Windshield Replacement Questions and Waiving Deductibles

Insurance FAQs

These FAQs cover the insurance basics for auto glass repair and replacement. You should always refer to your policy for more detailed information.

Will checking my deductible or inquiring about auto glass claims raise my insurance rates?

Asking your insurance provider about your policy coverage and deductibles is generally not considered a claim. To be certain, please refer to your insurance policy.

Will filing an auto glass claim count towards my insurance policy?

In many cases, insurance companies will not count auto glass damage as a claim on your policy. To be certain, please refer to your policy or contact your agent and/or insurance provider to confirm your specific coverage.

What if I only have liability coverage on my vehicle?

Because liability insurance only provides coverage for damages to another vehicle, auto glass services are not covered under your liability policy. Chapman Auto Glass offers multiple payment options including cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Will all insurance companies waive my deductible if my windshield is repaired rather than replaced?

Many insurance companies cover windshield repair at 100% coverage with no deductible. A representative will be happy to help you with your questions regarding insurance coverage.

Call us at 505-228-5869 for more information. Contact your agent and/or insurance provider or refer to your insurance policy to confirm your specific coverage.

What if my deductible is the same or more than the auto glass service?

You can pay for the work yourself. Chapman Auto Glass offers multiple payment options including cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Do I need to contact my agent or insurance company before I contact Chapman Auto Glass?

No, we can do that for you. We’re experts at verifying coverage, filing the claim and handling all the paperwork. We will contact your insurance company and submit the claim on your behalf.

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Is your Windshield getting Lighter?

Auto industry gets serious about lighter materials

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Roofs made of carbon fiber. Plastic windshields. Bumpers fashioned out of aluminum foam.

What sounds like a science experiment could be your next car.

While hybrids and electrics may grab the headlines, the real frontier in fuel economy is the switch to lighter materials.

Automakers have been experimenting for decades with lightweighting, as the practice is known, but the effort is gaining urgency with the adoption of tougher gas mileage standards. To meet the government’s goal of nearly doubling average fuel economy to 45 mpg by 2025, cars need to lose some serious pounds.

Lighter doesn’t mean less safe. Cars with new materials are already acing government crash tests. Around 30 percent of new vehicles already have hoods made of aluminum, which can absorb the same amount of impact as steel. Some car companies are teaming up with airplane makers, which have years of crash simulation data for lightweight materials.

Ford gave a glimpse of the future last week with a lightweight Fusion car. The prototype, developed with the U.S. Department of Energy, is about 800 pounds lighter than a typical Fusion thanks to dozens of changes in parts and materials.

The instrument panel consists of a carbon fiber and nylon composite instead of steel. The rear window is made from the same tough but thin plastic that covers your cellphone.

The car has aluminum brake rotors that are 39 percent lighter than cast iron ones and carbon fiber wheels that weigh 42 percent less than aluminum ones.

Because it’s lighter, the prototype can use the same small engine as Ford’s subcompact Fiesta, which gets an estimated 45 mpg on the highway.

The car won’t be in dealerships anytime soon. For one thing, it’s prohibitively expensive. Its seats, for example, cost up to $73 apiece because they have carbon fiber frames. The same seats with steel frames are $12.

Still, prototypes are helping Ford and other companies figure out the ideal mix of materials.

“These are the technologies that will creep into vehicles in the next three to five years,” said Matt Zaluzec, Ford’s technical leader for materials and manufacturing research.

Some vehicles have already made a lightweight leap. Land Rover’s 2013 Range Rover, which went on sale last year, dropped around 700 pounds with its all-aluminum body, while the new Acura MDX shed 275 pounds thanks to increased use of high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium.

Ford has unveiled an aluminum-body 2015 F-150 pickup, which shaves up to 700 pounds off the current version. The truck goes on sale later this year.

The average vehicle has gained more than 800 pounds over the last 12 years and now tops out at just over 3,900 pounds, according to government data. Not only have cars gotten bigger, but safety features like air bags and more crash-resistant frames have also added weight. General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt electric car has to drag around a 400-pound battery.

Morgan Stanley estimates than shaving 110 pounds off each of the 1 billion cars on the world’s roads could save $40 billion in fuel each year.

“Lightweighting is going to be with us for a long time,” said Hesham Ezzat, a technical fellow at GM. “Every manufacturer is going to have to leverage their entire palette of materials.”

Here’s a look at some of the materials automakers will use to shed the pounds:

HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL: Steel isn’t going away. Chances are, high-strength steel – a lighter and stronger steel mixed with other elements such as nickel and titanium – already makes up at least 15 percent of your car’s weight. Some newer models, such as the Cadillac ATS, are nearly 40 percent high-strength steel.

High-strength steel costs about 15 percent more than regular steel, but less than other materials such as aluminum. It still weighs more than aluminum, but continuing advances could cut that weight. Extremely thin but strong steels made with nanotechnology – which manipulates the metal at the molecular level – could be on cars by 2017.

ALUMINUM: The typical vehicle already contains around 340 pounds of aluminum, or about 10 percent of the weight of a midsize car. It’s most commonly used in engines, wheels, hoods and trunk lids.

Aluminum is lighter than steel and easy to form into a variety of parts. It’s also more corrosion-resistant than steel.

There are drawbacks. The supply of steel is many times greater than that of aluminum, and will be for many years. Aluminum also costs 30 percent more than conventional steel, and a rapid increase in demand could make aluminum prices volatile.

Still, consultant McKinsey and Co. predicts aluminum’s use in the auto industry will triple by 2030.

CARBON FIBER: Airplanes use it. Boats use it.

Carbon fiber is a high-strength material made from woven fibers. It’s half the weight of steel, it is resistant to dents and corrosion, and it offers the most design flexibility, since it can be shaped in ways that stamped metal can’t.

But the high cost of carbon fiber and the time it takes to form it into parts are huge barriers for the auto industry.

Petroleum-based strands must go through several stages before they’re woven into carbon fiber. After that, it takes five minutes to form the material into a part, compared with one minute for steel or aluminum. On an assembly line producing a car every minute, that’s simply too long. Plus, carbon fiber is five to six times more expensive than steel, according to McKinsey.

Automakers, the government and others are experimenting with cheaper materials for the fibers and faster-curing resins that could shorten the time to form parts. McKinsey believes that could significantly shrink the price gap by 2030.

Until then, expect to see carbon fiber in limited amounts on low-volume or luxury cars. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which starts at $51,000, has a carbon fiber hood and roof, while the $41,350 BMW i3 electric car is built around a carbon fiber frame.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Lawsuit Against Safelite Raises Questions about Company’s Guarantee

Lawsuit Against Safelite Raises Questions about Company’s Guarantee
April 9, 2013

by Jenna Reed,

Auto glass professionals are questioning Safelite’s stance that its “Advantage” guarantee covers work by Safelite AutoGlass and that Safelite Solutions, its claims management business, does not warranty the work it subcontracts to other glass shops.

The company’s position became apparent when the Safelite’s senior corporate counsel voiced hope Monday that the company would be voluntarily dismissed from a recent lawsuit in which a Montana woman reportedly lost both her husband and young daughter in a rollover crash, in which the windshield allegedly separated from the vehicle.

Attorney Brian DiMasi says Safelite AutoGlass did not perform the windshield replacement. DiMasi says Safelite Solutions, the company’s claims management business, processed the glass claim on behalf of another glass shop which completed the work. Due to this, he says that Safelite should be voluntarily dismissed from the complaint.

When asked how “The Safelite Advantage” warranty comes into play, Melina Metzger, the company’s public relations manager, says, “Safelite’s warranty is for Safelite AutoGlass. Safelite Solutions doesn’t warranty other shops’ work.”

Kerry Soat, CEO of Fas-Break in Chandler, Ariz., responds, “This case sounds like Safelite should pay close attention to the phone scripts they give clients. Stating, ‘We can’t guarantee their work if the shop is not one of our preferred providers’ may come back to haunt Safelite on cases like this one.”

He goes on to question whether Safelite is legally responsible for the replacement installation billed through the company. Soat says this is a good question, “especially when they are leading the clients’ to ‘assume’ they will with the phone scripts and glass inspections.”

Meanwhile, another auto glass business owner who preferred not to be identified says he hopes more lawsuits will be filed to address this guarantee gray area in the industry.

Paul Gross, president and CEO of HSG/CodeBlue, also responded to the situation more from a safety Council Registered Members.”

On the AGRR™ magazine forum more auto glass professionals are sharing their feedback and asking questions.

For instance, one auto glass professional with the handle “Sglass” asks, “How can they [Safelite] not be responsible for the warranty? If there is an issue, SGC [Safelite Glass Claims] steps in and if the customer doesn’t want to or is talked out of going back to original installer. SGC steps in and does the warranty repair. Then they charge the original installer back all of the money they were paid. They are right in the middle of it all.”

Another auto glass professional with the handle “countryboy” adds, “A customer called a friend of mine’s glass shop that connected to SGC and SGC told the customer they could not warranty that glass shop’s work because they were not in network. After a few minutes of going back and forth, he ended up with the job anyway, so what is up with that then if they don’t warranty. What is meant by [that] statement?”

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™.

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Do your research, make your windshield money count.

Do you need a new windshield because yours is cracked?

What is your main requirement for selecting an auto glass replacement company?

How do you select your windshield replacement company?

What do you know about the company that is going to or did your replacement?

What is the reputation of your auto glass company? Do you care?

What if you were having surgery, would these questions matter to you? Would you even give them a thought?

Now I am not comparing auto glass repair or windshield replacement to surgery but I am attempting to make a point that you need to ask questions other than “How much is it” and do research on how a company does business and performs their service.

I am constantly getting calls asking if I am able to fix a loose molding or reseal a leaking piece of glass that another company installed. Why am I getting these calls? Here are 3 reasons that I hear all of the time.

1. X glass company never shows up to fix it even though they say they will. (So much for their warranty/guarantee)
2. X glass company is out of business (more likely that they changed their name and “reopened” another shop)
3. I do not want them touching my car again, I do not trust them.

If the installer did not use primer, did not run a consistent and solid bead of urethane or a variety of other things correctly, than the only way to fix the leak is to remove the windshield and start from scratch…. which will cost you more money if you go with someone other than the original glass company. Very seldom will you be able to remove the windshield without breaking it in the cars of today, which is why the warranty and guarantee is very important to you the consumer.

I guess I am pounding home this advice:

Doing a small amount of research for reviews online will yield vast amounts of information, and at the same time LEAVING reviews online could/will help the next person come to a decision and perhaps avoid trouble. And as much as it hurts to admit and accept, paying a little more on the front end for a company that does not take shortcuts and follows procedures, usually ends up SAVING you money in the long run.

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What You Should Know About Windshield Replacement

What You Should Know About Replacing Your Car’s Windshield

Most people think of the windshield as the part of the car that prevents them from getting hit in the face by bugs and rocks as they drive down the road; but in reality, it serves an even more important purpose.
The windshield is a primary component of your vehicle’s safety feature. In addition to protecting the driver and passengers from flying debris, the windshield helps support the car’s roof, and is a major component of the passenger safety restraint system. Along with the seatbelts and airbags, it helps keep the driver and passengers inside the car in the event of a crash or rollover.

However, if the factory-installed windshield has been replaced and the work was not done properly, it could lead to problems. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30 percent of the 40,000 Americans killed in highway fatalities every year — some 12,000 people — die after either being ejected from the vehicle, or critically injured during rollovers.

“The National Glass Association’s (NGA’s) review of the NHTSA data confirms a measurable percentage of those fatalities occur when an improperly replaced windshield does not remain firmly bonded to the vehicle during a crash. Unfortunately, the percentage is probably higher than we can document but, often, accident investigators are unable to identify the ejection pathway after the fact,” says Leo Cyr, vice president of the National Auto Glass Association’s Auto Glass Division.

A “20/20” news story that aired on February 25, 2000, supports that theory. “20/20 experts estimate up to 70 percent of the 12 million windshields replaced each year are done so improperly. Among the mistakes made by unlicensed technicians, not cleaning the new windshield properly before attaching it to the car; not wearing disposable rubber gloves when handling a windshield, allowing natural body oils and dirt from their hands to contaminate the bonding surface; skipping the secondary primer for the windshield, preventing it from fully bonding; using Butyl tape instead of urethane as the bonding agent; and failing to warn the customer that the car is not safe to drive until the adhesive cures.

“After a windshield has been replaced, there is no reliable test to determine if the replacement was done properly and safely,” says Cyr. “However, if you notice a water or air leak around the windshield you are well within your rights to ask the windshield be removed and reinstalled.”

The NGA has calculated that 5.1 percent of windshields are damaged and require replacement each year. With people keeping their cars longer than ever these days, the chances that you’ll need a windshield replacement are good.
If the damage is not too extensive, repair instead of replacement may be a viable and economical option, but a competent technician should be consulted first. The technician can determine if the
damage is an appropriate size for repair; that distortion will not result after the repair; and that
the windshield’s inner PVB layer has not been penetrated and compromised.

If the technician determines that windshield replacement is necessary, the National Glass
Association recommends you:
1. Look for “Technician Certificates” which should be proudly posted in the customer
reception area of the Glass shop.
2. Ask if your service provider employs technicians trained and certified?
3. Familiarize yourself with the auto glass industry’s Auto Glass Replacement Safety
4. Ask how long will the job take? If the installer tells you the job can be done in less than
an hour, make sure to ask what urethane they are using and ask to see documentation of cure time.
5. Ask about the recommended “Safe Drive Away Time” for the urethane adhesive being
used. Make sure the shop plans to give the windshield adequate curing time before
sending it out on the road.
“A professional installation company will not object to answering any of these questions,” says
Cyr. “They value their reputation, their commitment to customer safety and want to be sure the
consumer is comfortable with the level of service they provide. Unfortunately, many consumers
still think all windshield replacement is the same, except for price, and do not ask the questions
they should!”

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Just a few thoughts

I have spent over 20 yrs in the auto glass business and as you can imagine I have seen and heard many things over that time. Some things you brush off or roll your eyes at while others make you shake your head and pull your hair out.

Recently I have had a couple of experiences I would like to share with you.

A few days ago while picking up some parts from the local supplier I overheard an “installer” ask another “installer” how to install a back glass he had just purchased. The answer he got was to “LOOK IT UP ON YOUTUBE, THAT IS HOW I LEARNED”. Now you my think to yourself I look stuff up all the time on youtube, whats wrong with that? A lot.

I decided to visit youtube and see what kind of instructions they provided for auto glass installations. While many of the videos did “show” you how to do the replacements, few showed the proper steps and none that I watched addressed the safety aspect of the installations, proper cure times, proper steps for using primers or most importantly addressing the Safe Drive Away Time (SDAT) which can vary from 1 hr to as much as 72 hours depending on which urethane you use and/or temp and humidity.

Another situation is something that I am continually fighting, and will continue to fight, and that is the lack of knowledge among people outside of the industry regarding the function and importance of your windshield. I am constantly asking people on my sales calls if they are aware of the Safe Drive Away Times or if anyone has ever mentioned this to them. The overwhelming answer I hear is “No, no-one has ever told me that” or “The last installer told me I could drive as soon as he was done”.

Let me ask you a few questions:

Did you know your windshield is a vital part of your vehicle structure?
It effects your airbag deployment
It effects your roof strength
It keeps people in the vehicle and foreign items out
Your windshield does a lot more than keep the wind and bugs out of your face and teeth

Did you know you CANNOT drive your vehicle right away after a replacement?
EVERY urethane has a Safe Drive Away Time — Time a vehicle CANNOT be moved
Not every Urethane has the same cure time or requirements
Tape on your windshield DOES NOT hold your windshield in the vehicle

Lastly, lets think for a moment….. If you call around to different glass shops and several of them say it will take 2-3 hrs. (for argument sake here) to do the replacement and release the vehicle, what makes you think that someone who says it will take 30 minutes and you can drive right away is doing the job correctly and not putting your safety and life at risk??

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What’s the difference between my windshield and the other glass in my car?

Safety glass is used in all automobile glass. It is manufactured to reduce the likelihood of injury, if it breaks. Windshields are made from a lamination process. The windshield glass in your car is made of laminated glass, which is designed to offer highest levels of safety in the event of a crash. The laminated glass is made up of two pieces of glass, with a thin layer of vinyl between them. The three pieces are laminated together by applying heat and pressure in a special oven called an autoclave. When a small object strikes a piece of safety glass, typically only the outer layer of the windshield that is struck breaks.

However, in severe impact situations, the glass “shatters” but usually does not fly apart because the broken pieces of glass generally adhere to the vinyl inner lining.

The side and rear windows are made of tempered glass, which is produced by heating the glass to more than 1,100°F and then rapidly cooling it. This “tempering” process makes the glass many times stronger than un-tempered glass of the same thickness.

If broken, tempered glass is designed to disintegrate into small pieces of glass about the size of rock salt. There should be no large, jagged pieces of glass to injure the driver or passengers.

Every part on a new car, comes from the original equipment manufacture (OEM), including the windshield. This glass meets the original specifications for safety and quality as the glass that it came with from the factory.

Windshields may look simple, but they are actually made from two pieces of glass that are bent in a very precise way. If a windshield does not meet the exact specifications of the manufacturer, it will not fit precisely in your car.

The best way to assure exact fit is to use a windshield produced from a fixture engineered to manufacturer’s specifications. OEM glass is your assurance that this has occurred.

For windshield replacement, you have the option to select a replacement made by a company that manufactures OEM windshields, or glass made from non-OEM manufacturers referred to as aftermarket glass. Both OEM and aftermarket glass must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, but there are two important OEM benefits:

An OEM replacement windshield is produced from original equipment-style tooling. This type of windshield will have the appearance of your car’s original windshield and will insure proper fit in the window frame reducing noise and leakage problems.

OEM glass manufacturers partner with automobile producers to enhance overall functionality and improved performance. Because of their close work with carmakers, OEM manufacturers have a greater knowledge of the engineering demands a car can place on the windshield and their replacement windshields are made using the same quality assurance systems as for new vehicles.

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The Difference Between a High and Low Quality Windshields

The Difference Between High and Low Quality Windshields

Americans Love Generic Prescription Drugs, Copy-Cat Handbags,
and Knock-Off Name Brands…
One of the Most Important & Overlooked Safety Features in Your Vehicle
Is Right In Front of Your Eyes

The Difference Between High and Low Quality Windshields

You’re on the road this summer and a rock bounces up and puts a big crack in your windshield. No big deal, you can you wait until winter to fix it, right? No.

A car’s windshield acts as one of its most important safety features during an accident, rollover or collision. In a collision, a properly installed windshield keeps you in the vehicle and acts as a backboard for the passenger side airbag. In a rollover accident the windshield supports the roof of your vehicle and prevents it from collapsing and injuring the vehicle’s occupants.

Okay, so it’s time to replace the windshield, but what are the choices and how important is this really? There are two types of auto glass: OEM glass (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and non-OEM glass, or what many people refer to as aftermarket glass. OEM suppliers are trusted by auto manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to provide quality controlled windshields that are a perfect match and fit for their vehicles. OEM glass suppliers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, using computer-assisted engineering and design programs (CAE and CAD) to ensure quality windshields for their vehicles. Each OEM windshield goes through rigorous and thorough surface contour and optical quality checks as it moves down the assembly line. Auto glass parts produced by OEM Manufacturers consistently fit better and adhere to the same standards for fit and finish as the glass that is originally installed when the car is built.
There are significant quality differences between original equipment manufactured windshields and aftermarket auto glass. So why then, would anyone go to a shop that uses aftermarket glass when you need to replace your windshield? The after market shops will tell you that their product is the same quality as an OEM windshield. Wrong. Non-OEM auto glass manufacturers make copies of OEM auto glass parts. These copies have to vary slightly from the OEM part due to the fact that OEM parts are patented and the designs are protected and trademarked. Non-OEM suppliers must make significant differences in their product so that they do not exactly copy the glass used by GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to avoid being sued for copyright fraud.

Many auto glass shops use non-OEM parts because they are significantly cheaper to buy. These savings are not always passed along to the consumer, nor is the consumer told the parts being installed are of a lesser quality. Aftermarket glass parts also are not accepted by new car manufacturers for warranty claims and violate the repair requirements of many leasing contracts. It is common after installation for non-OEM or aftermarket parts to have fit and finish problems like air leaks, water leaks and stress cracks.

“Almost 70% of the automotive windshields that we see (that have been previously replaced) were improperly installed,” says Nik Frye, Vice President of Sales for Glass America. “This is important to note, because in a front-end collision, the windshield can provide up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle. In a rollover, that number can be up to 60%. If customers use OEM glass, a high quality polyurethane adhesive system with a one hour cure time, and a trained, certified technician – then this will greatly improve their chances of getting a safe windshield installation.”

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