A real pain in the glass

February 6, 2013

We’ve all been there. Driving down the road, minding your own business, maybe without a care in the world, then WHACK!!! You’re startled by a noise so loud you expect that whatever just struck your car must have left a gaping hole. Could a single gunshot be any louder?

  POSTAGE  by Rob Stamp

Of course, it wasn’t a bullet, but a piece of road debris that somehow kicked up, assessed the various targets available and picked your windshield, of all things, to crash into with every last bit of its might. Could’ve been a rock. Could’ve been a bottle cap. Could’ve been a hose clamp. Could’ve been the kitchen sink, though you might have recognized that for what it was as it was cartwheeling over your hood just before impact with the safety glass. Sometimes, that sudden, horrible sound really springs a nasty surprise on you and you find yourself in shameful need of different skivvies.

What’s funny is that, no matter how terrible the sound was, the mark it leaves is so often barely visible. And sometimes you can only see it if you catch it in just the right sunlight. It’s amazing that, despite that awful crash, it’s only marked by some teeny tiny star, seemingly colorfully etched into the glass by some pixie dust-sniffing fairy.

Of course, we all know that, left to its own devices, that teeny tiny star is going to eventually grow into the Milky Way of auto glass breakage and become an unrepairable crack. Ignore your rock chips and wild temperature swings will help cause it to lengthen and shorten considerably the lifespan of your windshield. They have a pretty darn good repair process today that can save a lot of windshields we used to consider shot. But, if you carry comprehensive coverage on the car, you need to get a glass technician on it before it’s too late. So, you would want to file the claim with your insurance company as soon as practical. Repairs are commonly covered in full, replacements are not. Once it’s a goner (I’ve been told anything that wouldn’t fit in the size of a dollar bill is beyond repair), it would be subject to your comprehensive deductible. So, for anybody who carries a $500 deductible, they’re likely paying for the entire windshield since most fall below that amount.

Though not all companies do, most will waive your comprehensive deductible when the damage can be repaired. AAA won’t, but the other companies we represent will pay the $60 or $70 it takes to fix the glass and, because of the technology they’ve mastered, you may never have another problem with that particular spot. You’ll later likely catch another “missile,” as it is defined in your policy, but it will probably strike elsewhere and create a brand new crack, if left unattended.

So, the next time something bangs into your windshield and ruins an otherwise pleasant drive, get it fixed before it starts running. You’ll be glad you did.