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Windshield Insurance Claims: Everything You Need to Know

Oops, a chip on your windshield? Don’t panic: that’s what Docteur du Pare-Brise is here for! Our team of pros takes care of everything, including sorting things out as quickly as possible with your insurer. All you should have to do is pay the deductible amount (if necessary). Here’s how it usually goes, and answers to your other questions.

We validate the information in your insurance file

Is it a glass breakage or a collision?

As long as the problem is limited to your vehicle’s windshield and windows, the pros at Docteur du Pare-Brise will take care of it quickly. We communicate directly with your insurer so that claims specialists can look into your case.

If the bodywork or other parts of your vehicle have been damaged, we take care of that too – but it’s a bit more complicated. We first report the incident to your insurer and then, a claims expert will take over your file.

What do you need to provide when making a claim for windshield replacement or repair?

Nothing at all! Our claims pros already have your vehicle identification number (VIN) and your insurance policy number. You just have to call us directly at Docteur du Pare-Brise and tell us what damaged your windshield or windows.

Note that if there are changes in your life, like a new vehicle or a new person driving, it’s important to notify your insurer. This is mainly to avoid delays or problems during the claim if the information in your file does not match.

How does the claim process work?

First, your Docteur du Pare-Brise workshop asks you for some information:

  1. Your insurance policy number (or some personal information to confirm that it’s really you)
  2. When and how the breakage occurred
  3. The make, model, and year of your vehicle

Knowing all this, our team discusses with a claims agent who checks your insurance coverage and the deductible amount. Work begins as soon as we get the green light from your insurer. When the repair or replacement is complete, you just have to pay the amount of your deductible directly to the workshop – your insurer takes care of the balance.

How long does it take to process a claim?

Good news: our pros are used to settling this in a few minutes, often right after your call. It could take a little longer if the information in your insurance file is not up to date.

How much does it cost to repair or replace your auto glass?

And more specifically, what determines the amount covered by insurance to replace a windshield?

In fact, the covered amounts are the same with most insurers in Canada. From your vehicle’s serial number, your insurance company has access to a list of glass models, parts, and corresponding accessories. The cost of installation is also included.

I have auto insurance: what do I have to pay?

If you’re covered, you only have to pay the deductible amount specified in your contract. It can be anything between $100 and a few thousand dollars, if you ever drive a luxury or exotic vehicle. It’s possible that your insurer offers you a $0 deductible and it costs you nothing – it’s a way of encouraging you to stay with them if you have an excellent record.

Find out about this when renewing your insurance or shopping around with several companies.

What’s the difference between an original (OEM) windshield and “or equivalent” (OEE)? Who decides which one will be installed?

If you get your car repaired at your car dealership, the workshop is required to use original manufacturer parts (OEM). This means that the windshield is often more expensive, just to have a little logo with the vehicle’s brand.

An “or equivalent” (OEE) windshield is just as good and compatible, but generic and less expensive.

Where it gets complicated: some insurance contracts only cover windshield replacement with an “or equivalent” model. But sometimes, an original part must be installed for electronic calibration. If this is the case, the Docteur du Pare-Brise team will explain the situation to your insurer and get the green light to carry out the replacement properly.

If you absolutely want an original windshield, even if your insurance does not cover it AND it is not essential, you can insist on it. You will then have to personally pay the price difference between the two parts.

Is windshield replacement always covered by auto insurance?

It depends on your contract: look at sections 13C, 13D, and 43D which describe the details and exceptions. For example, your auto insurance may cover breaks caused by rocks thrown at the side windows, but not directly on the windshield.

An insurer could also refuse to cover the work if it smells like fraud. Notes are added to the file after each call; it’s therefore impossible to get an insurance policy after reporting a claim, then give a different date for the event.

Tips to protect your windows and windshield

Here are some pro tips for keeping your windows and windshield like new:

  • Avoid large “hot-cold” temperature differences.

If it’s as hot as the Tropics in your garage, but as cold as the Great North outside, the glass does not like going from one extreme to the other. This is especially true for panoramic roofs, which tend to burst. It’s also a good idea to avoid parking in direct sunlight.

  • Clean your windows with specially designed products.

Concentrated or ammonia-based cleaners and abrasives are likely to do more harm than good to your windows and windshield. Instead, use a manufacturer-recommended maintenance product and a soft microfiber cloth.

Replace your wipers as soon as they start to wipe less well. Don’t wait for a worn rubber to scratch your windshield before replacing it – it’s an inexpensive part that changes in a few minutes.

  • Stay away from transport trucks and heavy machinery.

Between the giant tires and the bulk material transported, there is more danger of debris being thrown at your windshield. Keep a greater distance to protect yourself.