What do a deer, a group of unruly teenagers, and a fallen tree branch have in common?This isn’t a joke or riddle, but, rather, a serious question—and, unfortunately, many vehicle owners know the answer. These things, along with a few others, can cause damage to your vehicle’s windshield, which may not be covered under your insurance or, if covered, may not be worth filing a claim for.
That’s a lot of “mays” and a lot of guesswork for you. But don’t fret. At Three Rivers Auto Glass, we pride ourselves on being the go-to place for windshield repair and windshield replacement in Pittsburgh, and we’re here to help you make sense of everything and guide you through the process of filing your claim.
Understand Your Insurance Coverage
If you incur windshield damage from anything other than an automobile collision, your windshield repair probably won’t be covered by your insurance unless you have comprehensive coverage—and even then, it still might not be covered.
Comprehensive coverage typically covers damages caused by storms, vandalism, animal collisions, and fire. However, depending on your specific insurance policy and/or provider, auto glass repair may or may not be included in your comprehensive coverage and, if included, may only cover your vehicle’s back and side windows, not its windshield.
So, first things first: Call your insurance company to determine your coverage. Ask specifically if your comprehensive coverage includes all-inclusive auto glass repair that will cover windshield repair; and, if it does, ask specifically about the extent of your financial liability, or deductible.
Consider Your Deductible
If you’ve contacted your insurance company and confirmed that you’re covered, you’ve still got some work ahead of you. Namely, you’ll want to get an estimate and weigh the cost of repair against the size of your deductible to determine whether it’s worthwhile to file a claim.
At Three Rivers Auto Glass, we can give you a free estimate over the phone in just five minutes. Take whatever number we give you, compare it to your deductible, and consider the following:
- If the estimated cost of repair is less than your deductible, filing a claim would be pointless and could negatively impact you in the future, as discussed below.
- If the estimated cost of repair is only slightly more than your deductible, it may be in your best interest to pay for it out-of-pocket, rather than filing a claim. Generally speaking, auto glass damage from something other than an automobile collision does not cause an increase in insurance rates. However, your claim will go on your insurance claim record; and the more claims (of any kind) you have on your record, the greater a “risk” you are perceived, and the greater the chances you’ll see an increase in your insurance renewal rates. So, if, for example, your deductible is $250, and the estimated cost of repair is $275, you’ll want to consider whether a potential spike in your insurance rates is worth the $25 you’d save by filing a claim.
File Your Claim
If you’ve determined that it’s worthwhile to file a claim, do so as soon as possible, and make sure you have a clear understanding of your options and obligations under your policy. For example, some companies may require you to have the damage inspected and approved for reimbursement prior to receiving repairs, and failure to do so could have dire consequences, including denial of coverage.
Get Your Windshield Repaired
Once you’ve filed your claim and complied with your insurance company’s requirements, you can finally go ahead and get your windshield fixed! But… where do you go?
Your insurance company may refer you to a specific shop and/or give you the option of selecting a shop yourself. If you choose the latter, be aware that certain limits on reimbursement may apply—and rest assured, if you choose Three Rivers Auto Glass, we’ll work within them to process and price your claim exactly as your insurance company requires. Just give us a call to get things started!