If you drive up and down Highway 400/75/85 or 285 in Georgia you know how much construction is going on which means one thing other than traffic, rocks/debris on the road. If you have been the sorry soul who gets stuck behind the dump truck that just entered the highway from the construction site, you know how much dirt/rocks/debris fall off those things. All the sudden it goes from driving to dodging missiles and then BOOM, your windshield get hit by a rock and there’s a big ole crack in it. We wanted to talk briefly about what to do if a rock or something chips/cracks your windshield and address some of the main questions surrounding the situation. Is it covered? What coverage do I need to make sure it is covered? Should I file a claim?
Disclaimer: I am an insurance agent not a windshield repair expert. Everything I am writing is purely from my 7 years of experience in the insurance industry dealing it these types of claims….TONS of them in the Atlanta area….multiple on my own vehicle.
Is it covered? What coverage do I need to make sure it is covered?
Your windshield should be covered under your COMPREHENSIVE coverage. In some states where this is more of a prevalent claim some carriers have developed specific glass coverage but, in Georgia it is not a requirement. The projectile must be airborne to be considered a comprehensive claim. Comprehensive coverage is often considered to be part of the made-up term “full coverage”. There is a deductible that applies before any coverage will be provided by your carrier. USUALLY the deductible is $500 or $1,000.
Should I file a claim?
We recommend always calling your personal insurance agent first to consult with them. A claim stays on your record for 5 years and sometimes can negatively affect your rate. Here are some things to keep in mind before filing a claim.
- Do I have comprehensive coverage?
- How much is my comprehensive coverage deductible?
- Do I have specific glass coverage?
- Do I need to replace the whole windshield, or can it just be repaired?
- How much will it be to replace the windshield?
Your agent should be able to help you through these questions to determine if filing a claim is the right move for you. If you do not have an agent who do you call????
POINTS TO CONSIDER
If your deductible is $500 or $1,000 and you do not have a separate glass deductible you will have to pay $500 or $1,000 before insurance pays for anything. You want to make sure the cost of the repair even exceeds the deductible otherwise you will have a claim on your record that paid $0 but still counts against you. That’s right, when you call your company, no matter if insurance actually ends up paying anything, they record it as an “incident” on your record and even if they pay $0 it will still show something happened which will be there for 5 years.
New Windshield Technology
Windshields are much more advanced than they used to be. In many of the newer cars you have a tiny camera behind your rear view mirror to help with the newer features such as lane assist and vehicle detection for automatic braking. The camera located in your windshield cannot just be remounted it has to be re-calibrated. These companies now have very high standards for how you must re-calibrate these cameras because they provide safety features that wont work correctly and could cause death if the safety feature failed due to faulty calibration. Replacing a windshield used to be a quick $200 job but has now become much more technologically advanced.
Resin: Again, I am no windshield repair expert but if you have a smaller chip/crack usually “the size of a quarter or less” they say you can get a resin treatment. This is a much more affordable option as they are not replacing the entire windshield, they are just injecting some sort of resin gel into the chip/crack to prevent it from cracking the entire windshield. Is it 100% invisible after that? No not really but, if you did not know where it was before it is honestly hard to find it again.
Full replacement: They will literally replace the entire windshield which can range in price depending on the type of car you have and if they use OEM or another brand. This is the pricier option but unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it if your windshield is cracked. In reference to the above mention of camera calibration this option can also cost more than $1,000 depending on what needs to be done and if your camera needs to be calibrated.
Call your agent…pure and simple they are there to advocate for YOU…. and take the necessary steps with them to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Your agent should have someone who will give you a good deal in the event your windshield gets cracked. If you don’t have an agent and call your company and you get the “call center” and they say “Let me transfer you to the claims dept” just know that this will result in the incident being recorded and put on your record whether they pay out or not! Make sure you have the right agent who can advocate for YOU not the insurance company, this can make all the difference! If “calling your agent” means calling an 800 number check US out we would love to be your agent!