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Comprehensive car insurance is a type of coverage that makes provisions for certain types of non-collision damage and this includes windshields. If you are driving down the road and a pebble strikes your windshield, it can cause anything from a small nick to a deep chip. Making a claim with your comprehensive car insurance can be very useful in situations like this.
All you need to do is find a reputable dealer who accepts your insurance. You can utilize the services of the National Glass Association and enter your personal information to find a local company that will come to your aid. In most cases, the technician will use a resin to fill the chips or cracks and within a few short minutes, your windshield is repaired.
Most insurance companies will waive the deductible as a courtesy and you will not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. This is because it is much cheaper to repair the damage than it is to replace the entire windshield.
The Importance of Repairing your Windshield
If you notice a small chip or crack in your windshield, it is imperative that you find someone who will not only honor your car repair insurance, but also perform the job quickly and efficiently. Should you continue to drive your vehicle without repairing the windshield, your situation can spiral out of control and wind up costing you even more. This includes a total replacement of your windshield.
Changes in temperatures can cause small chips, cracks, and nicks to spread and over time, repair becomes a moot point.
For example, temperatures below 14 degrees are more likely to cause small chips and cracks to spread. In fact, over 80% of vehicles with slight chips and cracks will see significant changes to their windshields.
The same is true for warm temperatures. When the weather begins to heat up, chips and cracks can spread in a vertical pattern. The intense heat causes distortions and when utilizing the air conditioner, this can intensify the problem.
Other Factors to Consider
If you consistently drive long distances or have a daily commute that requires you to drive more than 45 minutes each way, your vehicle is more likely to have more stress and fatigue. Having a small chip, crack or nick in your windshield means you are more susceptible to additional damage from bumps and potholes.
Additionally, terrain that is worn and uneven can put excess stress on small chips causing them to spread. If this happens, you may be forced to replace the entire windshield, which can cost much more money than a simple repair.
While most experts cannot provide a specific timeframe, it is always a good idea to take action as soon as possible. The odds of you encountering another situation that will cause a small crack to turn into a large one are not worth chancing. Especially since your safety can become compromised.
Determining if you should Repair or Replace your Windshield
Most auto glass technicians will determine if you should repair or replace your windshield by the amount of damage, size and length of time since you originally noticed the problem. This is why it is always best to seek the advice of a professional right away. Over time, dirt and debris can clog the chip and crack which can prevent the repair from succeeding.
Generally, if the chip or crack is less than the size of a dollar bill, they will recommend repairing the damage.
However, if it is larger, they will advise a total replacement. The repair itself should only take about 15 to 25 minutes because very few tools are required. Usually, the technician will insert a small drill into the damaged area so the resin will flow easier.
If the windshield requires replacement, it can take up to an hour and requires more steps, including breaking the original windshield, cleaning and preparing the entire frame. The technician must then apply a bonding agent to make sure the new windshield adheres correctly. After the process is completed, you may be required to wait as long as three or four hours before you can drive.
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