We interviewed Steve Swinson & Rich with Auto Glass Excellence. We talked about the following subjects:
- Windshield Calibration
- Does Auto Insurance Cover Calibration?
- Windshield Adhesives
- Should You Have Glass Coverage On Your Insurance?
- OEM Glass
- Why Should You Use A Preferred Vendor
Below is a copy of our transcript
So we are going to talk today about your windshield, your windshield on your car.
And specifically with rich, we’re gonna talk about calibration. So we may say calibration, and people instantly are saying what’s calibration? What does that mean? So briefly explain to us, what do you guys do essentially after a windshield replacement? There’s a camera located up on the windshield and that system is part of the advanced driver assist safety systems, which would require a calibration after a replacement and that’s part of the manufacturer stack.
Right? So we set up our target boards, we bring everything in to replicate the factory specs and then we go ahead and perform the actual calibration on the vehicle. Okay. And what are you calibrating? So what types of things does does that help the car do? Right. So with the lane cameras essentially what it does as you’re driving down the road, it looks for road signage, the lane lines and things like that.
And when the systems are turned on as you’re driving, it will help you as you veer towards the lane line. It’ll correct your steering and bring you back in and keep you safe. Got it. Okay. So I know theres a concern with a lot of people, they say have a $0 deductible for glass.
I have a newer car. It needs the calibration. They wonder is that covered under the $0 deductible or do they have to pay out of pocket? Tell us how that works. So typically on any of the windshield replacements, it falls right in with the windshield replacement. Right? So the calibration is fully covered with the insurance as well.
Where To Get Your Windshield Calibrated
And so I know a problem that a lot of my clients have had is they call the glass company, the glass company comes out, they replaced the windshield and then they say, oh, by the way, you need to drive down to the dealership and get it calibrated.
That’s kind of a pain. Tell us why you guys are different what you do. Well the thing about that, right, is they could take it to the dealership essentially with the insurance side of it. They would have to come out of pocket, right? And then get reimbursed. So that’s right off the bat.
We take care of it all. One claim, less hassle for them. And then in some instances we bring them into our shop for the replacement and the recalibration and we’re actually leading the industry right now with some proprietary tech. And what I mean by that is we have a trailer that we’re gonna be doing these calibrations on that would normally be done in the shop.
Yeah. So we’re replicating the shop experience, making sure everything’s level flat enclosed. So that way it does calibrate properly. Okay, so you guys are actually gonna be able to go to the person at their house or wherever they’re at and take care of it all there in one shot.
Yeah, customer service is huge for us and being able to offer that service to them will save them a lot of time and frustration. Okay, perfect. Perfect. So that’s something for you guys to look out for when you’re trying to find an auto insurance, a glass company to take care of your glass, you might want to find someone like optic that will actually come to you and take care of the calibration.
So you don’t have to drive to a shop or to the dealership or anything like that. And one thing we should point out is you guys are just the calibration company but you have a sister company, auto glass excellence, and you guys work together to make it one seamless process. Exactly yeah. So as you put in the claim for your windshield replacement, I talked to the csrs who informed me that it would need calibration.
So we work with the customer all in the same office just to get them set up for a smooth transition from the replacement right into the calibration to get them all taken care of. Perfect. Perfect. Okay. So like I said guys, if you need your windshield replaced, find a company or find a company that has a sister company where it can all be done in one, the replacement and the calibration.
So Steve is from auto glass excellence, a windshield company. They replace your windshield in your vehicle and auto glass excellence is a preferred vendor and that’s the first thing we’re going to talk about today Steve. Why is it important for somebody to use a preferred vendor like yourself? Sure. We’re fighting the good fight to keep insurance rates down.
Why Should I Use A Preferred Windshield Vendor?
So we’re under contract with all the insurance carriers, they actually choose our pricing for us. So with our pricing predetermined, the insurance carrier never gets gouged. It doesn’t red flag the person’s claim. It also comes up. It’s just a smaller comp claim. Some of the companies out there that are giving you the huge kickbacks and stuff there sometimes triple charging insurance carriers.
So it just makes insurance rates go up across the board. It’s just like your medical insurance, you want to use someone in network. Got it. That makes sense. And I have seen that, you know, there’s a company that will give you $300 cash back.
People love it. They get the money back. But then when insurance rates keep going up there wondering why and it’s well, because companies like that are gouging the insurance companies, they’re paying double or triple like you said. So it’s a very good point and a lot of times they’re not held to a certain standard to put a oem glass or anything quality when it comes to the parts.
So you might get that kick back and get that band aid of three, you know, $200 to $300 in your pocket. But later on down the road this windshield is gonna break more readily. Okay. And that, that’s a question that I have. So a lot of times people will go, my clients will go to some off the wall glass company and they get horrible glass.
What Is OEM Glass?
So then from then on they want to go to the dealership because they think the dealership is the only the only place that can give them that quality glass, but you guys, being a preferred shop, you can still give that same quality of glass right? Sure. So any company like honda or toyota, they actually don’t make their own glass.
They all just have oem glass. The difference between factory glass and the reason I use air quotes for factory glass is most of the times it doesn’t actually exist if you have a toyota vehicle, you’re gonna have side glass that’s made by one company and a windshield that’s made by another company but it all has the black ink that says toyota on it.
All that black ink is, is dealership prices and it’s going to be more expensive. Oem glass oem glass factory glass usually doesn’t exist. Okay, so it sounds like you guys use oem that’s as good as you’re gonna get. Let’s talk about adhesives though.
I know that’s very important. I’ve had clients who call me, you know, a day or two after a windshield replacement and they see the glue coming up or they hear wind coming in or even some moisture is getting in. Talk to us about adhesives and why that’s important.
Yeah. So I know most everybody with the belts nowadays wear their seatbelts, but most of the fatal accidents that happens as a person being ejected through the windshield on a head on collision. So being that the windshield is 30% of the crumple zone. When a, when a vehicle gets into an accident, the adhesives actually can hold a person or objects inside of the vehicle.
We use 3m adhesives and we use the top tier. We actually spend about $18,000 more than we could if we cut corners and used a cheaper adhesive every year. So my technicians are not only auto glass certified and glass technicians, but there are also 3m certified as well.
Okay, so to be certified and adhesives is kind of just an extra step we’ve taken to be more safe. That’s awesome. And you know what, that’s something I’ve never thought about. Like forget the $300 kickback from the glass company like yeah, that’s instant money in your pocket but you’re putting yourself at risk if you’re in an accident.
So that’s that’s a good point to point out. It also sets within 30 minutes as well, which is really good to know because the cheaper um adhesives, they can take up to 24 hours to fully set. That’s really important. You know, driving your car through a car wash and getting water that comes down through your drywall could actually total a vehicle.
So you definitely want to, you know, use high quality pieces. Okay, so that’s something when you’re searching for an auto glass company, you, that’s a question you should ask. Like I said, I never thought about that, but you should ask about what type of adhesives they use and while we’re on the topic of safety, talk to us about, you know, there’s the thing, hey, do I need to actually replace my full windshield or just repair it?
Should I Replace My Windshield Or Just Fix The Crack?
Talk to us about that and when you get just a small crack, what you should do and the best practices sure. Um so when you’re driving down the road and you get that dreaded bang, it sounds like someone shoots your car with a bullet. Um a lot of times you’re not gonna see it a lot of times it’s around the perimeter, the windshield on the black barrier.
Um every windshield, almost every windshield that breaks and gets a long crack. It starts as a chip. So you want to get those chips fixed right away. If you hear that bang call an auto glass shop to come out and inspect your windshield. You want to save that windshield as many times as you can because especially in arizona, the highways are landscaped and rocks. You’re going to get chips as you drive around on the highways.
If you did three chip prepared claims in one year, it’s going to be way better than doing, you know, one or two windshield replacements in a year. It’s just smaller claims, you know, um, it’s just more affordable for everyone involved, the insurance carrier, yourself and you want to try to keep your original windshield in your car.
And is it important, I know a lot of people, they’ll get the chips and then they’ll just say, oh wait till it gets big. That’s probably not a safe thing to do. You probably want to get those chips fixed right away. Is that right?
I would say yes. You, you want to get it fixed right away just for the simple fact of trying to save the windshield, but as a safety factor, not so much because the windshield itself is actually a component of two pieces of glass and plastic adhesive in the middle. So even if the windshield is completely shattered, it’s not going to fall through, it actually can create a net.
So it’s, it’s still safe. Good to know. And so we’ve talked, we have another video about the calibration and why, why that’s important. But let’s talk about that from a coverage standpoint, it’s, it’s a very important thing I’m assuming, especially if you have a newer car where you want to get glass coverage because the glass coverage does cover that calibration.
Should I Purchase Full Glass Coverage On My Auto Insurance?
So talk a little bit about that and the price and the cost of getting the calibration if you don’t have full glass coverage. Sure. Um, well average cost of a windshield right now for us is about $450. Some can be $1,200, you know, especially for land rovers and stuff like that. But um, the calibration itself is usually about the same price as the windshield.
So you could be out of pocket anywhere from a grand, $1,500 if you have to replace your windshield once or twice a year. That’s a lot of money. Usually the premium to get your full auto glass coverage is around $3 or $400 a year, which people look at that like a big expense, but a grand or 1500 is a lot more when you actually have to replace it out of pocket.
Absolutely. And so which cars is there a certain year where cars start needing that calibration. Yeah, right. About 2017 is when they started putting on all these cameras and lane departure warning systems, stuff like that. Okay, so moral of the story. If you have a vehicle that’s 2017 or newer, you’re gonna want to get full glass coverage because if you have to pay out of pocket, that is not going to be fun.
And like you mentioned to pay for it, it’s about $300 to $400 for the year to get full glass coverage. So it’s worth it. Absolutely. All right, steve. That is great information and honestly, as an insurance broker who sells glass coverage, a lot of the points you brought up, I’ve never even thought about.
So it’s very good information. I appreciate it. Thank you for being here. And guys, if you ever have any questions, we pointed out the things and the questions that you want to ask if you’re searching for an auto glass company but make it easy on yourself.
Just call steve, they’ll take care of you. You’ll be happy you did. Thanks for being with us. Steve, appreciate it, appreciate it. Yeah.