Strimmers, Stones, and Windows...

This one has been giving me headaches over the weekend and was just wondering how others have managed this one in the past.

A stone has chipped a window from a strimmer. Its 10-15mm in diameter on a large pane of glass. 

My PL is up for renewal in June. A £250 excess that needs to be altered with this eventuality in mind. Never had it before in 9 years. 

It leaves me in a pickle at the moment. The customer is a new lawn mowing / lawn treatment customer, estimate the value of the job to be £400-500 per year. 

I'm being given that it's not covered on the customers home insurance, is too big to repair, and that a replacement is going to be around £300. The customer is being understanding for the time being - this did only happen on Thursday and I've done a fair bit of homework on it since. 

Does anyone have an advice / similar stories I can draw from? 


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  • PRO
    My first question would be, are you sure it was done by you and a strimmer? I have smashed a few windows over the years and when they go, they go completely, shatter all over, I've never chipped a window, unless it's toughened glass?
  • PRO
    If you've done it given cost, pay for the repair directly to a suitable glazier ( if vat Reg, you can claim this back ) and minimise inconvenience to client

    Using your PLI will set up back £250 anyway and likely to affect premium subsequently.
  • PRO

    Hi Harry,

    I had no idea at the time, but can't be anything else really. I can't really dispute it with any conviction otherwise we'd likely be straight off the job and the risk of a negative review. Is toughened glass.

    Hi Gary,

    Doing my best - finding someone willing to 'repair' rather than 'replace' what is a big pane of glass seems to be difficult. The replacement is where the big cost is. Not vat registered unfortunately in this circumstance.  

  • PRO

    We've done it once, we made it our problem and handled it. Just paid for the replacement panel, and arranged for it to be done etc. Cost us £300+vat. Didn't go near insurance.

    Just took it as one of those things that happen every so often.

    I remember many years ago I had a floor sanded, and the chap nipped a radiator pipe. He just took care of it, called the plumber, got it fixed, paid the bill, lost money on the sanding job. When I asked him about it, he just said it happens once a year or so, and we just sort it. I remembered how he handled it and was very pleased. He made it his problem not mine.

  • PRO
    I also smashed a large window and i phoned about 6 companies to get it fixed. First one quoted £400 and by the 6th call i managed to get someone to supply and fit for £150.
  • I have experience of this over the years. We always pay up and get it fixed. Its easy to chap the beads out with a blunt chisel and measure the double glazed unit shop around for supply only and fit it your self. I did smash a car side window last year called a windscreen co ordered the window. Before the customer came home it was all set up. I was £150 down but a happy customer.
    I was however surprised that while venting to my following customers that day they ALL said they would have walked away !!!!!! Human nature eh!
  • Agree, pay out for the repair and organise it asap. 

    My company has once broken a window, in 7.5 years, and it was one of my men on the machine, not me. Mower, not strimmer. I can't remember the cost, but it was a resident of a development of 600 flats. Again, I didn't see it happening, but there's little doubt it was the mower.

    It won't happen often, so take the hit and sort it out.

  • I worked for various large scale GM companies on MOD establishments, every year we would get blamed for breaking windows mainly on cars but sometimes buildings.  In my experience the guys usually knew if they were at fault.  When they weren't sure we used to investigate further and often found that it was nothing to do with us! we were the soft target!

    Do you have a contract with them?  Does your contract say i will pay for damages? Are you just paying up because you are a nice guy?  If a plumber/electrician did a similar value in damage they wouldn't pay up they would charge the home owner in a day what your charging in a year.

  • PRO

    Personally, it doesn't matter how much the job is worth to you. If you have damaged it, repair it. 

    I did my first window last week, phoned a company who came out whilst i was still there and measured up, paid for it there and then. Informed the customer that it is all taken care of and was replaced within 2 days of me breaking it. The garden work we carried out was a small job at £40.00, the cost of the window was £350.00. 

    It happens, we dealt with it straight away and the customer we booked us for more work there and then.

  • PRO

    I tend to think a situation like this is covered by

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

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