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Old Aug 2, 07, 2:44 pm   #1
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Repairing Windshield Crack Before Returning

Has anyone suffered a stone chip or 'starburst' crack in their windshield during a rental, and then repaired it on their own rather than returning the car with the chip and risking a hefty post-return repair bill?

I suffered a nice rock hit against my rental's windshield yesterday, and ended up with a starburst crack from it. I thought I might just return the car and let them decide if they want to fix it or not, but that decision could result in a hefty repair bill including those dreaded 'out of service' charges for the days the car isn't rented.

I called Safelight Auto Glass, and they could fill the crack for $60, which I could get reimbursed from Amex with my rental car insurance plan. I'm sure Amex would rather pay $60 and not the $300+ National might bill for this kind of damage.
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Old Aug 2, 07, 3:47 pm   #2
 
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I'd be concerned that the rental company would discover you made the repairs and would bill you anyway.
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Old Aug 2, 07, 5:14 pm   #3
 
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I would just let National take care of it if you are using the Amex card... No reason to risk your own personal liability for taking it to a third party, when Amex I am sure pays less than $300 to National for such events...
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Old Aug 2, 07, 5:17 pm   #4
 
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I've chipped several windshields at National. Had one where the small chip turned into a crack all the way across the window within a few hours. Had another one where the rear view mirror fell of.

They've never said anything. Even had one where they circled the crack with a marker while I was returning the car, so they definately saw it. Of course, I'm sure I've just been lucky. Or maybe they cut me a break becaue I'm EE and do so much business with them.

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Old Aug 2, 07, 5:22 pm   #5
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I went the cheaper route only because of a horrible experience I had with National, where they tried to get me for over $700 after finding a small scratch underneath the bumper that they couldn't even prove was caused by me or didn't exist beforehand. After Amex argued with them about the cost of the repair, the ridiculous 'out of service' charges and other items, National responded by saying I better pay up or the collection agency they used for billing these claims will just charge it off. Amex told me they would cover my deductible, but the rest was up to me or my insurance and they recommended I pay up.

Since I figured a crack in the windshield would nail me for at least that amount, if not more - and since Amex only covers up to my $500 deductible, I might be on the hook for the difference out of my own pocket or risk higher premiums by doing a claim with my insurance company.

I guess it's possible things could still go that route, but scratch is repaired now and invisible unless you know exactly where to look.
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Old Aug 2, 07, 8:27 pm   #6
 
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Twice I've returned rentals with cracked windshields and I never heard anything from National.
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Old Sep 21, 08, 6:59 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Since I figured a crack in the windshield would nail me for at least that amount, if not more - and since Amex only covers up to my $500 deductible, I might be on the hook for the difference out of my own pocket or risk higher premiums by doing a claim with my insurance company.

I guess it's possible things could still go that route, but scratch is repaired now and invisible unless you know exactly where to look.
I assume you're talking about the standard car-rental insurance from your AMEX credit card? I signed up for the AMEX premium protection just for peace of mind- hopefully, it will cover things like these.
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Old Sep 21, 08, 7:04 pm   #8
 
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Be very careful with the damages. I know that thrifty pulled a fast one on 2 people i know..

one was some piece missing from the inside of the bumper of a pt cruiser..

another was an 8 passenger van..tehre was a dent on TOP of the van (who looks ON top of the van to mark for damage)..

it was as if they knew before hand and wanetd to get free $...
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Old Sep 22, 08, 11:16 am   #9
 
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I had a small rock come through the windshield once that came across the dividing wall of the interstate highway- it left a hole the size of a penny with a baseball size smashed place around it. I dropped it off at the agency and told them what happened and filled out a report. After that I never heard another peep from them about it.
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Old Nov 19, 11, 9:34 am   #10
 
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I just rented a 2012 impala with 97 miles. After leaving STL i go on highway 70 and before i hit 99 miles a rock hit the windshield and chipped it, right in plain sight of the driver. Since the car has such low miles, i doubt that i can deny it happed while in my care. Its supposed to rain tomorrow, so maybe i will get lucky with them not noticing/ charging me. I will post my update here about what happens.
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Old Nov 19, 11, 1:48 pm   #11
 
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Had a rock cause a small chip in the windshield on a rental last year. The return agent at BUR was concerned about whether I was returning because my contract was up or exchanging because of the chip, but did not seem to be concerned about the chip itself at all. Never heard anything later from National about it.
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Old Jul 8, 12, 12:46 am   #12
 
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I just rented 2012 Hyundai Genesis and a rock caused a small chip in the windshield. I used my Discover Miles Credit Card which has secondary CDW coverage.
I already called discover and filed a claim through them, however they told me that they will only cover my deductible which is $250. They also gave me a claim numer and their phone number, and they told me to give this info to National. what is a secondary coverage?
This genesis doesn't have a rain sensor, i called 3rd party company and they quote me for $355 installed.
1. Should i just rent one more day and repair this windshield? I have to return tomorrow 10pm.
2. Or should i just return the car and let them know the whole situation?
3. If they send me a bill to pay for the damage, should i go through my insurance company? If I do I have to pay $250 deductible but discover will cover this cost right? And If I go through insurance company, will my premium go up really high? I have a clean record.
Any recommendation?

Also last year same thing happened to MY CAR, and cost about $900 because mine had a rain sensor. So i called my insurance company, and they said they don't cover windshield repair, so i had to pay $900. is this work same for rental car?

Last edited by xuni4everx; Jul 8, 12 at 12:54 am.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 12:14 am   #13
 
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If I were you I would wait to see what National has to say. I recently had a rock chip on a National rental. I reported it and National wanted $108 to settle it. I filed a claim with my Visa card and they are handling it with National. I haven't heard the final news on this. I have had a few chips repaired on my own windshield and honestly they don't really look all that good, so I wouldn't personally pre-emptively repair a rental. Some stations don't care about these things and others do so if you are lucky and land with one where they don't care then you're all set. Keeping one of the windows open a crack when the vehicle is parked will help avoid a crack developing as the windshield pressure will be more equal during temperature changes.

Interestingly, I've been hoping for a couple of years that 2-3 little chips on my car will cause a crack so that I can get my windshield replaced off my insurance, but no luck so far!
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Old Jul 9, 12, 1:38 pm   #14
 
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So I return the car yesterday, and the agent didn't recognize the chip in the windshield. I am guessing they will contact me through mail like last time when I had a problem at HNL. I actually want to know how this case will handle through credit card insurance company, so i will at least purchase CDW through them next time, I believe it cost $8.99 in CA.
I did 26 rentals this year, and had two problems including this.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 1:46 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xuni4everx View Post
So I return the car yesterday, and the agent didn't recognize the chip in the windshield. I am guessing they will contact me through mail like last time when I had a problem at HNL. I actually want to know how this case will handle through credit card insurance company, so i will at least purchase CDW through them next time, I believe it cost $8.99 in CA.
I did 26 rentals this year, and had two problems including this.
well if they closed out your contract w/o noting any damage, whos to say the damage didnt happen after the car was returned = they may still charge you hoping youd pay but since it wasnt noted and they closed the contract they are between a rock and hard place

happened to me 1 time (I didnt know of the damage they later claimed)I disputed the charge and sent in my final closed receipt that didnt note that there was any damage. called the CDW ins company who it turn told Avis to go whistle dixie and told my CC that I want liable since the contract was closed w/o any damage noted and no proof it happened while I had the car and not after it was returned
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