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Expert windshield replacement keeps you safe

By Karen Aho on October 20th, 2011

A crack in the windshield isn't just unsightly. It could be dangerous.

Many auto insurance companies will pay to repair dings and dents in your windshield for free--no deductible applied--as long as the policyholder has comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

In five states, insurance companies are even required by law to waive the deductible for a full windshield glass replacement. They are Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Arizona. In two of those states, Kentucky and South Carolina, the waiver extends to other windows in the vehicle.

So call your insurance company first--it may save you some money. And, even if you don't have comprehensive auto insurance, your insurer should be able to offer a referral for a reputable auto glass company.

Unfortunately, work that is paid for directly by insurance companies, such as auto glass repair and replacement, can be ripe ground for scam artists. Beware of any aggressive parking lot pitchmen posing as auto safety experts.

It's important to have your windshield repaired or replaced by a bona fide expert so you'll stay safe. If your car or truck rolls, the windshield will keep the occupant compartment from folding in on itself like an accordion--an accordion with you and your passengers in the middle.

As long as that windshield remains firmly in place, it will also keep everyone inside. That's a much safer place to be in the event of crash, no matter what your once heard about a friend of a friend of a friend who supposedly survived because he was ejected from a car in a crash.

If there's a crash and the air bags deploy, a good windshield that has been properly installed allows the passenger air bag to work. Why? Because that air bag, which blows with tremendous force, actually hits the windshield first. And that force is extreme enough to blow a poorly installed windshield right out of its seal, or break the glass on weak material.

Finally, even the smallest crack will eventually grow just from the everyday vibrations of the road. And your insurance company likes it when you can see and your wiper blades can do their job.

Karen Aho

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