We’ve all seen the signs at the car wash and even in the parking lots of gas stations; “Free Windshield Repair”, “Glass Chips fixed Free”, and so on, and so on. Signs that seem to say “Why would you drive around with a chipped windshield? That’s crazy! Free is free, right?”
I hate to break it all to you, but a wise man once said ” There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” He was very right, and could have subsituted “car repair” for “lunch” and would have been just as right. In this case, while you may not pay for your “free” repair now, you will when your insurance comes up for renewal, most likely.
Because it’s a comprehensive claim.
When these people give you their “free” fix, they fill the chip (a proces that costs approximately $25) and then bill your insurance company for the repair – which shows up as a comprehensive claim. Most insurance companies do have a zero deductible glass coverage, but zero deductible doesn’t mean zero charge – a claim is a claim is a claim. So when you get your windshield fixed for “free” you will generally see a raise in premium at renewal. We had a client who drove a lot, and got his windshield repaired every few months. When his rate went up, we had a very hard time finding a better rate because he had 3 claims a year for 3 years.
Every claim was a “free” windshield repair.
Now, I don’t want you to think that we are telling you not to use your insurance – but we are trying to help you make informed decisions. Generally, when a stranger tells you something is free, it may not cost you anything now, but someone will pay eventually. In insurance, it’s generally the person that gets the monthly bill that pays. Be aware, be informed, and be smart. Insurance is something that you have to have, but not something you should use without considering how it will affect your premium.