Windshield Replacement: Is it Covered by Car Insurance?

You leave your house to run an errand and you see a spider web of cracks in your windshield. Or maybe you’re driving and something strikes and cracks your windshield. Many things can cause damage to a car’s windshield, children playing in the street being one of them. There's also bad weather, such as hail storms. The question is whether or not car insurance will pay for the repair to a windshield or even replace it if it’s badly damaged. Let’s take a look at what type of coverage and costs are involved in windshield replacement and windshield repair.

Should I Repair or Replace It?

Of course a professional will know best by looking at your windshield, but generally speaking, if the chip or crack is smaller than 6” long, it can probably be repaired. If it’s larger it will likely need to be replaced.

Will My Car Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?

Yes, but only if you have comprehensive coverage on your car. Comprehensive insurance may pay to repair or replace your windshield if it’s damaged by a rock. Some insurance companies offer specific windshield coverage. For example, Allstate offers “full glass coverage.”

If you suddenly face having to fix your windshield, take a look at your car insurance policy to see if you have any coverages that apply. If you do not, consider adding it on. However, coverage is often not retroactive, meaning you can only file a claim for an incident that occurred after you bought the policy.

Car Insurance for Windshield Damage

Comprehensive coverage on car insurance policies typically pay for repair or replacement of a windshield. Usually, if the windshield is cracked but not shattered, a windshield specialist will determine whether or not you can fix it or if it needs to be entirely replaced. Repairs are generally less expensive but aren’t always possible. But you’ll only have to pay a deductible, if one applies. If the damage is minor, your deductible may actually be more than the cost of repair, so you may not need to file a claim. Check your declarations page to see how your policy breaks down and what costs will apply, if any.

Can I Wait to Repair a Cracked Windshield?

If the damage to your windshield is not too bad you can get it fixed. But it’s a good idea to do it right away because the damage will worsen over time, especially if there’s bad weather. If it’s 6” or smaller you can get it repaired. If you wait and it grows, you may not be able to fix it. And if you don’t have comprehensive coverage or a specialty glass coverage on your auto policy, you may have to pay for it out of pocket. Let’s look at some average costs.

What if a Vandal Damaged My Windshield?

If you have comprehensive insurance on your policy, you are covered for vandalism, theft, fire, falling objects and hail. Typically, you’re covered for windshield repair for any of those perils.

Full Glass Coverage vs Comprehensive

If your insurer has full glass coverage options, you may want to consider it because there is often no deductible involved, meaning you’re 100% covered if you need to repair or replace your windshield.

Is There Always a Deductible with Comprehensive Insurance?

No, there are certain instances where there are no deductibles, such as if your comprehensive coverage explicitly has a glass repair agreement. Also, many insurance companies waive the deductible for a repair, but usually not the replacement which is a pricier loss. Check the declarations page and look at your coverages. If you have comprehensive coverage, you’ll see it here, and you’ll see if there are any mentions of windshield repair/replacement. You can also speak with your agent just to be sure.

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If you have full glass coverage, you won’t have to pay a deductible. In certain states, your insurer is legally required to waive the comprehensive insurance deductible for repairs and even replacement of safety glass, which obviously includes windshields. It’s important to read the fine print and check your state’s laws. If you have a trustworthy and knowledgeable agent, they already have the answers for you. If you do not have such luck with your agent, you may want to consider shopping around for a better rate and better customer service. SmartFinancial not only answers your most pressing questions but they can help you find the best coverage at the best value. The service is entirely free, and you’re not obligated to buy anything.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Windshield?

The smaller the crack, the cheaper it will be to repair a cracked windshield. You may only spend as little as $50 to $150. A single chip can go for $100 but if you have several chips or cracks, you may speak with the specialist to see if it’s more cost effective to buy a new windshield.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Windshield?

There is a range of prices, based on your car and your location. You can typically replace a windshield for $150-$500. If you have a luxury car or some sort of collectible or unusual/exotic car, you could spend up to $2,000!

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