and the repair for your cracked windshield is $225, then if you file a claim your insurance company reimbursement would be $25. Even if the repair is $275, your auto insurance company will only pay you $75 which are not significant numbers. One other factor to consider is that most glass companies can repair small dimple size cracks with special epoxies. This solution is MUCH less expensive than replacing the entire windshield. Be sure to ask the glass company if your ‘crack’ qualifies for the dimple repair!
We at Seely & Durland Insurance believe it is a smart financial decision to self-insure small claims, like cracked front windshields, and leaving the big claims to the insurance companies. One final consideration is if you have an expensive, high-tech car with sensors and other technology in your front windshield. This may or may not be considered a small claim, and it might make sense to file a claim.
So remember next time, depending on your specific circumstances, to consider whether filing an insurance claim because of your cracked windshield is the right option or not.