Encouraged by its insurance partner, If’s Nordic car glass glazier specialist Ryds Bilglas has been able to dramatically increase the share of damaged windshields being repaired instead of replaced by new ones. Apart from making the process cheaper, the method has environmental merits, says Zandra Kastell.
During the last 20 years, the number of claims related to glass damages has increased dramatically among Nordic motor insurers. Denser traffic on the roads, slimmer glass panes and mudguards being less common on new vehicles are some of the reasons driving the change, which has heightened the need for cost effective and environmental claims processes for insurance companies and its contractors.
During that same time, however, the methods of dealing with glass damages have been refined. At If’s car glass glazier specialist Ryds Bilglas, which handles around 60,000 car glass claims on behalf of If’s Nordic customers every year, the mechanics today first seek to repair the damaged areas of the windshields, instead of discarding and replacing them – something that was much rarer only 20 years ago.
‘Nowadays, the first thing we do when we receive a stone chip damaged windshield is to ask whether we can repair it, instead of replacing it with a new one. For the customer, repairing a windshield is a lot faster and costs less than replacing it, for the insurer it lowers the costs dramatically’, says Zandra Kastell, account manager at Ryds Bilglas and previously a site manager at a glass workshop in Stockholm.
With encouragement from one of its biggest customers, If, and with help from technological advancements, Ryds Bilglas have been able to significantly slim the share of claims where the whole windshield has needed replacing.
‘Of all the claims due to stone chips among If’s customers that we handled last year, nearly half of them were repairs. That number was around 30 percent ten years ago’, Zandra Kastell adds.
Apart from the economic benefits and the time saving aspects of repairing instead of replacing – the method also has considerable environmental merits. According to calculations made by Ryds Bilglas, the repairs that
were made during 2019 alone would have resulted in over a thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, if the windshields had been replaced instead.
‘The manufacturing of new windshields, transport to and from the wholesaler, and to and from the workshop, waste handling and a mounting process with more chemicals involved – repairing means there are a lot of heavy processes we can avoid’, Zandra Kastell says.