Reader Question: Hi Austin,
I just found your site, I love it thanks so much! I have a question. I live in Houston also and I see these guys on the street corner with “Free Windshield Rock Chip Repair” I know that nothing in life is free, so what is the catch?
Keep up the good work,
Hey there my fellow Houstonian,
You are correct, there IS a catch. You will get your windshield rock chip repaired and it will be FREE – meaning you don’t actually pay them on the spot, but your insurance company sure will. Now this might still sound like a great idea…you get your windshield fixed and your insurance company picks up the tab…Yahoo! Well, hang on my friend you might not want this to happen, and for good reason.
The charge for the average windshield rock chip repair is about $40 – 55 which really isn’t a lot of money…right? They will bill your insurance company for the repair, and your insurance company will then count that repair as a “claim” against your policy. Most insurance companies raise the rate they charge the customer because of number of claims submitted, not necessarily the amount of the claims.
Your auto insurance company figures if you are going to submit multiple claims to them, regardless of the amount of each claim, you are probably a higher risk for them in the long run, and will either not renew your policy or raise your rates. So, are you willing to risk cancellation or a rate increase over a $50 windshield repair? I think not.
You can buy an aftermarket repair kit at your local auto parts store, but I have NEVER been able to make one of them work for me. I would suggest you visit one of the corner “free” rock chip guys and pay them in cash, and not make the claim. They will still repair your chip even if you don’t give them your insurance info…there are a few people in this world who still take cash.
BTW – small “spider” cracks do not repair very well, small chips by rocks that make a small hole in the glass repair the best. Thus the term “rock chip repair”… but you knew that!
Austin C. Davis