Navigating your cracked windshield
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by Carolyn Sennett for Erie Insurance on August 20, 2018
If you need to repair or replace the car’s windshield due to damage, choose a reputable vehicle service shop. There is a growing fraud problem with “glass harvesters” or “windshield bullies,” who try to pressure consumers into making unnecessary repairs.
What’s a windshield bully?
Unfortunately, some vehicle glass repair and replacement companies use extremely aggressive sales tactics and hire people who approach consumers in a pushy manner at car washes, oil change facilities and gas stations, offering to repair or replace their windshield “for free.”
The bullies may tell you that you have a problem with your windshield, but the damage may only be cosmetic. They may also pressure you into providing your auto insurance information and make promises to “take care of everything.”
You may not even realize that they are filing an insurance claim on your behalf when you provide your insurance information.
What could happen if you encounter one?
Once an insured agrees to the deal, the unscrupulous contractor will complete the work and make money from the insurance claim. Replacing a windshield that is not damaged and asking the insurance company to cover the costs is considered insurance fraud.
How to handle a windshield repair
If you come across a windshield bully, trust your gut. Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics from a stranger approaching you and telling you to replace your windshield.
If you have questions about windshield or auto glass damage, get in touch directly with a trusted insurance professional like a local Erie Insurance agent. It’s always up to you to decide which auto glass shop you want to work with.
ERIE customers also have the option to start an auto glass claim with ERIE’s partner Safelite® Solutions through erieinsurance.com or by calling 1-800-552-ERIE (3743).