About a month ago, amidst the snow and ice that blanketed southwest Virginia and allowed me to take an eleven day vacation from school, I got into my car and noticed a small crack in my windshield. It began at the bottom of the glass and extended about six inches up on the passenger side. As I drove that day, the crack grew. It curved left and eventually stretched across about 2/3 of the windshield.
When I returned home, I got online to file a claim with my insurance company. Little did I know, I had a $500 glass deductible on my policy. The estimate to have the windshield replaced was just over $370, meaning it would all come right out of my pocket. I knew it would make the budget pretty tight, but that’s what the savings account is for. I scheduled the replacement, a technician came to my school, and I was the owner of a brand new windshield.
Fast forward exactly one week. I had enjoyed an unobstructed view through my new glass for seven full days. But when I came out from school to drive home that day, there was a new crack in that new glass. It was in roughly the same place as the last one. Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated. I contacted the company that performed the replacement and inquired about the warranty. I was led to believe that I was covered and would not have to pay for yet another windshield after only a week. I scheduled the new repair for another two weeks later.
Cut to this past Monday. The same technician arrived at my school. His first words to me were, “I have some bad news.” And I knew he had discovered a way for the new crack to not be covered under the warranty. He found a chip, which was evidence of an impact, nullifying the warranty.
“If this means I have to pay for another windshield out of pocket, I’m sorry, but apparently you’ve come a long way for nothing,” I said, barely containing the rage bubbling under the surface. “There’s no way I can give you another $370 after paying that much less than a month ago.”
He claimed to understand and behaved politely. I was really too angry about the situation to really notice how civilized this guy was acting. He left and I still have a cracked windshield. What kind of warranty is it that’s only good when damages come as if from nowhere? If the crack had been caused by a stray puff of air, I suppose I would have a new windshield at no cost to me. Seems like a pretty worthless warranty to me.
I sent a fairly long and strongly worded email to my insurance company. First of all, I didn’t really appreciate suddenly discovering that significant deductible on a policy that I was led to believe included FULL coverage. I also let them know that, since I’m this far into said deductible, I’d pay what’s left and let them cover the majority of the next replacement, as soon as I feel I can afford that $130. After that, I’ll be shopping for a new auto insurance provider. I have yet to hear anything more than the standard “thank you for your inquiry” email from my current provider.
And so, I live with the crack. Eventually, I will need to replace the glass so I can pass my next inspection. But that’s not until September. Someone let me know when August arrives. Then I’ll start to worry about this thing again.