Each year, tens of thousands of automobile accidents occur on the road that can leave one or more vehicles in no shape to be driven. Sometimes, a buster tire is all that is the issue; in other cases, the vehicle may be completely totaled, leaving the owner without transportation until a replacement can be secured. Whatever the level of damage, these types of accidents are never welcome developments. A wreck or natural disaster may also create the conditions that led to broken auto glass or windshields, both of which are required elements of any car in order to enjoy a safe driving experience.
You can be thankful that due to recent innovations, any glass that was broken in the wake of an accident or disaster shattered into tiny pieces instead of becoming large splinters of glass that could have injured you or someone else. When an event like this occurs, most people simply want to get on with life and resolve the matter in as little time as possible. If you have suffered from an accident and need to see about auto glass replacement or repair, then continue reading to find out about how the claims process via your car insurance works.
Reporting Your Claim
In the wake of an accident, the first thing you’ll need to do is report the claim. For most insurance policies, you have two options: you can file a claim by phone or you can file a claim via the internet. In the case of the former, you should be able to find a toll-free number on the back of your insurance policy. If you wish to file a claim on the internet, then you’ll need to navigate through the system to find options that cover your type of damage (auto glass). In either case, insurance companies recommend that you file the claim as soon as possible after the accident occurred in order to ensure prompt repairs and lower costs.
As you are reporting the claim, your insurance agent or the software evaluating the claims process will determine what type of insurance you have. Virtually all comprehensive coverage policies will ensure that any repairs that need to be done can be done so without paying a deductible. The process will then help find you a suitable location for repairs to be performed at (home, work, accident site), with the majority of these repairs being performed in under 24 hours.
As mentioned earlier, full coverage insurance policies usually guarantee that there will be no out of pocket costs to you for the repair of any auto glass or windshield. If you have to have a complete replacement of a piece of glass, however, then you will most likely be required to pay a deductible. A deductible is an amount applied to your insurance that you must pay before coverage kicks in. Once you have met the deductible, your insurance will cover the rest of the cost of replacement. In many cases, a deductible for these repairs will be anywhere from $50 to $200. The average windshield replacement cost without insurance can easily top $300.
In some cases, however, your insurance company may also cover complete windshield damage. In the case of Progressive, for instance, they offer a policy feature that protects you in the event that your windshield is damaged to the point that it needs to be replaced. You can check to see if your current insurance policy offers this feature, but there is a good chance that it does not if you are not already aware of its presence.
Repair and Replacement Solutions
Your insurance company can provide you with a list of all of their preferred glass retailers and technicians. While this may seem like a great idea – and many agents will explain this in a way that makes it sound like you have no other choice – you may not be getting what you bargained for. In some cases, insurance agencies direct business to specific auto glass companies for a piece of the pie, which means that you may not be getting the best service. Insurance companies often won’t tell you that you can pick a different place to make the repairs or do the replacement. It is important that you know your rights in this situation.
Whenever disaster strikes, you most likely will not be prepared. In the wake of it all, however, you can make the right decisions. Anyone who has damage to their windshield or auto glass must file a claim with their insurance provider as soon as possible to ensure a smooth resolution. During this process, you’ll be able to discover any additional charges for replacement or where you would like to have the repairs performed. Driving around with a damaged windshield is dangerous and can threaten the lives of you and your passengers, so please be sure to take care of any noticed damage as soon as possible.