It must have happened Monday night. On my way home from work, a rock hit my windshield and caused a slight crack. Because it was evening, I didn't notice the crack until Tuesday morning. I've heard debris hit my windshield many times in all my years of driving (knock wood), but this is the first time I've ever seen damage.
The actual damage was only about an inch long, slightly right of center, and about 2 inches from the bottom of the windshield. I really wanted to get it fixed, but thought it'd be such a pain. I thought I'd have to file a claim, get estimates, and then pay my comprehensive deductible. The only saving grace was that I wouldn't have to rent a crappy car to wait for completion of the repair.
I found out otherwise in a casual chat with my co-worker Jodi yesterday. I was coming back from lunch and saw her at the table eating her midday meal. Her husband Dante works nearby and they usually carpool together. Last Friday, their Saab died in the parking lot and it seemed like half of her department (Customer Service) hung out with them to make sure they got home OK.
I asked Jodi if they found out what caused their car to die. This led me to describe my windshield mishap and she advised me to call my insurance carrier immediately. They experienced the same incident and their insurance company had the windshield fixed without having to replace it. For FREE. I never knew about this kind of service.
Immediately upon returning to my desk, I called CSAA. They had an option on their menu for glass repair. Wow, major cool. I spent the next 10-15 minutes giving the vitals to the service representative. She gave me the option to have the car serviced that day or the next, and whether I wanted the repair to be done at home or work, or at their facility. Gee whiz. I chose to have the repair done at work. She scheduled me for the 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. block and apologized it couldn't be sooner. Wednesdays are usually my late nights, so it wasn't inconvenient at all.
The repair guy from Safelite arrived at about 12:45 p.m. today. It took me about 5 minutes to show him the where the crack was and sign the paperwork. The job itself is only about 30 minutes. Repair work of this kind will yield best results when the damage is minimal (no more than 6 inches) and reported immediately. The warranty is good for the lifetime of the car.
Compared to the body shop/repair experience I had in 1995 after my 8 month old Acura Integra was broadsided in an accident, this was a walk in the park. I wish all service experiences were this easy!
One last shameless plug. Safelite's headquarters are located in my birthplace city, Columbus, Ohio.