“Free” repairs, what they may cost you!

A while back, I stopped by a new place to get my oil changed.  I was running errands, the car needed it and they were right there.  What could be more convenient?  I pulled the car into the bay, provided my information and proceeded to the waiting area with a book I’d just picked up.

After a few minutes, the attendant comes in and asks me to join him out by my car.  Over the next several minutes, he proceeds to point out things that they’d spotted as a part of their multipoint inspection.  They wanted to make sure I was aware of various things which I appreciated, but it felt like I was being upsold.

One of the things he pointed out was a small (tiny) chip in my windshield.  He proceeded to let me know they could fix it for me and that it wouldn’t cost me anything, it would be covered by my insurance company.  He went on to tell me that it would not impact me later.  By that I took it to mean it would not impact my renewal premium.  I let him know I was an insurance agent and that he was not correct in what he’d just stated.

The attendant was right in a couple of things.

  • If I had comprehensive coverage (I do, but he didn’t know that) that could cover the chip repair.
  • Some insurers do cover chip & crack repairs, even in Texas, but not all.
  • Those that do may actually waive the comprehensive deductible in a case like this.

There were a couple of key areas where he was incorrect.

  • There was no discussion of my comprehensive deductible (mine is $500).
  • If I had coverage for a chipped windshield (I did) who’d be responsible for the deductible?  Again, some company’s waive this deductible while others don’t.
  • There would be no impact on my renewal.  In some cases this may be right but not all.

The main issue I had is how comprehensive claims impact my clients and me.

  • Depending on the company a single comprehensive claim will have little to no impact on a person’s renewal.
  • In other cases, a person with multiple comprehensive claims could pay more at renewal.  Claims frequency even with towing, roadside assistance and other comprehensive claims can impact what a person will pay at renewal.
  • Even a single claim can impact a person’s rate when they change carriers.

So what did I do?  I just had them change the oil.  When I changed my car insurance after that incident, I didn’t have to worry about a comprehensive claim impacting my new rate.

What’s your experience been?  Share it with us on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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