A windshield can be damaged in so many ways that it is sometimes difficult to determine how it happened. But still, your first question will probably be, “Does insurance cover windshield replacement?” The answer is yes, if you have the right type of coverage. Here, we’ll tell you what types of coverage pay to repair or replace windshields, what to consider before filing a claim, and how to get a claim paid.
Which auto insurance policies cover windshield replacement?
First, let’s eliminate one thing. Whether the insurance covers windshield replacement depends on the amount of car insurance you have. If you have liability-only auto insurance, it won’t pay to repair or replace a windshield. This is because liability insurance is intended to repair someone else’s property if it is damaged due to your negligence. However, the following two types of policies cover windshield damage:
As the name suggests, a comprehensive policy covers a wide range of claims. In addition to covering vehicle repairs after events like collisions, fires, floods and theft, comprehensive coverage covers you in the event of damage to any of your car’s windows.
Let’s say you have a car accident and your windshield is broken. Generally, it is collision insurance that intervenes to repair a window damaged during an accident.
One thing to consider when buying auto insurance is whether you want to add full glass coverage. When full glass coverage is in place, you don’t have to pay a deductible if a broken window needs to be repaired or replaced. As we will see later, an insured must normally provide a deductible for a window to be repaired.
Do you need to repair or replace your damaged windshield?
There are different levels of windshield damage and each should be dealt with in its own way.
According to Windshield Experts, if a side or rear window is damaged, the window will likely need to be replaced because most side and rear windows are tempered glass and cannot be repaired.
Most windshields, on the other hand, are made of laminated glass. Whether it is repaired or replaced depends on several factors, including:
- If the glass is laminated (most modern windshields are)
- If the crack is longer than a dollar bill
- If the crack (or chip) is as deep as halfway through the windshield
- If the crack extends to the outer edge of the windshield.
Unless you regularly treat windshield damage, it can be difficult for you to determine things like the depth of the crack. Your best bet is to let an auto glass repair professional help you determine the severity of the damage and whether a total repair or replacement is the right decision.
Does filing a windshield claim increase my insurance premium?
Each time you file an insurance claim, the insurer has the option of increasing your premium. Although there is no hard and fast rule, insurers generally do not raise rates for policyholders with minor, infrequent claims. If you are a driver who makes regular claims, you can expect a premium increase.
Once you’ve had the damage examined by a window repair professional, it’s time to determine if filing a claim for repair or replacement is worth it. This may depend on the amount of your auto insurance deductible.
Consideration of your deductible
You will also need to consider your deductible. A deductible is the amount of money a policyholder must pay for a repair before the insurance company steps in and pays the rest.
Let’s say your windshield is chipped, but you have a $250 deductible. According to AxleAddict.com, the cost to repair a windshield chip is around $65. Since you’re supposed to pay the first $250 anyway, it makes no sense to make an insurance claim.
However, the cost of windshield replacement ranges from $90 to $1,125. If the estimate to replace your windshield is $900, that means you will pay your deductible (which in this scenario is $250), and the remaining $650 will be paid by the insurance company .
Before proceeding, you may want to call your insurance agent to find out if your annual premium will increase if you pursue a claim. Chances are that’s not the case, especially if you rarely make insurance claims. Still, it’s worth checking out.
Keep in mind: If you have no-deductible glass coverage, paying a deductible is not an issue.
If you live in Florida, Kentucky, or South Carolina and have full coverage, your state does not allow insurance companies to charge a deductible for windshield repair or replacement. This is another situation in which the type of auto insurance you have makes a difference.
How to file a claim for broken windshield
Filing a claim for a damaged windshield is easy and can be done in a few steps:
- Gather your policy number and the date the damage occurred. If you know for sure how the damage occurred, have that information handy as well.
- Complete a claim form online or by calling your insurance company.
- Either you will be instructed to take the vehicle to a window repair shop or a mobile window repair company will be dispatched to your home or office to take care of the windshield.
- If you have a deductible due, be prepared to pay your share of the repair.
A damaged or broken windshield might not seem like a big deal, but it can quickly become a huge problem. Indeed, a splinter can turn into a large crack that disrupts your field of vision while driving. A single crack can form a cobweb, causing the entire windshield to break. No doubt, your life is full. Nevertheless, it is extremely important to ensure that any damage to your windshield is repaired or replaced as soon as possible.