Don’t Fall Victim to Windshield Repair Scams

By Jordan Scott

It seems like scams are everywhere nowadays, especially on the internet. You probably think you’d be able to tell if someone was trying to scam you, but some scammers are pretty well practiced. They’re not always after your money directly. Some target your money indirectly by targeting your auto insurance provider through windshield repair scams, which could end up hurting you in the end.

The Scam

The windshield repair scam is one such scheme you should watch out for.

The scammers’ usual method is to tell you that your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced, whether it has visible damage or not. You might be unsure, but they’ll tell you that you won’t have to pay a penny. Your insurance provider will take care of it.

The scammers can be set up at gas stations, car washes or anywhere really. They could also be people going door to door, which happened in Florida back in June. A woman reported two men after they showed up at her house claiming that her windshield had water damage.

According to the report by Fox35, the men instructed her to tell her insurance company that the damage is larger than a dollar bill so that the insurance company would waive her $500 deductible. The scammers got as far as ordering a new windshield and even setting up an appointment before the woman saw a Facebook post warning about the scam.

You might not have gone along with them, but many people in this situation would have. After all, they look professional and they seem to know more about windshields than the average person. If a salesman tells you repeatedly that you won’t have to pay for anything, consider it a yellow flag.

That’s only one version of the scam. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, scammers could inflate real damages or charge your auto insurer for multiple windshield replacements.

According to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), the number of auto glass questionable claims rose 52.5 percent from 2008 to 2009. The NCIB also reported that there was a 527 percent climb in auto glass fraud between the first half of 2009 to 2010.

These scams can happen anywhere in the U.S.

The Consequences

The scammers may not be taking any money from your bank account, but they are still doing harm, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

  1. These scammers could be untrained or using low-quality material, which puts you and your family at risk.
  2. The scammers can disappear easily, rendering any warranty they promised useless.
  3. Your auto insurance premium could increase because of the needless claim.
  4. You could lose your claim if several windshield replacements are charged to you auto policy.
  5. Insurance fraud losses get passed down. So even if the scammer doesn’t target you, you could end up paying.

What should you do?

  1. Always deal with a quality company. Consult Glass.com for members of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) and the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA).
  2. Get more than one written estimate before going forward with windshield repairs or replacements.
  3. Don’t accept off-the-book repairs.
  4. Don’t let someone pressure you into letting them do work.
  5. Find a reputable auto glass shop through Glass.com. You don’t want someone untrained or uncertified to do shoddy, unsafe work.
  6. Don’t pay until the work is complete.
  7. If someone approaches you to tell you that your windshield is damaged, question them about their company and experiences. Ask them for references. Don’t trust someone blindly.
  8. The ROLAGS standard shows when repairs are necessary.

Windshield Safety

Chips, cracks and breaks in your windshield can happen. A vehicle could kick up a rock on the highway that ends up damaging your windshield. Extreme temperature changes put stress on your windshield and can make chips or cracks worse.

You shouldn’t ignore these issues. If you need a windshield replacement or repair, use Glass.com to find a reputable auto glass company or repair shop near you.

© 2017 Glass.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact info@glass.com.

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