Windshield insurance is coverage that pays to repair or replace a car’s windshield after it’s damaged. Windshield insurance coverage is usually included in a collision or comprehensive insurance policy, though some states also require insurance companies to sell separate “full glass” repair coverage.
Key Points About Windshield Repair Insurance
- If you don’t have collision insurance, comprehensive coverage, or full glass repair coverage, your insurance won’t pay for windshield damage.
- If you’re in an accident that isn’t your fault, the other driver’s liability insurance will pay to repair or replace your windshield.
- Your windshield will need to be completely replaced if the damage is significant and poses a safety risk.
- Most insurance companies will waive your comprehensive deductible if the windshield only needs to be repaired.
- In order to get your deductible waived for windshield replacement, you need to have full glass coverage or live in a state without glass deductibles.
When Car Insurance Covers Your Windshield
If your windshield is damaged in a car accident, repair or replacement of the glass is covered with the rest of the damage to the car.
Damage from a car accident
If your windshield is damaged in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, that driver’s liability coverage will pay for the windshield. Since liability insurance has no deductibles, there is no cost to you. If you were at fault for the accident and you carry collision insurance, your own collision policy, will cover the windshield, but you will first have to pay your collision deductible.
If your windshield was damaged by something other than an accident, such as by rock chips, vandalism or weather, you need to have comprehensive coverage to get help from your insurance company. In addition to comprehensive insurance, some insurance companies also offer separate glass coverage, which doesn’t carry a deductible.
Minor windshield damage from all other causes
Windshields with minor damage don’t necessarily need to be replaced. The damage can often be repaired, and these repairs are generally not subject to a deductible.
“Most insurance companies will pay for repairs of any small chips or cracks in a windshield free of charge,” advises Melina Metzger, PR manager for Safelite AutoGlass. “This is because they want to avoid any added danger and the possibility of having to replace the windshield down the road.”
As a general rule, “minor damage” is anything that doesn’t puncture the glass and is no larger than the size of a dollar bill. Metzger says that using current techniques, any such repair “will restore the structural integrity of the glass.”
Windshield replacement from all other causes
Some companies have a reduced comprehensive deductible if repairs are not possible and the full windshield needs replacement. Your insurance company or agent can provide details on comprehensive insurance deductibles for windshields. Plus, if you live in one of the “zero-deductible” states – Florida, South Carolina, or Kentucky – all comprehensive car insurance policies are obligated to pay in full for windshield replacement or repair.
Motorists in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York are given the option to choose a lower deductible for windshield damage when they purchase car insurance.
When Car Insurance Does Not Cover Your Windshield
In most cases, insurance does not cover your windshield if you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage. If you only carry liability insurance, which is the minimum requirement in most states, your policy will never cover damage to your vehicle, including to your windshield. However, another driver’s liability coverage would pay for your windshield repair if you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault.
Even if you have collision or comprehensive coverage, your insurance will not pay to repair or replace your windshield if you intentionally caused the damage. Keep in mind that many insurers consider damaged caused by an accident to be intentional if you were driving under the influence.
Windshield Insurance Information by Company
|Insurance Company||Claims Number||Waives Deductible for Repair?|
|State Farm||888-624-4410||Not unless required by law|
|American Family Mutual||800-692-6326||Yes|
Does My Windshield Need to Be Repaired or Replaced?
Deciding between repairing or replacing your windshield depends on several factors, including the dimensions and depth of the damage, the impact on visibility, and the threat that it poses to the driver’s safety. While small chips out of the driver’s line of sight can be repaired, more significant damage will require a total replacement.
When to Replace Your Windshield:
- The damage is larger than the size of a dollar bill
- The damage punctured your windshield
- You’ve already made several small repairs to the same windshield
- The damage lies directly in the driver’s field of view
How to File a Claim After Your Windshield Is Damaged
You may be able to file a windshield damage claim online or by phone, depending on your insurance company’s procedures. If the damage was caused by another driver in an accident, you should call their insurer to file the claim.
After you file the claim, the insurance company will require the damage to be inspected in order to determine whether the windshield should be repaired or replaced. If you’re filing the claim with your own insurer under your collision or comprehensive coverage, you will have to pay a deductible before insurance covers the rest.
Most insurance companies will waive your deductible if the windshield only needs to be repaired. However, you will usually need to have full glass coverage in order to have your deductible waived for a full windshield replacement.
3 Tips For Dealing With Windshield Damage
Don’t file an insurance claim if it doesn’t offer any savings
When your deductible is close to or greater than the cost of the windshield, it’s better to pay out of pocket.
Consider getting non-OEM glass
You can always choose to have a windshield replaced with one from your car’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM). However, that doesn’t mean your insurer is required to pay the extra cost if an original windshield costs more.
As with any insurance claim, you’ll have to pay the difference in cost if you want only OEM parts. Bear in mind that aftermarket windshields are very high quality, and you’re not likely to tell the difference. Plus, if your insurance pays for the new windshield, they will guarantee the windshield and the repair job.
Consider repairing minor damage yourself
If you have some patience and aptitude, it’s actually quite simple to repair small chips and cracks yourself. Kits usually cost between $8 and $15, and they are available at your local auto parts store. Keep in mind that it’s important to repair or replace any damaged windshield. A small chip or crack is likely to grow over time.