You are having your car washed in the car wash. Suddenly, a stranger approaches him and insists on replacing the windshield for free.
How strange, you think. Your windshield is in good condition. It does not need to be replaced.
Your insurer will pay all costs, the unknown tells you. It also promises free passes or tickets to the movies and a good refund that covers your deductible.
Beware – this is a windshield scam that can create a serious danger to your safety and that of your passengers, defraud your insurance company, increase your car premiums, and leave you in jail.
Next, several frauds that you should be aware of…
Replacement of undamaged windshields. Typically, criminals will convince car drivers to replace windshields in perfect condition. The criminals then lie to their insurance company that the windshield was seriously damaged and requires repairs. Then, they will charge your insurer the costs of unnecessary and excessive repairs.
Excessive real damage. Scammers can replace an expensive windshield that only has a small cracking or minor damage that could be easily and cheaply repaired. They could also charge the insurer the replacement of several pieces when only one was replaced.
Charges for ghost damage. Some scammers charge your car policy for several windshield replacements even if you do not know it. Once you get the information from your insurer, you remain at their mercy, even if they have long since disappeared.
Night operators frequently, scammers are night operators. They are poorly trained, work from vans in parking lots, and disappear after completing poorly done repairs. They usually approach people in car washes, service stations, parking lots, or county fair booths. Scammers can be aggressive, and annoy him insistently to make unnecessary and false arrangements.
Workshops of dishonest repairs. Most repair shops are honest, but dishonest operators could try to involve you in similar windshield fraud when you take your vehicle to fix it.
High volume business. Windshield fraud offenders make their profits from the volume of fraud. They can replace a windshield quickly and easily, then charge large and expensive profit margins.
Free offers be successful, the criminals must convince the rider to be part of it. Scammers make fraud seem innocent, harmless and risk-free. They usually offer some encouragement, like free steaks or steaks, movie tickets or free car washes.
Offer reimbursements in cash. You may also be offered a cash “refund” or a larger receipt for repairs to cover the deductible. In those states where insurers are required to give up or do not include the windshield repairs deductible, criminals could mention this loophole to convince them that the arrangements are really free.
The price you pay
You and your passengers face a serious risk to your safety. First, the windshield replacement can be cheap, low quality glass that easily cracks, cracks or breaks while you are driving. A poor optics could also distort your view of the street and the dangers ahead. Second, the offender could install the windshield poorly.
The windshield can then exit if you have an accident. Garbage or other incoming items could hit the occupants; drivers and passengers could be expelled; and the roof could collapse during turns in an accident because the windshield is a vital component in the structure of your vehicle. Third, real repairs may be wrong.
The premiums of your car can increase. You have just added an unnecessary claim to your insurance record, which could increase your premiums. Night operators can also disappear, leaving you without a guarantee or contact person in case you have a problem.
You could lose your car insurance. If an offender charges your car policy for several windshield replacements, you could lose your coverage because multiple claims within a short period of time may result in a cancellation. Then you will have the hassle of trying to straighten out and fix your insurance records with your insurer.
Everyone’s car premiums increase. Windshield fraud offenders make everyone’s car premiums go up in the long run, because the losses caused by the fraud are passed on to the honest insured’s everywhere.
You could go to jail or be fined. Filing a claim for a prabrisas that you know is not damaged could lead to your conviction for insurance fraud. This can mean jail, fines and a permanent criminal record.
- Just say no if a salesperson approaches you in a parking lot or other public place … or if a repair company offers to replace an undamaged windshield … or if they offer you cash refunds to offset your deductible, or promise you free things like free car washes.
- Inform your state insurance department about this incident.
- Ask your insurance agent and company which windshield repair shops have a good reputation.
- Some insurance companies repair cracks or minor damages without charge. You are assured of a good – and safe – workforce at no cost. Communicate with your insurer instead of an untrained offender if you have a small crack.
When you do business with a windshield installer, follow the following tips:
- Make sure that the repair company guarantees all the work, with a written guarantee.
- Be sure the company has a fixed address, not a van or a PO Box.
- Inspect your receipt to make sure all charges are honest. If you get cracking repairs, for example, were you charged for a complete windshield replacement?
- Check to make sure you’re not being charged for a windshield more expensive than you asked for. For example: glass polarized or dyed vs. regular glass
- Make sure that the repair company on the receipt is the same as the one doing the work.
- Contact your insurance company or agent periodically after arrangements to ensure that the windshield company no longer submits claims to your auto insurance policy.
Attention: if you need help in a fraud case, please contact your insurance provider or the insurance department of your state directly. The coalition does not investigate or resolve individual fraud cases.