Waking up in the morning to broken auto glass is no fun, whether it's an act of vandalism or a wayward rock on the highway from the day before. Before scheduling a repair or replacement, find out who is responsible for the cost – you or your auto insurance. This will help you make the best choice when you begin looking at repair options.
Check Your Coverage
Your insurance may not cover the cost of a repair or replacement, even if you have comprehensive coverage. Before scheduling a repair, call your insurance agent first. Verify that your window replacement coverage is all-inclusive – which means they will cover the window regardless of how the damage occurred – or that it at least covers the reason for your window damage. Common covered window damage causes include storms, vandalism, fire and accident, and animal collisions.
Consider The Financial Impact
Even if you're covered, you may not want to exercise the insurance claim option. Check the price of repair or replacement with your window installer first. Often, the cost of the repair may be less than your insurance deductible or the rise in your premiums that can occur when you make a claim.
Choose A Repair Option
You have two main options when it comes to a repair – take your car in or hire a mobile window repair service to visit your location.
Choose the mobile option if the car is no longer safe to drive due to the location of the breakage or because the front windshield is completely shattered or missing. It's also a good option if you can't get away from work for replacement appointment – the installer can do the job right in the parking lot.
Mobile services don't usually cost much more, but you must make sure your insurance covers this service if you choose the option. Your insurance company will likely recommend an installer, so you may need to make arrangements to take your car in for repair or replacement. You usually get the car back the same day. It may even take less than an hour if it's a simple repair.
The simplest way to ensure your claim is repaired is to pick an installer that will file the paperwork with your insurance company for you. This way, you don't usually need to pay upfront, except for perhaps the deductible, and the glass installer will handle any necessary insurance negotiations.
If this isn't possible, contact your insurance company before you get the repair and make sure you have all the necessary claims forms on hand. Request that the installer fills out any portion that pertains to them at the time of service, and then finish up the forms at home. Get them into the mail promptly so your insurance can issue you a check to reimburse you for the replacement costs.
A broken window is a nuisance at most, so there's no need to compromise the safety of your vehicle by putting off the repair.