Do You Have it and Do You Need It?
It’s always a good idea to have insurance coverage of some type on your vehicle, and in fact, there are some states in the country that require you to have insurance or at least certain types of insurance. This is so you’re better protected in case of an accident and in many cases it can protect you from being sued for everything you have. But one thing that not everyone gets is auto glass insurance coverage. This is where you’re going to have protection in case something happens to your vehicle and the glass needs to be replaced.
General Insurance Coverage
A lot of insurance policies are going to include things like medical, which protects you in case someone is injured in an accident. They’re also going to include some types of damage coverage, depending on the specific policy that you get. But taking care of any glass that breaks as a result of an accident or even vandalism is actually it’s own separate policy. This is something that a lot of people don’t notice and that’s why it’s important to pay attention to all of the fine print. Also, pay attention to what you’re really getting.
In most situations you’re going to need to add-on to your current policy. Now, if you already have a full coverage plan it may already be covered or included. If you have what’s considered a comprehensive plan this may be the same thing. For everyone else though, it’s something you’re going to have to get in addition to what you already have. Again, make sure you’re reading all the rules and the information carefully so you know what ‘full coverage’ actually means to your insurance company.
All of this means that the very first thing you should be doing is getting a copy of your insurance policy. You should have a copy already from when you signed up (either a paper one or an online version) or you can request one directly from the company. Read through it carefully and see what is and isn’t covered. You may find that there’s already a provision for glass, or you may find that there’s absolutely no coverage. That’s definitely not what you want to see.
Full Coverage Glass
If you have full glass coverage it means that you’re not going to have to pay for anything at all. It means that you’re making payments throughout the year that are going to take care of what you would otherwise owe. Of course, you may have a deductible depending on your plan, which means you may have to at least pay something in order to get the benefits and the help that you expect. In some instances full coverage for glass, however, may actually mean that you don’t have to pay even a deductible in order to get your windows and windshield replaced in case of damage.
On the other hand, if you don’t have this kind of coverage it means you’re going to be responsible if anything happens to the glass on your vehicle. That could mean you get into an accident that smashes the windshield. It could mean someone breaks the windows on your vehicle in an act of vandalism. It could mean that something flies out of a vehicle or a tree falls in your neighborhood and any of these things cause damage to the windows or windshield. Any of these things may not be covered under your normal insurance plan, and that’s not something you want to see from your insurance company.
Getting Things Fixed
Okay, so what happens when your vehicle glass is damaged and you’re trying to figure out what to do? There are actually a few things that you need to do. At this point, you should already know if your insurance policy includes auto glass insurance coverage or not. If it does you should turn in the accident or the damage to your insurance company right away. They’ll likely send someone over to evaluate the damage and decide whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. From there, they’ll decide what they actually cover.
Your insurance company gets to decide whether the work that needs to be done is covered under your insurance policy or not. Sure, you can argue with them about it based on the policy and the information you have, but it can be difficult to win those types of claims. If the insurance company does decide that work needs to be done and that they are responsible for some or all of the costs they will start to look for repair companies that you are allowed to go to in order to get the work done.
The repair companies your insurance policy holder is looking for are ones who will do the job right (they don’t want to have to pay for it to be redone) and also ones that will do the job without a very high cost. They do have to stay within a certain radius of where you live however, so they’re not allowed to outsource the job too far just so they can save a little bit of money. Make sure you know all the rules about what they’re allowed to do and what your insurance policy covers so you can make sure they follow everything.
You may have a say on choosing between a few different places once your insurance company gets the quotes and narrows things down. From there, you’ll be able to pick one and get the work done.
Repair or Replace?
In most cases the decision to repair the glass on your vehicle rather than replace it is going to be up to your insurance company. Or at least, they’re only going to give you a set amount of money toward replacement if they don’t deem it actually necessary. But in some situations you may actually have the final say. That’s where the insurance company might try to convince you that repairs are going to be your best option. In some cases it may be, but you’re the one who is going to have to deal with it, so make sure you think it over.
If you elect for a repair in a situation where this is your choice the insurance company may actually waive any deductible that you might otherwise have. Remember, you’re going to be saving them money by not replacing so they’re willing to pass some of that savings to you. Next, you’re going to get the job done a whole lot faster. Replacing a full windshield takes a whole lot of time and that’s time you’re going to be without a vehicle or sitting around a repair shop. Repairing your window can be done in just half an hour.
If you repair a small section of the window you’re also going to retain the factory seal for the windshield. This is the best seal you’re going to get for that windshield. You’re not going to get that same level of quality when a repair shop does it. Leaving that seal is definitely going to be great for keeping out leaks and more. On top of that you’re going to have only a small mark on the window and over time that mark is going to continue to fade away more and more.
It may seem like we’re in favor of repair as well, and actually, in many cases, we are. Repairs are going to be better for you in a number of different ways. But you have to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. If the damage is smaller than the size of a dollar bill it’s usually able to be repaired. Anything larger than that however, and you’re definitely going to need to replace the windshield instead. Repairs aren’t going to be as high quality or effective when spread across larger parts of the windshield than that.
Wrapping it Up
Remember, you want to take a close look at what your insurance policy does and doesn’t cover long before you ever need it. And don’t assume that just because you have a comprehensive policy or a full coverage option it means glass is included. Many insurance companies consider the glass to be a completely separate part of the vehicle. From there, make sure you know what’s required and what you get to decide when it comes to getting repairs fixed. You are the one who’s going to have to live with whatever is decided, after all. Make sure it’s something you can be comfortable with.
Your auto glass insurance coverage may not be a problem for you, but someday it could be something that is absolutely necessary. Whether you’re in an accident or you’re the victim of vandalism, this type of coverage could definitely save you a whole lot of money. At least, if you know what you’re doing and you make sure that it’s the coverage you expect it to be.