Historically, windshield replacement has been the number one auto insurance claim. Road debris from construction vehicles and trucks can cause a surprising amount of damage when traveling at 65 miles per hour. a tiny pebble could crack your windshield. Many people ask, “does insurance cover windshield damage?” The answer depends on the type of auto insurance coverage you have.
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does auto insurance cover windshield damage?
There are two main types of auto insurance, commonly known as minimum coverage and full coverage auto insurance. Minimum coverage auto insurance is the base amount of coverage that is legally required in your state to operate a vehicle. That said, states do not require optional coverage types like comprehensive and collision coverage. therefore, if your windshield cracked because a rock hit it while you were driving down the road, comprehensive coverage would not be available to help cover repairs unless you purchased it as an add-on.
Comprehensive coverage expands the required state coverage and adds comprehensive and collision coverage to your auto policy. These add-ons help cover repair costs for hazards like fire, flood, theft, vandalism, and damage to your vehicle from an at-fault accident.
Are windshields covered by insurance? typically, they would be through the comprehensive coverage portion of your policy. But depending on your insurance company, the state you live in, and the event that caused your glass to break, there may be other options. This is how each type of coverage could work in case of damage to the glass of your vehicle.
Collision insurance pays for losses and repairs to your vehicle that were caused during a crash. If your windshield shatters after rear-ending another vehicle or hitting a pole, collision insurance will likely cover the windshield damage less the deductible amount you elected for this coverage.
all risk insurance
Comprehensive insurance adds protection for other events not related to a collision. Let’s say a tree branch falls on your vehicle, a rock hits the glass, you hit a deer, or a heavy hail storm shatters your windshield. in any of the above events, comprehensive insurance may pay to replace the damaged glass, less your deductible.
full glass coverage
Insurance companies may have a comprehensive glass coverage add-on available in many states that you can purchase in addition to comprehensive insurance. is dedicated solely to glass repair or replacement, and often with a $0 deductible option.
Will I have to pay a deductible?
according to the insurance journal, most auto insurers will waive the comprehensive insurance deductible for a repair. however, unless you live in the “zero deductible” states of florida, kentucky and south carolina, you will have to pay a deductible for a replacement.
As for the three states mentioned, state law does not allow carriers to sell full glass coverage with a deductible.
what if I don’t have full coverage?
If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you may still be able to replace your windshield. If you were involved in an accident that damaged your windshield and the accident was the fault of another driver, the at-fault driver (or their insurance company) would have to pay their expenses from your liability insurance policy. however, most other scenarios would fall under comprehensive or collision coverage, and without those types of coverage, you would pay out of pocket.
how to file a windshield damage claim
To file a claim for a windshield replacement, you must first assess the extent of the damage. A good rule of thumb suggests that if a crack in the glass is at least six inches long, it’s wiser to replace the entire windshield.
Smaller chips or cracks can be repaired by an auto glass professional without removing the entire windshield. If you have questions about whether to repair or replace a windshield, your insurance company or a glass specialist will be able to tell you.
Time is of the essence if your windshield is damaged. even a small chip or crack could spread quickly. and damage to the glass could affect the strength and integrity of the entire windshield. to file a windshield claim:
- photograph and measure the damage to determine if a repair is sufficient.
- File a claim online, by phone, or by visiting your local insurance agent.
- provide the photos or size of the damage to your claims adjuster.
- Choose a glass and windshield specialist from the available options offered by your insurance company. you may need to take your vehicle to a facility, although many companies have a mobile windshield service that comes to you.
Windshield damage that is repaired under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance coverage generally does not affect your auto insurance premiums. however, because you filed a claim, you may lose a no-claims discount if your auto insurance company offers one.