At first glance, cracked windshields may not seem to be an important factor when it comes to Calgary auto insurance. However, the truth is that your car’s windshield plays an extremely important role in the safety of both the vehicle itself and the passengers it carries.
Cracked windshields put you and your vehicle at risk, which could eventually lead to increased insurance premiums if a subsequent event forces you to file a claim.
They are an especially high risk during the warm-weather months, when a great deal of gravel is lingering on Calgary roads. This gravel is the remains of ever-present construction in the city plus residue from the sanding chip mixture the City of Calgary uses to keep roads more safe during the winter. Over time, the mixture degrades into a fine, sand-like silt, but larger pieces can be left over. Passing traffic often kicks these larger pieces of gravel into the air, and they can cause cracks when they strike your windshield.
With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the relationship between your vehicle and a strong windshield, and what you need to do to maintain it.
Calgary Auto Insurance: Four Important Functions of Your Windshield
Your windshield protects you in four key ways:
- It is a major component of your car’s safety restraint system, working in tandem with the seat belts and airbags to shield occupants from harm in the event of a head-on collision
- A fully functional windshield enhances visibility, helping drivers react more quickly and sensibly in hazardous situations
- Windshields are designed to absorb impact if a car accident sends the vehicle’s front-seat occupants forward, helping protect them from potentially life-threatening injuries
- The windshield plays an important support role in the overall stability of the vehicle’s construction, bearing loads and helping prevent the frame from collapsing on impact, an event which might otherwise crush the vehicle’s occupants
You may not realize it, but even a small chip or crack in your windshield could cause the entire pane of glass to become structurally unstable. It’s important to have any such chips or cracks addressed by an automotive maintenance professional as soon as possible.
Calgary Auto Insurance: What You Should Do if Your Windshield is Cracked
If your windshield is chipped or suffers a crack, the first thing you should do is take it to a qualified specialist. Whenever possible, choose an automotive glass repair shop instead of a general mechanic; auto glass shops have access to specialized tools and technologies that can help you save money on repair or replacement costs.
In most cases, chips no larger than a quarter can be repaired with a special transparent resin that bonds with the glass, restoring full visibility and structural stability. This type of repair costs a fraction of what you would pay for a windshield replacement, so it’s worth investigating even if you’ve suffered a sizable chip.
Unfortunately, most cracks – even minor ones – will require a full windshield replacement. Again, given the risks of driving with a cracked windshield, you should make these repairs as soon as you possibly can. If windshield replacements are covered by your Calgary auto insurance, carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of filing a claim. It may make more financial sense in the long run to cover the repairs out of pocket. If you have questions, contact your broker.
Always follow the technician’s instructions to the letter after replacing your windshield. The new windshield will need between a few hours and a couple of days to completely set, so unnecessary driving during this period should be avoided to preserve its structural stability.
Calgary Auto Insurance: Resources and Quotes from Lane’s Insurance
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering Calgary auto insurance, home insurance, commercial insurance, travel insurance and a full range of specialized types of coverage at outstanding rates. As an independent brokerage, Lane’s professionals work for you, not for the insurance companies, so you can always be sure they’re acting in your best interests and not their own.
With comprehensive insurance resources, competitive rates culled from competing providers and value-added customer service, Lane’s makes a difference in the lives of its clients. To find out how much you stand to save on your Calgary auto insurance by switching to Lane’s, visit us online for a fast, free, no-obligation price quote on the coverage that’s right for you.