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Is making that glass claim really worth it?


Driving Northbound on I-5, I was behind a semi-truck and had a weird feeling that something might happen. From the truck’s tires I could see dirt chips creating a momentary mini cloud of dust on the freeway. Then, I heard a loud WHACK.

At first, I thought, “Wow, I’m lucky, no crack!” But the next morning, the truth was spread across my windshield.

Unless you have one of those $1000+ windshields, making a claim for windshield repair or replace-ment probably isn’t worthwhile. Sure, companies will reimburse you, but even being reimbursed may not be worth the impact to your insurance rating profile and future rates.

Here’s the scoop...

if you want the lowest possible auto insurance rates moving forward, strive to have the fewest number of claims on your policy. Of course you have to make those sizeable claims like auto accidents and large dollar losses well beyond your deductible; that’s what insurance is really for! But small claims like glass repair/replacement and towing claims are just not worth it to me.

Like credit scoring, insurance companies use data to determine rate profiling. I admit I’m not crazy about how complex rating indicators have become. But knowing that frequency is a negative indicator, I am more than happy to self-insure small losses and save my policy for the unfortunate larger-dollar claim that I truly need help with.

Over the years, the guidance I gave you may have been different (“Yeah, send in that glass repair…There’s no impact.”) and as this industry continues to evolve and change with technology, my guidance may continue to change in the future, as well.

Insurance rating models continue to evolve in many ways mirroring credit score indicators, like frequency of trackable activity. The way I look at it, if extra hits aren’t good for my credit score, additional claim activity isn’t good for my insurance rating profile.

This is a complex subject and I’m happy to talk to you directly should you have questions. My phone number is 206-838-9450.
– Christopher Togawa

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