Consumer tips
Auto insurance
​Beware of bargain windshield repairs
windshield safety

Windshields do more than keep you out of the weather as you drive. In today’s cars, they’re an integral part of safety design. Passenger-side air bags deploy off your windshield, which is designed not to pop out in an accident.

The problem is, for all the advancements in windshield technology, they still chip, crack, and scratch. And when it comes to repairs, it’s hard for the average person to tell a quality window repair from a shabby job until leaks and whistles appear or, worse yet, the windshield falls out in an accident.

Windshield repair experts say that you should avoid total windshield replacement whenever possible. Instead, opt for repairs that remove the damage but leave the windshield (and its factory seal) intact. If the windshield is so damaged that it must be replaced, make sure it’s done with materials and techniques that approximate factory conditions as closely as possible.

Ideally, you’ll want an installer who is certified by the National Glass Association. But don’t stop checking there. Talk with your local Better Business Bureau and your insurance company. You also can ask a shop for references – the same way you might check out a contractor who’s placed a bid to work on your home.

If you’re a PEMCO customer, give us a call at 1-800-GO-PEMCO​ and we’ll refer you to our glass specialist, who will recommend glass shops in your area (among them, PEMCO prefers Speedy and Safelite). You’re always free to choose any shop you want, and we can give you some background on many of them.

You’ll want to beware of shops that offer enticements like free dinners to attract business. The cost of that “free” dinner must be made up somewhere – either by corner-cutting when it comes to the repair or over-billing. PEMCO has developed uniform pricing standards for auto-glass work to avoid price gouging and has notified glass shops throughout the state that we’ll adjust the payment on any invoice that isn’t competitive.

There are many good glass shops staffed with concerned, competent installers. Investing a few minutes to find one could save you hassles in the long run and maybe even make the difference between life and death in a serious accident.

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