Damaged Windshields - Repair or Replace?

Jan. 6, 2014 - Whack! A rock hits your windshield. Your eyes scan for damage and your brain wonders if the windshield damage means a quick repair — or replacement.

The good news is that a chip or crack doesn’t always mean a new windshield. Most windshield repair shops can fix up to quarter-sized rock chips and cracks as long as 3 inches.

Since repairs are cheaper than replacements, Erie Insurance would waive the deductible—the portion of a covered loss for which you are responsible—and pay for the repair, if you have purchased comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. The deductible will apply if a replacement is needed.

What You Should Know about Windshield Damage

Whether you’re going to repair or replace, it’s best to take action right away.

“A small crack may seem insignificant, but if it’s not fixed, it can grow into a larger problem,” said Jim Brown, vice president and manager of Erie Insurance’s Material Damage Department. “Driving with a damaged or cracked windshield could hamper your visibility and compromise your safety. The windshield is a major part of the airbag system and the roof support. If you’re in an accident, a cracked or chipped windshield could shatter under the pressure of the collision.”

Beware of the ‘Repair Harvester’

You should also be wary of strangers who want to help. Windshield repair harvesters position themselves at gas stations, convenience stores, car washes and even county fairs, trying to sell drivers on a windshield repair. Typically, they will try to convince drivers to replace perfectly good windshields and offer a cash rebate or other inducement, like free movie tickets or car washes.

“When you’re approached by someone about repairing your windshield while you wait, my advice is not to do it,” Brown said. “Some may know what they are doing, but many do not do a good job. Don’t give your insurance information to anyone until you decide that you want a claim filed over the repair.”

ERIE's Glass Claims Service

If your windshield is damaged, Erie Insurance’s glass claims service will connect you with the glass shop of your choice, or help you find one of many auto repair facilities affiliated with ERIEGlassSM, which offers:

  • 24-hour loss reporting (with multi-lingual options available)
  • A nationwide network that includes more than 8,000 qualified professional repair and replacement glass shops
  • Convenient repair scheduling (mobile or in-shop options)
  • Low, consistent pricing with lifetime guarantees

Erie Insurance Customers can call ERIEGlassSM at 800-552-ERIE (3743). For more information, contact your local ERIE Agent.

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