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What You Should Know About ‘Windshield Bullies’

If you need to repair or replace the car’s windshield due to damage, choose a reputable vehicle service shop. There is a growing fraud problem with “glass harvesters” or “windshield bullies,” who try to pressure consumers into making unnecessary repairs.

What’s a windshield bully?

Unfortunately, some vehicle glass repair and replacement companies use extremely aggressive sales tactics and hire people who approach consumers in a pushy manner at car washes, oil change facilities and gas stations, offering to repair or replace their windshield “for free.”

The bullies may tell you that you have a problem with your windshield, but the damage may only be cosmetic. They may also pressure you into providing your auto insurance information and make promises to “take care of everything.”

You may not even realize that they are filing an insurance claim on your behalf when you provide your insurance information.

What could happen if you encounter one?

Once an insured agrees to the deal, the unscrupulous contractor will complete the work and make money from the insurance claim. Replacing a windshield that is not damaged and asking the insurance company to cover the costs is considered insurance fraud.

How to handle a windshield repair

If you come across a windshield bully, trust your gut. Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics from a stranger approaching you and telling you to replace your windshield.

If you have questions about windshield or auto glass damage, get in touch directly with a trusted insurance professional like a local Erie Insurance agent. It's always up to you to decide which auto glass shop you want to work with.

ERIE customers also have the option to start an auto glass claim with ERIE’s partner Safelite® Solutions through or by calling 1-800-552-ERIE (3743).

Read more about ERIE’s claims process and how to handle windshield repair

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ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.