CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

When did State Farm change this?

Yeah nothing is free. Incidentally looking at the balance sheet for State Farm last year, they actually lost money on claims so digging into reserves a little. Of course the figures are for millions of dollars and my calculator doesn’t have that many zeros.

Divide by 1000.

About 18 years ago the Jeep Cherokee suffered a very broken rear window. Vandal(s) smashed 60+ one night. Safelite was about 3 blocks from my Wife’s work so she dropped it off then picked it up after work. She asked what the unconnected coiled electrical cord hanging from the ceiling was for? They were like Oh! No! how could that happen!!! Of course the rear defroster window had been replaced by a plain one. They corrected the “mistake” the following day. Did they actually think no one would notice? Did they bet on a woman not noticing? At that time State Farm comprehensive had a $50 deductible. Safelite did “eat” that. I still added them to my never use again list. 10 months ago someone’s pet rock escaped and presented me with a 3/4 inch windshield star. I took it to an independent (been there forever) local collision/glass repair shop. A lady inspected it and due to it damaging the laminate pronounced it non-repairable. She asked if I had comprehensive insurance. I do. She asked with who? I answered State Farm. She said “that’s an easy one” can I borrow your proof of insurance card for a few minutes? She went online and in less than 5 minutes she had authorization for the windshield replacement! I made an appointment for the next morning. The job was done perfectly and on time. When I was ready to pay the $50 deductible I was informed it was zero. I asked why? My state now requires zero deductible on windshield replacement. Our insurance commission has long been very consumer protection oriented. Sometimes (not often enough) our state government gets something right.

Sometimes (not often enough) our state government gets something right.

I’m not sure what’s right about it. You own something, it breaks, and you pay to fix it. That alone sounds elegant in its simplicity. And if you want to hedge your bets and protect your investment you buy insurance and agree to the terms of the policy and the premiums.

What business does the state have in requiring glass replacement with no deductible or at no cost? If a state requires you drive without a cracked windshield then it has no business requiring insurance companies to do it for free.

The state doesn’t control the premiums though so they can reflect the added cost of no deductible. They’re not doing it for free, they just raise your rates accordingly.

Bing: Insurance companies do nothing for free. My comprehensive premium is the same as always. I’m confident they added it somewhere else. I just liked not having to file a claim myself. I’ll pay a couple more bucks per year for that convenience.

The state doesn’t control the premiums though so they can reflect the added cost of no deductible.

Exactly. So where is the benefit to anyone by mandating insurance companies to replace windshields at no cost or with no deductible? Seems the only ones benefiting are the glass shops, unless the insurance companies are dictating the prices to them.

In a nutshell, your “free” windshield replacement means I pay more for my insurance. How about we all just pay for our own windshields and leave insurance and the state out of it?

Zero deductible on glass repair/replacement inspires a new industry of unnecessary glass repairs and fraud.

Five years ago the dealer that I was working for brought in a glass repair plan from a fly-by-night company. The driveway attendants were trained to identify and repair windshield damage and the management believed that they were providing a real service to their customers.

Before long the service advisers were displeased with having to call insurance companies for glass repair claims many times a day. Customers became upset when their insurance companies questioned the multiple glass claims in a short period. Glass flaws were found during each visit, I witnessed tiny white specks on windshields that were caused by stones circled with a grease pencil for repair that would normally go unnoticed.

The program lasted about a year, I don’t know if it ended due to the threat of legal action or shame.

unless the insurance companies are dictating the prices to them.

Insurance companies negotiate everything…from health care to glass companies. To get a glass shop to be an authorized shop for an insurance company the price is negotiated way down from what the person without insurance pays.

I had a knee operation several years ago…and needed physical therapy for a few weeks. Each visit was about $250…the insurance company negotiated a price of $75. If you walked in and didn’t have insurance the price would be $250.

To get a glass shop to be an authorized shop for an insurance company the price is negotiated way down from what the person without insurance pays.

Yeah, so at this point nobody is making any money, except perhaps the insurance company by raising premiums to provide “free” windshield repair and replacement.

Earlier this year I had the windshield replaced in my 06 Town Car in anticipation of selling it. I just walked into my local glass company as a cash customer, the bill was something like $250. I have some idea of what the material costs are, and I know what a competent glazier earns, so that $250 doesn’t leave much meat on the bone profit-wise. And the insurance company is supposed to negotiate that even lower?

We’d be better off without any kind of glass coverage whatsoever and just paying for repairs ourselves.

Ask your doctor what your rates for physical therapy would be as a cash customer, without the artificially inflated insurance prices. I’ll bet it would be close to what the “insurance-negotiated” rates are. I know mine have been.

We’d be better off without any kind of glass coverage whatsoever and just paying for repairs ourselves.

Yes “we” would be better off. Unfortunately, the “we” referenced here is in the vast minority. It ticks me off too as most everything would be less expensive if the fiscally and otherwise responsible people weren’t footing the bill for those that aren’t. Look around, it’s everywhere…

So you all think that the premium I pay for glass coverage (with no deductible) is not based on cost and actuarial tables designed to make sure that the insurance company isn’t losing money on me (and everyone else with the this coverage)?

Let’s get something straight. My premiums are based on my risk and my coverage. The way insurance works is that risk is pooled. That means sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Insurance does two things. One, it spreads the risk so nobody gets stiffed in an accident situation. Two, it makes money for insurance companies. Remember that number two is most important since insurance companies ONLY EXIST TO MAKE MONEY. This includes health insurance, property insurance, and life insurance. Welcome to capitalism baby!

@bloody_knuckles you are understanding things as I do I think. If the insurance company averages x$ per year replacing windsheilds, the cost to the policy holder is $x plus administrative costs and profit. The insurance companies are a for profit business, not a charity.

"Two, it makes money for insurance companies. "

Like I said, State Farm actually lost money on their claims last year. Remember United Health pulling out of Obamacare because they lost so much money? Yeah, the object is to make money or at least break even but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the deepest pockets aren’t always so deep. At any rate that’s beside the point. Rates are based on risk and actuarial tables. Income is based on premiums and investment gains and sometimes the lines don’t cross every year.

I have absolutely no problem with insurance companies, buying and using insurance, and making profits. I love capitalism. I like to think that I buy insurance wisely and sparingly, with high deductibles and no more coverage than makes sense.

The issue I have is with a state that requires me to drive a car without a cracked windshield, and simultaneously dictates that my insurance company replace that glass at no cost to me. You can have one or the other, but having both is absolutely not capitalism.

Like I said earlier, one of my vehicles has had a cracked windshield for 10 years or so. I’ll never replace it because there is no value in spending money–anyone’s money, mine or an insurance company–on replacing it.

Ah a man of me own heart-a capitalist. Unfortunately we’ve been going down the European path for a while now. Where did I read that upwards of 40% of the Bern supporters are not working? Oops, sorry.

I was curious so I called the independent shop that replaced my windshield. In my state it is guarantied by law on collision and comprehensive claims to have repairs made at the shop of their choice. The shop I used assured me they were paid in full by State Farm. They have problems with Progressive, GEICO, and others who are fully aware of the law but will try every dirty/illegal trick in the book to pay less (I have personally experienced this with Progressive). Insurance companies and banks are for profit businesses. I can’t hate them all that much. I really hate being constantly screwed by all forms of government who actually work for me!

State Farm actually lost money on their claims last year.

State Farm made a nice $1.9B pre-tax profit last year. Don’t feel too sorry for them.

Where did I read that upwards of 40% of the Bern supporters are not working?

Must be one of those Fox Entertainment stats you always quote.

MikeInNH: Of course it was probably $1.9B less than they promised their stockholders so it is a “loss”. For tax purposes they broke even. Wink! Wink!

"Insurance companies negotiate everything...from health care to glass companies. . . . the price is negotiated way down from what the person without insurance pays.

I had a knee operation several years ago…and needed physical therapy for a few weeks. Each visit was about $250…the insurance company negotiated a price of $75. If you walked in and didn’t have insurance the price would be $250. "

And they wonder how people realize that the system is rigged. This is something that @#$%^&'s me off royally. If you DON’T have insurance, they want 3x as much money which they KNOW you don’t have in the first place, if you had any money, you’d have bought insurance! I’ve gotten quite a few medical bills like this: $800 becomes $300. $2,200 becomes $700. $245 becomes $80. A lot of folks pooh-pooh Walmart these days, but at least the posted price is the price you are charged at the register. Why isn’t health care priced the same way?

I drove my Festiva for about 5 or 6 years with a big spider-type crack in the windshield, all the way over on the far right passenger side. I had intended to send it off to the junkyard like that, until I got a citation and had to have it replaced. I wasn’t going to tell that story because I thought all the safety eagles here would jump down my throat about it, but now that I read that others of you have done the same and similar. . . .

Funny thing is, during that 5 or 6 years I drove the car to many places like state and county fairs that were crawling with cops, cops directing traffic looked right at my cracked up windshield in multiple different places and times and none even said a word. The citation I got wasn’t even from a real cop, it was a state park cop on a deserted road. Probably drove past 2 meth labs and a guy burying a dead prostitute in the woods to give me that citation. . . probably the only citation she got to write that whole month. . . can you say, “too much time on her hands?”