To get a windshield chip repaired or not? That is the question!
Option 1 - Do not get it repaired.
1. Nothing happens.
2. The chips spreads and you have to replace your windshield.
Option 2 - Get it repaired.
1. It works.
2. It doesn't work and you have to replace it.
According to Safelite Autoglass the average cost of a replacement windshield is $400. They sell you their service by preying on your fears of having to pay either your deductible or the cost of the new windshield. When we weigh the cost it paying the $65 or, if your insurance covers the repair, getting it for free this looks like a great deal. What you will never see on the paperwork you sign is the percentage of failed repairs is 3%. That seems like a small amount and you will probably agree to get the work done. Here is why I will never pay to get my windshield repaired again.
If I take Option 2 and get my windshield repaired, they will bill my insurance $65 and my average out of pocket cost is $7.47 for each repair. How is this possible? If my out of pocket cost for a successful repair is $0 but a failed repair costs me $250, my deductible, and the repairs fail 3% of the time, it averages out to $7.47.
Right now you are probably asking yourself how often not fixing a chipped windshield turns into a repalcement. Well I can't answer that, but I can tell you how often it would need to happen to equal the same average out of pocket cost of getting it repaired, 3%.
What is the cost to your insurance company? On average it costs your insurance company $69.47 per repair.
What does Safelite get out of these? Well Safelite averages $76.97 per repair.
Last year Safelite did over 1 million chip repairs. If 3% of those fail, 30,000 new winshields required a replacement. At an average cost of $400 each they made $12 million in windshield replacements while their repairs brought in over 63 million dollars. The total cost to you and I for getting those repairs was about $7.5 million dollars.
The million dollar question is, can you trust someone to do a good job when failure is more rewarding? I suppose you could always ask the fox to guard the hen house. Let me know how that turns out.
Monetary Loss: $250.
Location: Portland, Oregon