Let’s investigate the differences between auto glass window replacement with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and Aftermarket auto glass and see if there really is a difference or if it’s just a myth! Still want the OEM glass installed in your car? Read on to learn the strategies that can be used to motivate an insurance company adjuster to approve using an OEM auto glass for your window replacement insurance claim.
OEM Auto Glass – Original Equipment Manufacturer
Vehicle manufacturers bid out their OEM window glass contracts for their vehicles. The auto glass manufacturer that wins the contract will have the exact specifications to produce the OEM auto glass window for that vehicle. They are given the license to stamp the vehicle manufacturers name and logo on the windshield. There may be multiple auto glass manufacturers working on different windows for a vehicle model. At the end of the day, they are also the same auto glass manufacturers that produce aftermarket auto glass for windshield replacements.
Vehicle manufacturers restrict OEM window glass production and sell the OEM auto window replacement glass through their partner car dealers to help them generate additional revenue. In addition, the vehicle VIN number which usually specifies the configuration of the car, can only be decoded at the dealer for window components like rain sensor, antenna… This also helps drive customers to the dealers for window replacements.
Aftermarket Glass Known As OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent)
These are the same auto glass manufacturers that compete for the OEM auto glass contracts, except for the OEM auto glass contracts they do not win, they reverse engineer the OEM car glass and produce aftermarket auto glass windows. These auto glass manufacturers invest millions of dollars in research and development, use the same resources, and experts that produce their OEM auto glass for contracts to build their OEE aftermarket auto glass windows.
Overall, it comes down to the fact that whether you get an OEM or Aftermarket piece of glass, the quality will meet government standards. What we found in our research which we believe is important is that the many of Aftermarket auto glass manufacturers go beyond the government standards to get ISO-9001 certification and complete other self-imposed quality testing.
TIP: So in general, you could say the only difference between the OEM and Aftermarket glass is who made the glass and does the windshield have a stamp with the auto manufacturer’s name and logo.
OEM And Aftermarket Glass Myths In The Marketplace.
It is true that there may be some quality differences in auto glass window replacement products, but with today’s technology and millions of dollars invested in creating the aftermarket auto glass templates, it would be hard to see the difference except for the company’s name or logo stamp on the window. From a safety perspective, all auto glass window manufacturers have to pass government standards, and in addition, as you read above, they may actually be the OEM auto glass window manufacturer for the same vehicle, but on a different model of car or window of the car. This is one of the reasons we always recommend working with a reputable auto glass repair shop to ensure you are getting an auto glass windshield replacement that meets, and in most cases, beats NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and DOT (Department Of Transportation) standards.
Who Are The Glass Manufacturers?
There are only a limited number of glass companies servicing the US, and all auto glass repair shops go to one of their warehouses to get their auto glass window replacements. At any one point in time, these companies may be the OEM glass manufacturer for multiple vehicle models. In addition, the other companies will purchase and warehouse OEM glass from dealer on popular models like an F150 or Mustang so they have them in stock.
Here are the top companies:
- Mygrant Glass
- PGW – Pittsburgh Glass Works
- Safelite Glass
Insurance Companies OEM Versus Aftermarket Auto Glass Windshield Replacement Insurance Claims?
Auto Insurance policy language normally states that they will provide “Like Kind & Quality Replacement Parts” which includes auto glass. That means aftermarket auto glass, NOT OEM auto glass with the manufacturer name and logo stamp on the replacement window.
TIP: If your vehicle is less than two years old, many insurance companies will authorize an OEM windshield replacement.
What If Your Insurance Adjuster Is Telling You They Will Not Pay For OEM Glass?
The standard and legal answer is you can get the OEM windshield installed, but you will be responsible for the price difference.
When Will The Insurance Adjuster Approve OEM Glass?
Some insurance companies have a no exception rule while others do. This is something you should consider when you are considering one auto insurance company over another if an OEM auto glass window replacement is important to you.
TIP: If you have an agent with a Tier One company like Farmers, State Farm, Allstate… now is the time for them to share their experiences on what has worked for their clients in the past. If they push you off to claims and do not want to help you, time to shop!
Here is the number one rule when working with any insurance adjuster on any kind of claim:
- Always treat your adjustor like your best friend! It you get upset at them and make their life difficult, why would they go the extra mile for you? Would you? Here is a great video on the concept – Winning Your Insurance Claim.
Here Are Some Situations (Secrets) Where OEM Glass May Be Approved:
- The only glass available in the marketplace for the window replacement install appointment is an OEM dealer auto glass sitting in their warehouse.
- On higher end cars where there is not enough demand for the auto glass manufacturers to in invest in building Aftermarket glass.
- With some tier one companies, adjusters understand that clients who can afford higher end cars most likely have a lot of policies, and if the client has longevity with the insurance company, they may make the call to approve the OEM glass if the client or agent requests it.
- Get to know your agent, and they may be able to do some magic for you.
- Check if your auto insurance policy has an OEM endorsement.
New OEM Endorsements Announced By Farmers Insurance
In 2015, Farmers Insurance announced an OEM endorsement, which states that in the event of a loss, instead of “Like Kind and Quality Replacement Parts”, the repair will be done with OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. So if you have the endorsement on your auto policy, you can get the auto glass window replacement with the name and logo stamp. Disclaimer: Endorsement may not be available in every state, so check with your agent.
TIP: Remember, auto policies use the language “Like Kind & Quality Replacement Parts”, so if you have a specialized car that came from the manufacturer and want to ensure OEM parts are used in addition to auto glass, this is a great coverage to add to your policy.
WARNING: OEM Endorsements are new and many claims representatives may not be used to seeing the coverage on a policy, because it will not be that common of a coverage, because not everyone will want it. In addition, insurance companies may use third party services to verify glass coverage, and they may not see that you have the OEM endorsement on your auto insurance policy, and they will not authorization to the glass shop to use an OEM windshield. The glass shop will tell you that you will have to pay the difference. No in the case of an unethical glass shop, they may tell you that you do not have the coverage when in fact you do, and they may try to charge you the difference in cost. If you have any doubt, always talk to your agent first, especially if you have an expensive car. This will be even more important as ADAS safety features become common in newer cars.