Should I Go Through Insurance to Replace My Windshield?
Last Updated on October 8, 2023
If your windshield is damaged, then you could make an insurance claim. Or, you could pay for repairs out of pocket.
If you have comprehensive coverage, then your insurance should cover windshield repairs and replacements. You pay your deductible, and insurance covers the rest.
In fact, some insurance policies repair or replace your windshield with no deductible required. And insurers never raise rates after windshield claims.
Keep reading to determine whether you should go through your insurance to replace your windshield.
Table of Contents:
- How Insurance Covers Windshield Repairs and Replacements
- Insurance Premiums Won’t Rise After Windshield Claims
- How to Make a Windshield Repair or Replacement Claim
- How to Pay Zero Deductible for Windshield Repairs & Replacements
How Insurance Covers Windshield Repairs and Replacements
If you have full coverage car insurance with comprehensive coverage, then your insurance should cover windshield repairs and replacements.
Most drivers carry comprehensive coverage to protect their vehicles. If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, then you are required to carry comprehensive coverage by your lender.
Once you have confirmed you have comprehensive coverage, you can choose whether or not to make a claim for windshield repairs and replacements:
In most cases, you pay a deductible for any insurance claim – including windshield repairs and replacements. That deductible could be anywhere from $100 to $2,000 per claim.
If it costs $100 to repair your windshield and your deductible is $250, then you’re better off paying for windshield repairs out of pocket.
If it costs $500 to replace your windshield, however, and your deductible is $250, then you’re better off making an insurance claim.
Unlike most claims, windshield claims do not raise insurance premiums. You will not pay higher insurance premiums – even if you’ve recently made one or more insurance claims.
Some insurance companies offer windshield repairs with zero deductible. You may be able to receive “free” windshield repairs. You visit an authorized windshield repair shop, and your insurer covers the cost of the repair with no out-of-pocket cost to you.
Insurance Premiums Won’t Rise After Windshield Claims
If you have multiple collision insurance claims within a short period, your insurer raises rates. In fact, a single minor incident – like a speeding ticket or fender bender – could cause rates to rise 20% or more.
Insurers don’t treat windshield insurance claims the same way. Windshield claims will not raise premiums.
A windshield insurance claim is not considered a “surchargeable claim.” A surchargeable claim raises insurance premiums.
However, if you have excessive windshield repair or replacement claims in a short period, your insurer could raise rates, cancel your policy, deny your claim, or take other action.
How to Make a Windshield Repair or Replacement Claim
Most insurers make it easy to make a claim for windshield repairs or replacements. Here are the typical steps involved:
Step 1) Notify your Insurer: Contact your insurance agent or insurance company’s claims hotline. Tell them about your windshield damage. They may ask for basic details about the incident – like when and how the damage occurred.
Step 2) Choose a Repair Shop: Your insurer should provide you with a list of auto glass shops in your area. Some shops require an in-person visit, while others, like Safelite, come to your location – say, your driveway or office parking lot.
Step 3) Pay Your Deductible to the Shop: After the technician completes repairs, you pay your deductible directly to the shop. If you have an insurance policy with zero-deductible glass coverage, you pay nothing out-of-pocket, and your insurer handles all payments behind the scenes.
Alternatively, you can find your own windshield repair location, pay for repairs out of pocket, and then file a reimbursement claim with your insurer. If your insurer approves the repairs and claim, the insurer compensates you for the amount paid out of pocket minus your deductible (if any).
How to Pay Zero Deductible for Windshield Repairs & Replacements
Some drivers pay zero deductible for windshield repairs and replacements. In fact, depending on your state, your insurer may be required to offer windshield repairs and replacements with zero deductible.
Here are the two ways to get windshield repairs and replacements while paying no deductible:
Option #1: Buy Glass Coverage from Your Insurer: Many insurers offer glass coverage or zero deductible windshield coverage as an added perk. You pay a few extra dollars per month, then get complete coverage for your windshield and other glass. That means you can request windshield repairs or replacements while paying zero deductible whatsoever. Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York allow insurers to offer glass coverage with zero deductible. However, some insurers offer coverage in other states.
Option #2: Live in a State with Free Windshield Replacement Requirements: Three states, including Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina, require insurers to waive the deductible for windshield repairs and replacements (assuming you have comprehensive coverage). If you live in these three states and have full coverage car insurance, then you will pay nothing for windshield repairs and replacements.
Final Word on Replacing Windshields Through Insurance
On average, it costs $250 to $400 to replace a windshield. Depending on your insurance plan and deductible, you may want to make a claim – or pay out of pocket.
Most insurance policies cover windshield repairs and replacements via comprehensive coverage. You pay your deductible, and your insurer covers all remaining costs. Insurers will not raise rates after windshield repairs or replacements.
Contact your insurer if you’re unsure if it’s worth making a claim for windshield replacement. Your insurer can explain coverage and deductible options and then help you decide whether to pay out of pocket or make a claim.