Council have damaged windscreen

rob_miller

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Right so I was driving along a dual carriageway today with a grass verge in the middle, approaching two council workers who are strimming the grass. I thought to myself I hope that a stone does not fly and hit my car.
Right enough just as I am passing them a stone was flicked up and has chipped/cracked my windscreen right in the line of vision.

I immediately pulled over and approached one of the workers who refused to give me his name or any contact info to report the damage. I was told to talk to the other worker who came over to inspect the damage, he took some pictures and called his office who took my email address and assured me that I would be sent a claims form right away.

As expected I have received no claim form and after speaking to them again I have been told that they are contractors and that this will need to be dealt with by their insurance company. I explained to the person in the council office that it is not possible for me to wait for the insurance company as I need it sorted as soon as possible and have advised me that I can proceed with the repair and claim back the costs. However I have no proof that they caused the damage even though the workers admitted it.

I have spoken to my insurance company LV this evening and apparently they will only pay for a replacement windscreen if I use their windscreen repairer Autoglass. This means that if I want my own insurance company to cover the cost of replacement I cannot use the dealer as they will not pay.

Looking at the damage it is over 10mm and falls in category A on the image below so I guess that means a new windscreen? The damage is 14mm.

I currently have the following options:

1. Use Autoglass who might use a pattern part.
2. Get it done at the dealer for £800 and claim this back from the contractors under their public liability insurance.

What is everyones past experience like with Autoglass? Will they mess up the auto wipers etc?


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WDB124066

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Will the Insurance Co pay to have it done at a Dealership to the value of what Autoglass has quoted, leaving you to pay the rest?

I don't like anyone apart from Mercedes to mess with screens and I'd also be asking for a MB-Genuine replacement too. They may also guarantee their work for longer than the Insurance Co's subbie will.

Get it done properly, even if it is hand in pocket time.
 
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ringway

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My experience of Autoglass is HERE.

£800 to replace the screen at the dealership sounds very high. I had a new genuine MB screen fitted in my S202 for under £200 recently by a local company. I'm 99% certain the dealership sub-contracts the installation too.
 
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rob_miller

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Will the Insurance Co pay to have it done at a Dealership to the value of what Autoglass has quoted, leaving you to pay the rest?
Unfortunately not, If I use the dealer my insurance company will only cover the first £100 leaving me with the other £700 to claim back myself from the council contractor.
 

gazz

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I recently had a new screen in my C32. Genuine screen from Mercedes cost me £120+vat and National Mobile fitted it for £66.
 

Will

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I likewise didn't think many MB dealers fit screens themselves.

As the car is still usable, I would see if the council/contractors will sort it out if not use Autoglass.

£800 sounds like a lot of money for a windscreen - how much is the part?
 

grober

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The exact conditions for windscreen cover will be shown on your insurance schedule. [ not policy booklet] If you don't use the approved repairer then the repair may count as a claim and your policy access will apply. If you don't use an approved repairer then there is sometimes a maximum cost they will fund-- sounds like its £100 in your case. Quite often MB DEALER windscreen repair work is farmed out to a local windscreen repair specialist anyway. I would ask your MB dealer who does their windscreens - it may well be the local autoglass outlet! The only thing left then is do you cough up for a proper MB screen which will possibly have the proper rain sensing elements in it etc---- I would say depends on how long you intend to keep the car perhaps? If its a long time I think I would cough up and chance on getting the cost back from the grass cutting firm via the small claims court--- 50/50 chance on that I'm afraid. You need a bit more information before making the decision I think.
 

flango

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You do know that most dealers don't fit windscreens themselves so it's highly likely you would end up have the screen fitted by the same company anyway.

Whoops see grober beat me to it :)
 

developer

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Whilst I can't help you with the insurance aspect, I can tell you that I've had two windscreens replaced by either Autoglass or RAC Windscreens (I can't recall which) and both have been faultless.

There are two things I ensured though:

I took it to one of their centres not a mobile unit.

I insisted on a genuine MB part, complete with pointed star logo on the screen - be sure to get the correct tint for your car.

I hope you get this resolved satisfactorily.
 

Spinal

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Might be worth informing the council's insurance (in writing) that as your car is not safe do drive as a result of damage you will be seeking an alternative mode of transport in the meanwhile that they resolve the issue (i.e. renting a car) - and billing them for it.

As much as I hate them, the no-win, no-fee vultures do have that bit right - the prospect of spending more money generally oils the cogs into action...

M.
 

nick mercedes

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Might be worth informing the council's insurance (in writing) that as your car is not safe do drive as a result of damage you will be seeking an alternative mode of transport in the meanwhile that they resolve the issue (i.e. renting a car) - and billing them for it.

As much as I hate them, the no-win, no-fee vultures do have that bit right - the prospect of spending more money generally oils the cogs into action...

M.
I don't think you could demand a hire car at someone else's expense due having a chipped windscreen.
 

boxbrownie

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I don't think you could demand a hire car at someone else's expense due having a chipped windscreen.
If it made the vehicle effectively illegal to drive hence "off the road" why ever not?

(Let's forget the issue that it could be made useable by getting it repaired but Autoglass immediately)
 

Rory

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If it made the vehicle effectively illegal to drive hence "off the road" why ever not?

(Let's forget the issue that it could be made useable by getting it repaired but Autoglass immediately)
You have a duty to mitigate the other party's costs. If you ultimately ended up in court to sue for your costs the court would not be impressed that you'd un-necessarily run up a large bill.

The courts also take the view that **** happens - that's what insurance is for. They could throw out the whole claim.


I've never had an MB screen replaced but my daughter had a SEAT Ibiza with a very distinctive colour tint. It's been replaced twice and both times looked perfect in colour and optically.

I don't know how true this is, but the fitter said there aren't many pattern screens around now - replacements are often made in the same factory as the OEM screen, but they just don't have the car makers logo on them.
 

pipmk

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Might be worth informing the council's insurance (in writing) that as your car is not safe do drive as a result of damage you will be seeking an alternative mode of transport in the meanwhile that they resolve the issue (i.e. renting a car) - and billing them for it.

As much as I hate them, the no-win, no-fee vultures do have that bit right - the prospect of spending more money generally oils the cogs into action...

M.
Whereas a letter can do no harm i see the utmost difficulty in taking the matter any further. Which stone? from where? can you prove it came from their machine?any witnesses? Not sure the game would be worth the candle.
 

Stratman

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Could a council reasonably be expected to instruct its workforce to stop clearing/cutting/cleaning every time a vehicle approached and wait until it was a 'safe' distance away? How long would it take to cut the verge of a main road, and how much extra on council tax would this cost if applied to every road?
 

rascalmaster

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i've used autoglass; they were awesome! (well the guy who did my screen was). if you have merc logo glass; you can ask and they'll fit the same. otherwise pilkington or other approved supplier; but with same gradient/ tint etc.
all you'll have to pay would be the 70£ odd as stated in your policy document.
i would cut my losses and ENJOY THE SUNSHINE! :)
 

rascalmaster

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Could a council reasonably be expected to instruct its workforce to stop clearing/cutting/cleaning every time a vehicle approached and wait until it was a 'safe' distance away? How long would it take to cut the verge of a main road, and how much extra on council tax would this cost if applied to every road?
no but anyone who's used a strimmer as a professional contractor should be able to angle it away so debris flies the other way... or else stop as a car's passing.
 

rascalmaster

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My experience of Autoglass is HERE.

£800 to replace the screen at the dealership sounds very high. I had a new genuine MB screen fitted in my S202 for under £200 recently by a local company. I'm 99% certain the dealership sub-contracts the installation too.
MB ipswich- the service manager told me they call in someone ;-)
 

Spinal

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Could a council reasonably be expected to instruct its workforce to stop clearing/cutting/cleaning every time a vehicle approached and wait until it was a 'safe' distance away? How long would it take to cut the verge of a main road, and how much extra on council tax would this cost if applied to every road?
Of course not - but that's why they have insurance ;)
 

boxbrownie

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You have a duty to mitigate the other party's costs. If you ultimately ended up in court to sue for your costs the court would not be impressed that you'd un-necessarily run up a large bill.

The courts also take the view that **** happens - that's what insurance is for. They could throw out the whole claim.

.
I am not saying it is the right thing to do, just playing devils advocate.

For example the screen does not now comply with the regulations thus making the car unusable on the road, it would be illegal.
Now suppose the owner is a doctor who needs a vehicle for his rounds, is that not grounds to hire a care until a replacement screen can be sought?
The cracked screen may sound trivial but if it disables the vehicle just as maybe a small accident that break a headlamp but the car is still driveable, is that not the same? In the eyes of the police I am sure it would be!
 

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