Welcome to the NWRA Information Center for Consumers
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- · What You Should Know About Replacing Your Windshield
- · Benefits of Windshield Repair
- Cost Savings – a windshield repair is hundreds of dollars less than a replacement. A chip repair prevents a crack and crack repair prevents a replacement. Whether you have a chip or a crack get it repaired ASAP.
- Safety - preserving the factory seal. If you are in accident the windshield is a major part of the airbag system and the roof support. Your best chances to avoid injuries or death is with the factory seal. CLICK HERE to see the details in this ABC 20/20 report. This video is also available for viewing in the above section, "What You Should Know About Replacing Your Windshield."
- Quality – saving your windshield preserves the higher quality Original Equipment Manufactured windshield. OEM windshields have precise surface control so the wipers remove rain; are solar optimized to block UV and reduce heat buildup in a parked car by as much as 45 degrees F and while driving which reduces use of the air conditioner saving gas mileage and; have acoustic attenuation which give a quieter ride by reducing road, tire and wind noise. Click the section below to read more about "Glass Qualities and Properties of OE vs Aftermarket."
- · Glass Quality and Properties of OE v. ARG
Many OE windshields have precise surface control so the wipers remove rain; are solar optimized to block UV and reduce heat buildup in a parked car and while driving which reduces use of the air conditioner saving gas mileage and; have acoustic attenuation which give a quieter ride by reducing road, tire and wind noise. The aftermarket ARG windshields can be missing some or all of these qualities and none of this is disclosed.
Another difference between OEM and ARG is the levels of residual stress around the perimeter called the “Weak Spot” which causes windshields to fracture easier in this area and then crack. This is called an edge crack. OEM windshields by contract with the vehicle manufacturers limit this stress that causes them to fracture and crack easier in an OEM windshield. To do this OEMs are made slower requiring more time and energy (heat/BTUs) during the bending and annealing process to limit residual stress in the edge area of the windshield. Vehicle manufacturers require the residual stress to be under 1,000 psi. The ARG glass may be annealed faster requiring less time and less energy (heat/BTUs) and with no contract limiting the residual stress it can be higher and edge crack easier.
Note: A windshields "from an OEM manufacturer" may NOT be an OEM windshield, it is a windshield from a company that also makes original windshields; it has completely different specs and is made in a different factory. This may be used by some to mislead the consumer into thinking they are getting an OEM windshield when in fact it is aftermarket.
- · Repairs Done When the Consumer Did Not Choose the Repair Company but Called the Insurance Company
- Calling your insurance company for a repair may not be the best avenue for the consumer when it comes to auto glass. We recommend you educate yourself as to what is repairable, what your options are and choose your own shop and then call the insurance claim number together with the shop you have chosen. The shop being in the business deals with the claim process every day and will know more about what is going on than the consumer. For example, following are examples of repairs that were done to consumers that called their insurance companies for a repair. CLICK HERE to view improper repairs.
- · Check the Warranty
- Most professional, ethical repairers give a money-back guarantee if the repair fails or the consumer is dissatisfied. Beware if the shop also replaces and only gives a credit for a replacement at their shop ONLY they could make more money by doing a poor repair. If you think the repair is not done right we recommend you compare it with the photographs in the repair quality and inspection page of the ROLAGS website. You can also take a photograph and email it to us for an opinion of whether it has been properly repaired or not.
- · Your Insurance Company’s National Warranty
- Your insurance company's national warranty is no warranty to you. The refund goes to the insurance company. It is a credit toward a replacement minus your deductible so you get nothing no matter what your deductible is. It is referred to in the industry as the “Phantom Warranty.” It is a steering tactic used to steer you to one of their shops. If you had chosen a non-participant to repair or replace your windshield and were steered to one of their participants with this tactic of losing the “Insurance Company’s National Warranty,” CLICK HERE to report this steering tactic to your attorney general.
- · Notice About Your Insurance Company Using a Windshield Manufacturer to Adjust Their Windshield Claims
Your insurance policy covers windshield REPAIR. Your comprehensive deductible is waved for a windshield REPAIR. You paid for this coverage. Your deductible applies for a windshield REPLACEMENT.
Your insurance company has a windshield manufacturer adjusting and processing their windshield claims called a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) whose job is to save the insurance company money. They may do this by steering you to the option most beneficial to themselves and the insurance company. For example they may do this by steering you into an unnecessary windshield replacement which will cause your deductible to apply. When this happens the insurance company usually pays nothing, the windshield manufacturer on the phone sells a windshield and you pay hundreds. They may also try to steer you to one of their shops or contracted “participants” by insinuating you may pay more and not get a warranty if you do not go to one of their participant or preferred shops. Participant shops have signed a contract to do and charge whatever the insurance company says which may not always be what is best for you.
If you have a cracked windshield, a crack is Repair vs. Replacement. The average crack repair is around $99; the average replacement in the United States is around $350. A windshield manufacturer like the one that is answering the phone for your insurance company loses windshield sales from advanced windshield repair technology.
They will adjust the claim by asking you, “Is it longer than a dollar bill (6 inches)?" This measurement for whether a windshield can be repaired has been obsolete for decades and is contrary to the Windshield Repair Standard (ROLAGS). When you say yes they may say nothing and process your claim as a replacement, unless you or the repair shop you choose stops them and demands a repair. Even then they may try to tell you it is not repairable even though it is. (CLICK HERE for Repairable Damages). They will then short-pay it by only paying the price of a chip and you will have to pay the difference. They have no pricing for a crack repair and this is why and how they get most replacement shops to go along and replace because they will also make more money by steering you to that option, but this will all be at your expense.
It is YOUR choice as to what you want to buy: a repair of the higher quality Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) windshield or a REPLACEMENT of the windshield that could also break the original OEM seal. In making that decision, you should consider three factors:
- COST TO YOU: a REPAIR may be free to you or may cost the difference between what the insurance company will pay and the repair price, which is typically less than $40. A REPLACEMENT will be the amount of your deductible that is almost always higher.
- QUALITY: a REPAIR fixes your higher quality OEM glass. The new REPLACEMENT windshield is not OEM quality, but is Auto Replacement Glass (ARG) which, is known to be lower quality and cracks easier.
- TIME AND SAFETY: a REPAIR will take less than one hour and will not disturb the original seal of the windshield to the car frame. A REPLACEMENT will take longer and must sit for hour(s) for the glue to totally cure. If the replacement is not done under controlled conditions (like in a garage) or is driven too soon there is a higher risk that the windshield will leak, crack and even pop out when stress is applied such as with an airbag deployment, rollover or an accident.
It is your vehicle, your money and you should make the choice between REPAIR or REPLACEMENT, not the insurance company or its TPA. Please consider the COST to you, the QUALITY of what you are buying, and the TIME AND SAFETY factors. We want you, the consumer, to make an informed choice when deciding whether to buy a repair or a replacement.
For more information concerning repairable windshield damage, safety and results CLICK HERE.
- · Tell Your Legislator
- Coming Soon
- · Steering
Steering is the term used in insurance claims when the insurance company leads you to the option and/or business they want the claim to go. When you call your insurance company claim number, a Customer Services Representative (CSR) will be reading a carefully crafter script from a computer screen.
Almost all insurance companies have an auto glass manufacturer as the gatekeeper to their insurance claims because they administer the claims for practically nothing and in exchange they gain business by answering the phone with consumers who have windshield damage. Windshield manufacturers are the only business that lose from advanced windshield repair technology and are the last ones that should be adjusting windshield claims. The windshield repair standard says 14-inches, they will tell you six inches, which will end up costing you the consumer hundreds of dollars.
Auto Glass Options – Repair or Replacement – Your deductible is waived for a repair; your deductible applies on a replacement. With windshield repair they steer repairs into replacements by asking you if it is “longer than a dollar bill”, which is six inches. When a windshield has cracked out it is now repair versus replacement and steering you into a replacement causes your deductible to apply so the insurance company now pays zero most of time because most deductibles are at $500 followed by $250. You end up paying hundreds and the windshield company TPA on the phone sells a windshield.
If you feel you were mislead or taken advantage of with your auto glass claim CLICK HERE to find your Attorney General or Insurance Commissioner.
Participant and Non Participant
This steering is going to be to a business they will call a Preferred Shop or Participant to give you the impression that they do superior work, but quality of work has nothing to do with it, it is strictly about money. Preferred Shops or Participants have signed a pricing agreement with your insurance company. If a business does not sign one of these contracts the will have business steered away from them when a consumer calls and requests them either by the agent or through the script read by the CSR. Former CSRs have stated that they steered approximately 90 percent of requests for a non-participant to a participant by telling the consumer that they will not get the insurance companies national warranty and may pay more if they use this non-participant. Businesses that have tracked the losses of being a participant and then a non-participant have seen significantly less business from consumers insured by that particular insurance company. There are many states that have laws prohibiting steering called “Right to Choose Laws.” If you feel you were steered CLICK HERE to find your attorney general.
- · Was Your Repair Done Properly?
- Email us a photo of your repair for inspection by an NWRA expert. Photos can be sent to info@NWRAssn.org.
- · Report Suspected Bad or Fraudulent Repairs
- If you feel you have been misled or steered into an unnecessary replacement by your insurance company, Third-Party Administrator or a glass replacement company or you got a repair that was not done properly, report it to your State Attorney General.
- · On Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Repair Kits
- You may have just ruined your windshield. DIY Kits can only repair about 10 percent of breaks and that is if they have proper instructions. Most break types cannot be repaired properly with these kits and an untrained person cannot tell if all the miniscule cracks are filled with resin. Many breaks also require drilling and flexing which an untrained person would not know how to do. Email us a photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org and the name of the kit to see if it can be re-repaired. You will notice that professional tools are more complex, made of metal, with suction cup(s) and means to level and control the flexing of a break so that the resin reaches the outer perimeter and tips of cracks. Do-it-yourself kits are not like this because it is too costly to manufacture a complex tool professional tool. Do you give yourself a haircut? Do you drill out and fill your own tooth cavities? No, you have trained professionals do it. You should do the same with your windshield because your windshield is a safety devise that can be a matter a life or death in an accident AND you have already paid for windshield repair if you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage.