A "Chip" on Your Shoulder: How Many is Too Many?
February 21, 2013

by Casey Neeley, cneeley@glass.com

Insurers may begin counting the number of cracks and chips a windshield has before deciding if it should be repaired or replaced.

According to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the insurer endorses the idea of a replacement once the windshield has reached a particular number of chips or cracks.

"In the case of more than three damaged areas to the windshield, State Farm strongly recommends windshield replacement," says Anna Bryant, public affairs specialist. "However, we will repair instead of replace the windshield at the policyholder's request."

As for State Farm's reasoning behind this recommendation, Bryant says, "Unfortunately, we can't provide any additional information due to proprietary reasons."

Bob Beranek, president of Auto Glass Consultants and glassBYTEs.com™ blogger, says there is no definitive way to make a blanket determination of when damaged windshields should be replaced.

"The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) has no limitations to the number of breaks on a single piece of glass, only how close one repair can be from another," says Beranek. "The insurance industry recommends that there not be three repairs done on one windshield at one time but I think that is financial rather than a safety [concern]."

Beranek adds that a lack of testing may be the reason there is no known standard.

"There has never been a third party evaluation as to the safety of a repaired windshield," he says.

Rich Campfield, of Ultra-Bond and president of the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) says, "The insurance company is not the one contracting for the repair, they should not be invoking their pricing on the consumer, it's the consumer's vehicle. As long as they are at a reputable repair shop they are in good hands."

"The only reason that they would be limiting repairs is because turning a repair into a replacement kicks in the deductible and the insurance company pays $0 for the deductible. Usually the insurance company is not paying on replacement because of the deductible. By turning a crack into a replacement, they escape paying for a repair by kicking in that deductible ... Legally speaking, they have no right to limit the repair because it's not their car or their money," he adds.

Are you working with any insurers who limit repairs? Email the editor at cneeley@glass.com.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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