On November 28, State Farm announced changes to its policies for comprehensive coverage of windshield repairs.
Beginning December 1, the comprehensive coverage deductible will no longer apply for windshield repairs for all glass-only windshield damage for State Farm claims.
State Farm says windshield replacements are still subject to the applicable comprehensive coverage deductible. The company adds that the change will be considered an expansion of coverage.
The insurer sees repair as a viable option and expects retailers to perform repairs when conditions exist for repair over replacement.
Mike Schenian of City Auto Glass says State Farm is “obviously seeking the least expensive way to close the claim, by waiving the deductible for repair, many policyholders will certainly choose repair.”
Linda Rollinson of Superior Auto Glass of Tampa Bay, Fla., and chair of the executive committee of the National Windshield Repair Division agrees.
“With the insurance being so uncertain, with rising costs across the board, I think people are going to be more reluctant to file a claim,” she says.
According to Jacques Navant of Don’s Mobile Glass, insurance claim costs have risen quickly, and insurance companies were unprepared for the sticker shock.
“I’m not sure if insurance providers were ready for the spike in technology and the cost/maintenance involved in maintaining advanced safety systems,” Navant says. “This will be an issue not only for glass shops. The more vehicles become advanced, the more expensive it will be to keep them safe and on the road.”
Several years ago, State Farm stopped waiving deductibles for rock chips due to what it saw as rampant fraud in insurance claims. One auto glass shop owner said State Farm shot itself in the foot with the move.
“They double screwed themselves,” he says. “In theory, it gets rid of the scammers. However, it caused a loss of their customer base due to higher glass claims due to all the technology.”
He says most people with a $100 deductible would not pay $90 for a repair when they can get a total windshield replacement for another $10.