Will My Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?
Last Updated on August 6, 2021
So your windshield is damaged and you’re wondering if insurance will cover it. Will a typical car insurance plan cover the costs of replacing a damaged windshield? Should you pay for windshield repairs out of pocket?
Today, we’re answering all the questions you have about whether or not your car insurance policy will cover the costs of repairing or replacing a windshield.
Comprehensive Insurance Typically Covers Windshield Replacement
If you have bare minimum liability insurance, then your insurance policy isn’t likely to cover the costs of windshield replacement.
Comprehensive coverage, as you may have guessed from the name, provides more complete coverage over all types of vehicle damage – including everything from glass chips to vandalism to theft.
Comprehensive coverage is optional. You don’t require comprehensive coverage to drive on a road. Adding comprehensive coverage to your insurance policy can add a significant amount to your monthly insurance premiums.
If you do have comprehensive coverage, then you’ll likely be protected against general types of windshield damage caused by storms, vandalism, collisions with animals, single-vehicle accidents, and other incidents. That includes damage to your side windows, front window, rear window, sunroof, and other surfaces of your vehicle.
Not All Comprehensive Coverage Covers Windshield Damage
Typically, a comprehensive car insurance plan will cover windshield repairs and replacements.
However, certain insurance companies might not cover glass damage in their plans. Check your policy to make sure it includes windshield repairs and replacements.
Even if you see the words “auto glass repair” in your policy, it may not provide all-inclusive coverage. Some policies only cover damage to your side and back windows and not your windshield, for example.
Some insurance companies choose to not cover windshield damage in certain areas. If you live in a winter climate where gravel is thrown on roads during the winter, for example, then insurance companies might avoid providing windshield coverage in that area.
Collision Insurance Covers Windshield Damage from a Collision
If your vehicle’s windshield (or other glass) was damaged in a collision with another vehicle, then your collision insurance will cover that damage.
Collision insurance, like comprehensive insurance, is optional. If you just have basic liability insurance, then your insurance only covers damage you cause to other people and vehicles. If you have collision coverage, then your insurance covers damages to your own vehicle incurred during a collision.
Remember Your Deductible
So you’ve discovered that your insurance covers windshield repairs and replacements. That’s great! However, it’s not always a great idea to file a claim with your insurance company.
First, you need to consider the cost of the repair or replacement compared to the cost of your deductible.
If it’s going to cost $400 to repair or replace your windshield and your deductible is $500, then you’re better off paying for repairs out of pocket.
If repairing your windshield will cost $280 and your deductible is $250, then the hassle of filing a claim might not be worth the $30 of compensation provided by your insurance company.
You also need to consider the impact on your premium. Insurance companies might charge higher rates in the future if you file a claim today, for example.
Free Windshield Replacement in Some States
In some states, auto insurance companies are actually required to offer free windshield replacement. There are currently three states that require insurers to offer free windshield replacement: Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina.
In these states, you will be able to repair your windshield for free without paying your deductible. Typically, insurers charge a deductible anywhere between $100 and $500 for windshield replacement. If you live in FL, KY, or SC, however, you will not have to pay that deductible amount.
Some insurance companies, like Ameriprise and Elephant, actually offer free windshield replacement to their policyholders regardless of state law. Other insurance companies, like USAA, GEICO, and Progressive will waive the deductible for windshield repair (but make you pay the deductible for windshield replacement).
Conclusion: Repair Your Windshield
Once you’ve decided to repair your windshield, visit the repair shop of your choice. Or, if you’re filing a claim with your insurance company to replace your windshield, then your insurance company might ask you to visit a specific auto repair shop.
Your windshield, obviously, is a crucial part of your vehicle. It’s generally a bad idea to drive around with a cracked windshield. Even if your insurance policy won’t cover windshield repairs, or if you’re paying out of pocket, it’s a good idea to repair or replace your windshield as soon as possible.