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Does Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?

Your car’s windows are vulnerable to damage – but your insurance could cover the cost of repairs.

Car windshields don’t easily shatter. Aside from major damage from collisions, life on the road can still lead to small cracks and chips, sometimes caused by gravel and other debris tires kick up. In fact, glass damage is one of the most common car repairs. The frequency of such events makes a strong case for having glass coverage on your auto policy.

What is full glass coverage?

Full glass coverage1 is an additional coverage that can be added to your auto policy, and in the event of a loss, you may not need to pay a deductible. This type of coverage can cover windshield, window, mirror and light replacement, depending on your state. Full glass coverage isn’t required, but it can be nice to have, especially if you live in an area that sands the roads in the winter, which can cause rocks to be churned up by cars in front of you.

When does insurance cover windshield replacement?

Depending on the coverage you carry on your auto policy, windshield replacement may be covered. Let’s say you’re driving along, and a rock flies up and cracks your windshield and a replacement is needed. There are two types of glass coverage that can help you cover your car glass repair.

Comprehensive, or “other than collision,” is a type of auto insurance coverage that includes glass coverage. Any deductible you have for this coverage will apply. With comprehensive coverage through Amica, if a glass repair is needed, such as filling a chip, your deductible might be able to be waived.

Full glass coverage, often added to the auto policy as an endorsement, can also cover a windshield replacement in this instance, and you may not need to pay a deductible.

Comparing the two, full glass coverage often provides more coverage than comprehensive coverage since there’s typically no deductible. For example, if you have a $500 deductible on your comprehensive coverage for the scenario stated above, you would have to pay the $500 deductible, then insurance would pay the remainder of the loss. So, if your new windshield is $800, you would pay for the first $500 out of pocket and your insurance company would pay for the remaining $300. Both types of coverage may apply to other windows on your car, not just the front windshield.

Collision coverage can also cover windshield replacement; however, a collision would have to have occurred. So, in the example described above, collision coverage wouldn’t provide any coverage.

Does insurance cover cracked windshields?

Simply put, if you carry comprehensive and/or full glass coverage, you should be covered for a cracked windshield. If you don’t have full glass coverage, this could be covered under comprehensive coverage, after you pay the deductible. If you do have a full glass coverage endorsement, you may not need to pay a deductible. The exact circumstances on how much insurance would cover your car glass repair depends on which coverage(s) you carry and the extent of the damage. 

Can I pass a state inspection with a cracked windshield?

Each state has different requirements as to what windshield defects will and won’t be allowed to pass inspection. Some states allow for minor chips and cracks as long as they aren’t within the driver’s view. Other states don’t allow any defects in the windshield at all. For an accurate answer in your state, you’ll want to check with your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

How much does it cost to replace a windshield with and without insurance?

Small holes and cracks can often be filled with heated resin. If you’re not insured for glass damage, these car glass repairs can cost around $100 for standard vehicles. If the damage is considered too large to repair, full windshield replacement could cost closer to $400 – and up to $1,000 or more, depending upon the vehicle. Replacement cost only increases as new integrated technology develops, from features like rain-sensing to night vision to heating systems.

Does filing a windshield claim affect my insurance premium?

Whether or not a glass claim will impact your premium depends on your state and the amount the insurer pays out on the claim. Some states allow for glass claims to impact your premium over a certain dollar amount, and others don’t. If your insurance company offers a claim-free discount, a glass claim might not disqualify you from the discount.

Make sure you have the coverage you need

It’s a good idea to review your auto policy in advance of any future claim. Glass damage usually falls under comprehensive coverage, which is optional unless your vehicle is leased or financed and it’s required by the lender. If you have it, clarify whether the coverage applies to all of the car’s windows, just the windshield, or lights and mirrors too. Also establish whether you have a deductible as it may factor into your decision to file a claim or not.

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1 Coverage may vary by state and policy.

Your Policy, Policy Declarations or Amended Declarations in effect on the date of loss is the primary source of reference for your coverage, coverage limits and deductible amounts.

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