Friday, December 1, 2017
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Auto Glass Insurance

The hazards of a chipped or cracked windshield are far greater than the cost of repair, which generally runs between $30 and $75. Even so, it’s a real plus to have the cost covered by your car insurance.

Replacing a car window, if it becomes necessary, will take a much heftier bite out of your wallet — the national average is around $325 for car window replacement — so again, having car insurance to pay that cost is a great help.

However, many people don’t know whether their insurance covers auto glass repair. Others avoid making an insurance claim for auto glass repair or replacement because they fear that their insurance premiums will rise. We’ve worked with a lot of insurance companies, and we’d like to offer a few guidelines that may clear up the confusion.

You must have comprehensive insurance

It’s important to note at the outset that only comprehensive coverage will pay for repairing or replacing damaged auto glass. If you’re driving a fairly new car, or are still making payments on your car, you probably have comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive car insurance generally has a deductible — that’s the amount you pay out of pocket for repairs, before your insurance kicks in. If you have a $500 deductible, chances are you’ll be paying the full amount for auto glass repairs, since they usually cost much less than that amount. If, however, you have a really top-notch insurance policy with a very low deductible, your insurance may cover some or all of your repair costs.

Preventative maintenance coverage

Take a good look at your current insurance policy. Some companies include auto glass repairs as preventative maintenance that ensures the safety of your vehicle. They prefer paying out for small repairs in the present time, rather than for full window replacement in the future. Other companies offer optional, no-deductible coverage for auto glass.

Normally, auto glass that’s been chipped or cracked due to road debris or weather conditions is considered “no fault” damage. This means that you won’t experience a change in your insurance rates by making a claim. It’s still a good idea, however, to check with your insurance company before you file a claim.

Get several estimates

Many insurance companies require several estimates before fulfilling a claim for auto glass repairs. We’re always happy to provide insurance estimates, and our competitive rates make us a frequent choice of insurers.

Once you’ve made sure your insurance coverage will pay for your repairs and you’ve gotten your estimates, all that’s left to do is file your claim in a timely manner. We’ll do everything we can to make the process smooth, painless, and quick — and get you back on the road safely.

tempered auto glass

From the outside, automotive glass looks just the same as any other kind of glass. But on the inside, where it counts, auto glass is very different from other glass. The windows in your vehicle are made of two types of glass: tempered and laminated.

About Tempered Glass

The side and rear windows of cars and pickup trucks are made of tempered glass. Tempered glass starts its life as a normal piece of glass — and like any other regular piece of glass, it’s not terribly strong, and has a tendency to break into dangerous shards when subjected to severe pressure or impact. In fact, window glass was responsible for serious and disfiguring injuries in the early days of the automobile.

The process of tempering glass was developed to address these problems. In this process, sheets of glass are heated in a furnace to extremely high temperatures — 600 degrees or more. Then the glass is cooled down rapidly with blasts of cool air. As the glass cools, it contracts.

This contraction is what makes the glass tougher and more resistant to heat, cold, and impact. It also gives tempered glass its unique characteristic of breaking into dull-edged chunks instead of pointed shards. When a tempered glass window breaks, it can’t be repaired, but can only be replaced.

About Laminated Glass

The front windshield of your vehicle provides structural support as well as protection for the people inside. This is why tempered glass just isn’t good enough for windshields. Your vehicle’s windshield is actually a kind of sandwich, with a thin layer of film surrounded by two sheets of glass — it’s what we call laminated glass.

The film in the middle of the sandwich is a special type of vinyl called polyvinyl butyral, or PVB. It’s placed between two sheets of glass, and the whole sandwich is sealed with rollers and then heated to complete the seal. The bonding process makes the glass especially resistant to impact, and even when it’s cracked or broken, it doesn’t shatter.

This resistance to shattering is what makes it possible to repair a cracked windshield. When we repair a windshield that’s been chipped or cracked, we use strong suction to remove all the air that’s accumulated in the inner layer. This creates a vacuum effect within the layers of glass. The chip or crack is then filled with a clear resin that’s drawn into the glass via the vacuum.

As the space fills with resin, we use pressure to ensure an even, complete saturation. The final step is to cure the resin until it’s solid. When the job is finished, the damaged area is completely welded together. The whole process generally takes 30 minutes or less, and at the end you’ve got a safe, structurally sound windshield once again.