If we were to describe this summer at Union Colony Insurance in one word, it would be hail…
And boy, some of these hail storms have been described using biblical terminology.
In fact, even our own Union Colony family couldn’t escape from the hail this summer. Kerry Wyatt walked into the office one day and showed us the hail stones that hit his house in Eaton. The hailstones were like hockey pucks. They were wide and circular but flat and narrow.
I have often come into the office this summer to find everyone on the phone inundated with hail claims. But that’s why we are here!
We also know that with hail, comes the replacement process of roofs, windows, and windshields.
At Union Colony Insurance, we believe in community and part of that means letting people aware of potential rip-offs that can harm our community and not build it up.
The hailstorm that hit Kerry, really did a number on his windshield on his car.
In fact, check out the circular scratch that one of the hockey pucks made. See if you can see it in the red circle below.
Lori has recently let me know of potential windshield scams that are out there if you need to replace or fix your windshield. I want to pass this on to you so you may be aware.
Here are 4 things to look out for when needing to replace or repair your windshield.
1) Phantom Damages
Phantom damages are not ghosts that will take a baseball bat to your windshield in the middle of the night.
Instead, there are some people who will declare that there are more damages on your windshield than there actually are when they are reporting the cost.¹ If you have just a couple of chips that need to be repaired, check your bill that they are not charging you for more chips than fixed or for an entire windshield when it only needed two chips to be repaired.
Also, some repair technicians will say that 8 out of 10 chip repairs can’t be fixed.² This is a lie. Most can be repaired and make a significant improvement.
2) Location Matters
Some windshield repair companies will lie about where they made a repair.³ If you live in a populated area, sometimes they will lie on the bill and say they did the repair in a rural area. This is because some companies get a larger commission in rural communities.
3) Beating the System
Insurance companies have decided to reduce the deducible or waive the deducible on chip repairs for windshields. So windshield technicians will often up-sell what you need.
For instance, they will come up to you and say you need a chip repair. Sometime they will do so where there is no chip to begin with. Then they will convince you to repair the “Chip” for no charge, but show you how it’s hard to fix a chip and convince that the best results are to replace the entire windshield.
When they do this, they are up-selling you to replace your entire windshield. An honest repairman can fix a chip 85-95% of the time and have good results.² The dishonest repairman may even damage your windshield in the process to make you purchase an entire windshield.
Replacing an entire windshield costs a lot more. Typically, a repair will not raise your rates but replacing an entire windshield may. This can all be categorized in insurance frauds and with amount of insurance fraud in our nation, it costs the average family $950/year in increased premiums.⁴
4) Is Your Windshield a Windshield?
If there is a need to replace your windshield, make sure you are getting it replaced with “original equipment manufacturer” glass which basically will be the same glass put in by the original auto company.³
Some will replace your windshield with less quality glass but charge you for glass that is more expensive. Not only is this fraudulent, but can be a big safety issue.¹
Imagine substandard glass in your car and you are diving down the road and can easily get a ding, then a crack in your windshield. Imagine getting into an accident and the repair or replacement was done in a substandard manner. The windshield can easily pop out and make for debris to easily enter a car or for the roof to cave in because the windshield is a vital part of the structure of the car.
As a community, let’s be aware of what can happen out there. This is our aim or goal, to help you as best as we can and create a great community. Honesty and respect for people must be built to create this community. Unfortunately, for some, even a little thing such as windshields can bring out the worst in people.
Feel free to comment below and let’s, as a community, build each other up and help each other not fall for deceitful tactics.