Windshield Repair – “Free” Rock Chip Repair What is The Catch?

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,
Tim R.

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

Posted in: Exterior Care

32 Comments on "Windshield Repair – “Free” Rock Chip Repair What is The Catch?"

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  1. Glass rep says:

    I am one of those tent guys. I don’t advertise free repairs I advertise no cost then tell them they have already paid for it. 5 minutes for a repair is correct. I have done this for 4 years. I average forty insurance repairs a week and 15 cash 40 dollar sells. I have never had a costumer call me back because it cracked out. The bottom line is not about how fast or cheap the repair is, it’s the resin. The reason why my company is so successful is becuase we use the most up to date resin, and we charge the same as other company’s becuase we buy in bulk. Company’s pick on the tent people becuase Thier easy targets, and use the we’re better then them becuase we take longer excuse. And you don’t need a licsene to do chip repair, it not surgery. Thier are some shady tent people I will admit but just Ask them for a work example, most of the time they have pictures to show or videos of the repairs. I even let people call previous customers to ask them about it (with permission of coarse). Primieums are affected of you use all of your comprehensive amount. AAA pays 62 dollars for the repair and Thier comprehensive amount per year is 6-700 hundred a year. Allowing 10 or 11 repairs. Rock chip company’s advertises by two approaches: time and bashing. So go pay this guy 50 bucks for a 30 minute repair, or find my tent or gas station, or parking lot and use my service which you already Pay for in 5 minutes.

  2. Ron says:

    To whom it may concern: Chip repair saves the insurance company money in the long run, if it didn’t they wouldn’t pay for it, now would they? Think about it just for a second or two. If chip repair was a scam the insurance would not pay for it plan and simple!

  3. Dawn says:

    I am actually delighted to read this website posts
    which contains tons of valuable data, thanks for providing these information.

  4. Xtremely Auto Glass says:

    Free doesn’t mean it is good enough. We are Houston’s Most Professional Mobile Auto Glass Technicians. We pride ourselves in offering our customers very competitive pricing and the highest level of quality.At Xtremely Auto Glass, we provide you with extremely efficient service. Our auto glass technicians will service your domestic or foreign car, truck, vans, or commercial vehicle. In addition, we will assist you with the insurance claims process. Our customer service is exceptional and our representatives will thoroughly review the entire process with you to ensure that your vehicle is restored to factory specifications.

  5. Lou Lou says:

    I have never seen so much hollering and finger pointing about such a mundane subject before. Let’s everyone take a deep breath and relax…there. Doesn’t that feel better? First of all, remember that nothing in life is free, ever. If your insurance covers your chip repair, you are paying your monthly dues, correct?

    Second, when you see the word “free” always, ALWAYS ask about the billing details, find out what is expected of you, are there recurring charges, etc. and never make a rushed judgement. If you have any doubts at all about the service or pricing, take a day off to do some research and go back later. Anyone who says you have to “take advantage of this great offer now, or it will be gone” is trying to sell you something that will not bear close scrutiny.

    I myself tend to be cautious about what I buy and from whom, and since I started working in the auto glass industry I have found out that there are a lot of scams and fly-by-night companies out there. Just be careful. No matter where you live, feel free to call Diamond Glass and ask questions or visit our website, Facebook page or blog. We pride ourselves on being highly ethical and putting customer service and education first. We only serve Utah and the far northern Arizona area at present, but would love to hear from you anyway! http://www.diamondglass.com. Good luck and take care. Lou Lou

  6. Chris says:

    Most of the time the windshield repair technician will either call you and ask for a fair cash price, or he may just waive the entire thing so that it is totally free. It is the technicians responsibility to make sure his contract is valid with your insurance company wit the appropriate coverage.

    I wouldn’t sweat it 🙂

  7. Amanda says:

    ok…. so what happens when you DO go for the “free chip repair” because you thought you had full/comprehensive coverage but ended up not??? i got suckered into one at a gas station and i told him “i ‘m not sure if i have full coverage” , he said he could check. Ended up he called my insurance company while he was already drilling into my tiny tiny chip on my window and i just absent-mindedly went along and verified myself to my insurance. I went home and checked on my policy online and realize i don’t have comprehensive. Will that “free chip repair” company bill me even though the invoice says “one free chip repair”?

    • Austin says:

      Now, that is a great question…….which I do not have an answer for unfortunately. Please keep us informed as to what happens, I am sure it’s happening to others as well.

  8. Chris says:

    To all concerned about “FREE” Rock Chip Repair: “Free” means that it costs you nothing as long as you have approved insurance. You insurance company generally sets their own rates on how much they pay for a repair. From my experience as a rock chip and headlight tech, almost all insurance companies pay $50 for a repair, and $10 for each additional repair, up to a total of 3 repairs. They cosinder it a “NO FAULT CLAIM”, and generally allow each of their insured 3 no fault claims per year.

    Many R/C repair companies will do the repair for as little as $20-$30 if you pay cash. Also, I would recommend to anyone that has a chip to have it repaired as soon as possible, and have it done by a company that offers a lifetime warranty on the repair. A chip repair for $50 to your insurance is much better than replacing your windshield which will cost your insurance 10 times more, and require that you pay your deductible (generally $500-$1,000 depending on your policy).

    For more information, or if you have any concerns, simply speak with your insurance agent prior to having the repairs done.

    I hope this helps.

  9. Lissa says:

    Very interesting and useful post. I mean we are very attracted about free stuff, but we never take the time to think about what is behind all this special offers.

  10. david says:

    Hey folks!
    I appreciate the authors info about rock chip repair. You can use cash if you like, and the rate of 40 or 50 dollars is alot better than losing your windshield, which costs hundreds of dollars. If You have good coverage, just call and ask, verify all info direct from your agent or insurance company, and if you feel comfortable about it, get it fixed. I dont fix them until a customer has peace that it is exactly what they want to do, and they make an informed choice to repair thier windshield. I fix windshields every day like this, and I am thankful to help people save thier windshields, and save money too!. I feel good helping people like this. Dont do it if you dont feel comfortable with it. Call first and find out the facts with your coverage. My name is David, And I work with
    http://www.autoglassdone.com Who serves all of north ga, fom atlanta to blue ridge, from rome to athens. Just give us a call for free mobile service at 404 308 9468. Thanks for all the great info here, and have a great day!

  11. Jonathan says:

    Guys I just had one of these done and my rates were not increased at all at the time of my renewal. Of course I have had no accidents or any other claims at all. In a world were everyone is so dishonest I can understand being skeptical or trying to find the negative but seriously, It really is covered by the insurance and is totally free.

  12. Jake says:

    Insuranceinsider. Proper windshield repair takes 20 min. and most techs. don’t do 25 a day at $50-$65 each. Don’t get me worng I’d love to do that many, but a house in Beverly Hills is a long way away for me.lol. I also see your point on the “tent” guys, but chip repair isn’t like getting a new windshield, not everyone knows about the service and you can’t allways get a store front business on a major street to get your message out. simply make sure they have a licence and carry insurance.

    @Sharalyn as a windshield repair tech. for over 9 years I’m going to have to side with Alex. When i read the article I thought the same thing he did. Alot of people might interpret “don’t repair as well” as not worth the risk, and simply wait for the chip to expand or not. Also this article is about repair, and i can’t think of ANY companies that give you “perks” for repairs those are for the much more lucrative insurance replacements, which is a huge problem in the industry.

    I’ve been doing this for a long time and rock chip repair is incredibly important in helping maintain the factory seal of the windshield, it’s better for the environment and even paying for it out of pocket is hundreds less than a replacement. If you have damage to your vehicle less than 6 inches and NOT directly in you line of vision choose REPAIR VS. replacement. Find a company with the N.W.R.A. and only do it if you want to not if someone hard sells you into it.

  13. Sharalyn says:

    Um @ALex…You didn’t read the article very well before FREAKING OUT! The author merely artates that spider cracks don’t repair AS WELL..as an FYI…meaning don’t expect miracles if you have this type of repair issue…sheesh…tone it down and take your meds. Have you ever noticed that many of these companies will offer free tickets, gift cards, etc. to get your business? Only catch is to sumbmit claim to your insurance…there is a reason. Yes, they do charge the insurance company more, and yes, it can affect your insurance. Bottom line, know your insurance, and be willing to pay out of pocket to protect yourself!

  14. gidael says:

    I have rock chips on the body of my car and not the windshield. I wonder if there is a difference in insurance claims – windshield vs. the body of a car. Any advice?

  15. I have owned & operated a Novus Windshield Repair company for 25 years. We were in the industry first before insurance companies even paid for chips. Novus invented chip repair until the origonal patents ran out and everyone & their brother can fix windshields. Novus trained technicians can fix a crack up to 10″, a “star” up to a baseball size or a “combination” up to 50 cent size, sometimes larger. There is no such thing as a 5 minute repair. As fast and ideal as a chip can be to repair, a ding fixed properly takes 15 – 45 minutes! Now I will admit there are some other companies that exsist that have figured out how to fix a ding right, but they are few & far between. So PLEASE don’t replace your windshield with out checking around, and PLEASE don’t use the 5 minute rock chip guy. I have not seen a repair of theirs yet that has been sufficient to withstand winter weather. As a side note the insurance company gets billed $80.00 when ever the 5 minute guys bill a job. Check into it with your agent.

  16. Informed says:

    I read the article posted by “Insuranceinsider” and was impressed. so, I contacted my insurance and asked them about windshield repair. I am fully covered and was told that there would be no cost to me to get my windshield repaired. A representative from my insurance company called a local windshield repair shop for me and a repair appointment was set up that same day at my workplace. The repair company even provided free mobile service and took care of my windshield while I was in my office.

    The repair does not look perfect. However, it looks 80%- 90% better than it. I am happy with the repair and my insurance company. I would recommend this service.

  17. Insuranceinsider says:

    I work for an Insurance company. My advise, check with the claims department before you allow anyone to submit a claim! Not every insurance company or policy will pay for rock chip repairs. Know your coverage! Insurance companies do tend to factor their risk based on expected claims. Your rock chip is not free, YOU are paying for it in your premiums. Insurance companies don’t like claims, any claims, so yes if you make a claim, your rates may go up. Here is something else to think about with rock chip repairs. $70 to fix a rock chip. Takes about 5 minutes. That equals $720 and hour! Something else to think about. Going to a tent to fix your windshield? Where will they be next week? I would recomend going to a reputable company. Finally, ask a rock chip repair person what the cash price is then ask them how much it is to the insurance company. Usually it will be more to insurance. Is that right?

  18. XPLSV says:

    My wife’s sister and husband had a rock chip repair four months ago following a cross country trip. Their insurance renewed last month and their policy went up $450. No other accidents or tickets during that policy period…only the rock chip repair. While the increase likely did not result solely from the rock chip repair, the rock chip repair was the claim that pushed their rates into the next tier. They verified this with their agent. I don’t think the bottom line gets any clearer than this.

  19. Leif Hurst says:

    As an insurance agent, anyone that says insurance claims don’t matter because of the size should really get a clue. Literally. Look at a CLUE report on your next renewal and see how many of these little suckers hit your insurance record and what that does to your rate. I DON’T CARE WHERE THE MONEY IS COMING FROM… it’s eventually coming out of the carriers pocket, and in turn, the consumer.

    Absolutely correct in the reply though… one of these every year or two probably won’t even register. 2, 3, 4, 38 (we just had one of these show up at renewal) a year will DEFINITELY alter your rate. I blogged about this at our website… click my name for the link.

  20. Alex says:

    The Author of this article should be ashamed of him self
    ! #1 who says $40-$60 isn’t a lot of money. #2 why should someone who either chooses or is required to pay extra money for full coverage insurance not use it? #3 How DARE you say “Small “spider” cracks do not repair very well” do you know how many people have read this and NOT fixed a small spider crack because of you? I bet it’s quite a few, and those people probably ended up needing to replace their windshield for something that could have easily been fixed. SHAME on YOU! Do you have any idea how important it is to maintain the factory seal on a windshield? Not only can a replacement lead to leaks and rust damage, but even a perfect replacement will not have the same bond to the frame of the car as the original window. Therefor by telling people to not fix “spider” cracks, you are putting peoples lives at risk. You might not realize how important of a safety feature the windshield is but it protects you from ejection in a crash and acts as a support in a roll over. This article ranks very high in a lot of searches about windshield repair, so I hope someone reads this and realize how False this info. is and does something about it!

  21. Hello everyone,

    Our company offers Free!! Windshield Repair.
    RLB ENTERPRISES WINDSHIELD REPAIR (225) 733-0122
    BATON ROUGE, LA AND SURROUNDING AREAS

    If you do not exceed over 3 windshield repair claims per year,
    most insurance companies will not raise your rates.

    We have never had a customer tell us that their auto insurance was raised because of a windshield repair.

    We always ask our customers, before we make any repairs, if they have submitted any windshield claims. If so, how many?

    The author gave everyone great advice. If you are concerned about rate increases: Pay cash! It’s only $40-65. Remember, windshield repair is an option to prevent you from having to replace the windshield and possibly saving you hundreds of dollars on replacement.

    The author gave another excellent suggestion: Do not attempt to repair your windshield. Store bought windshield repair kits will leave you dissapointed and angry. Remember, the resin used in those repair kits are permanent.

  22. Bob says:

    X-PRESS… Be careful who you call “ignorant uneducated people”.

    “affect ur”
    “with you Insurance company”
    “Now to many”

    BUT… you are correct, these claims will not “affect” your rates (at least you got that part right).

  23. Joe says:

    Your rates will not increase for a chip repair. Here is how it works. Every time you pay your insurance premium a percentage of that money goes to a pool that is designated by safelite or lynx services. That money is used for windshield repair only. This is how it is for most insurance companies. Not all. I have been repairing and replacing glass for 8 years now and when I get a check in the mail it is not from the insurance company direct. It is from safelite or lynx. So, if you pay for full coverage insurance you have already paid for your windshield to be fixed. It is all part of your policy that you pay for every month or six however your setup. So yes, take advantage of this good benefit because you have already paid for it.

  24. X-PRESS says:

    I was an Insurance Agent for two years, I also own a R/C Repair Business! Yes GENE YOU are an idiot! There are always two sides to every story! And yes, some of us will always need someone to blame! But Repairs in NO way make your rates go up or affect ur standings with you Insurance company!! Now to many replacement claims are a different story!! Yes Insurance prefer repair costs over replacement you ignorant uneducated people!!

  25. Christian says:

    I have contacted over 25 different insurance companies within the past 2 weeks and every insurance company has said basically the same thing “Windshield repair is included in comprehensive coverage and submitting a repair will not jeopardize your policy in any way.”

    If you have dental insurance you would have no problem having your dental insurance take care of your dental work. Right?

    Gene is right. If you have any concerns, call your insurance company. We get referrals from them all the time. I hope they refer Gene to us. You can also specify what shop you would like to make the repair. Please choose Quick Fixx Rock Chip. You will be glad you did.

  26. Sean says:

    Gene,
    I have to say you are a pretty decent troll. The idea that your sister would be dropped because of one $50 windshield repair is a joke. If this scenario is actually true, which I doubt, she undoubtedly had other claims against her already and were probably the cause for her cancellation and had nothing to do with the repair…
    READERS– Rock chip repairs are usually flagged as no-fault claims and will not go against you. Call the number on your insurance card there’s often no wait and an agent will answer your question promptly. If you’re especially paranoid don’t give them your name or policy number, haha. Or search Google for windshield repair no fault claim.

  27. Gene Lasker says:

    Christian,
    You are an idiot. Gieco just dropped my sister after having one of these “free” rock chip repairs. I think your reply is not only misleading but hurtful to the victims of your ruse. Especially in hard financial times like this. READERS— Stay far away from these Grifters!!! Unless you just wanna pay the cash.

  28. Hello Austin,
    Thank you for your interesting article. It is true that windshield repair is generally a $50 charge to the insurance. However, insurance companies refer their policy holders to us for repairs all the time. The insurance company prefers the inexpensive repair over the expensive replacement. In fact, by repairing a damaged windshield it actually helps keep a policy holders rates from increasing. Repairs will help the insurance company save money. The insurance companies that we work with (all except for State Farm) have thanked their policy holders for getting the repair done. Also, windshields are not biodegradable and not recyclable. Therefore Mother Earth thanks the windshield repaired customer also.

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