Is a Windshield Crack Covered by Insurance?
Last Updated on October 8, 2023
Windshield cracks are an unavoidable part of vehicle ownership. Fortunately, most full coverage car insurance policies cover windshield cracks.
If you have comprehensive coverage, then you should be able to make a claim for a windshield crack. If a windshield technician can repair the damage, then insurance may repair windshield cracks for free. If your windshield needs to be replaced, then you may need to pay your deductible before your insurance covers the rest.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about windshield cracks and how insurance covers windshield crack repairs and replacements.
Table of Contents:
- Comprehensive Coverage Covers Windshield Crack Repairs
- Collision Coverage Covers Windshield Cracks After an Accident
- How Insurance Covers Windshield Cracks
- Common Sources of Windshield Cracks
- When to Pay a Deductible
- Should I Make a Claim for Windshield Replacement?
- Can My Windshield Crack Be Repaired?
Comprehensive Coverage Covers Windshield Crack Repairs
Any car insurance policy with comprehensive coverage should cover damage to your windshield and all other vehicle glass.
If a rock causes a windshield crack or a hailstone damages your glass, you can make a comprehensive insurance claim. Your insurance company will cover the cost of repairing your windshield to pre-loss condition, minus your deductible (if applicable).
A technician will inject resin into the damaged area to repair a windshield crack. The sooner the technician repairs the crack, the sooner you can limit the damage. In some situations, driving with a cracked windshield is illegal, and you need to repair or replace it as soon as possible.
Collision Coverage Covers Windshield Cracks After an Accident
A standard full coverage car insurance policy includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. If your windshield crack occurred in an accident, then you could make a claim under your collision coverage.
Collision coverage covers the cost of repairing your vehicle after an accident, assuming you were at fault for the accident.
How Insurance Covers Windshield Cracks
To understand when to use collision or comprehensive coverage to repair a windshield crack, it helps to understand the three main types of coverage in a car insurance policy:
Liability Coverage: Required in most states, liability coverage covers damage you cause to other people and property. If you damage another driver’s windshield in an accident, then the other driver can make a claim through your liability coverage.
Collision Coverage: Optional in all states, collision coverage covers damage to your own vehicle after an accident. If you were at fault in an accident, and your windshield was damaged in that accident, then you make a claim through your collision coverage.
Comprehensive Coverage: Also optional in all states, comprehensive coverage covers damage to your windshield that occurs outside of accidents. It covers windshield damage from hail, fires, floods, and other incidents.
Common Sources of Windshield Cracks
Some of the most common sources of windshield cracks include:
- Gravel and stones on the road
- Fallen tree branches
- Collisions with other vehicles or objects
- Vandalism or break-ins
In all of these situations, a full coverage car insurance policy should cover the cost of repairing your windshield crack to pre-loss condition. Most situations fall under comprehensive coverage, although any accident-related claims fall under collision coverage.
When to Pay a Deductible
Sometimes, your insurer requires you to pay a deductible to replace a windshield. In other cases, you don’t pay a deductible.
It could cost $300 to $600 to replace a windshield. Depending on your deductible, filing an insurance claim may or may not be worth it. If your deductible is $500, for example, and it’s going to cost $350 to replace your windshield, then it’s not worth filing a claim.
Here’s how deductibles work when dealing with windshield cracks:
- Insurers do not charge a deductible for windshield crack repairs. If your windshield crack is small enough to be repaired and you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance may cover the full cost of repairing the crack at no cost.
- Insurers will usually charge a deductible for windshield replacements. If your windshield has multiple cracks, large cracks, or other significant damage, then you may need full windshield replacement. In this situation, you generally need to pay a deductible, and insurance covers the remaining cost of replacing your windshield.
- Some insurers offer a perk called full glass coverage. You pay extra, and insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing the windshield and other glass without charging a deductible. If you have paid extra for full glass coverage, then you will never pay a deductible for windshield repairs or replacements.
- Three states require insurers to offer full glass coverage to drivers at no added cost. If you live in Florida, Kentucky, or South Carolina and have full coverage car insurance, your insurer should not charge a deductible for any windshield repairs or replacements. Instead, you should be able to get your windshield repaired or replaced at no extra charge to you.
Should I Make a Claim for Windshield Replacement?
It may or may not be worth it to make an insurance claim to replace your windshield. It depends on how the damage occurred, the extent of damage to your windshield, the cost of repairing the damage, and whether or not you need to pay a deductible.
Some of the things to consider when deciding whether or not to make a claim include:
- Your insurance premiums should not increase after a comprehensive coverage claim. Most insurers will not raise rates after a comprehensive coverage claim, and some states forbid insurers from raising rates because of comprehensive coverage claims. If you’re concerned about losing your safe driving discount or paying higher premiums after a claim, then a windshield replacement claim should not affect your rates.
- Your premiums will increase if the damage occurred in a car accident. In this case, your insurance covers windshield replacement via a collision coverage claim. Collision coverage claims require you to pay a deductible and raise your premiums (unless you have accident forgiveness).
- Some insurers provide windshield repairs with no deductible, while other insurers do not. Check your insurance policy or contact your insurer to verify whether or not you pay a deductible for windshield repairs.
- Most insurers do charge a deductible for windshield replacements. If your windshield damage is extensive and requires a full replacement, then you will generally need to pay your deductible.
- A typical deductible ranges from $250 to $500. If the cost of replacing your windshield is less than your deductible, then you’re better off paying out of pocket for windshield crack repairs.
Can My Windshield Crack Be Repaired?
You need to determine if your windshield crack can be repaired – or if it needs to be replaced. Sometimes, the damage is so extensive that your windshield needs to be replaced. In other cases, the damage is minor and can easily be repaired.
Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace a damaged windshield:
- If the glass is tempered instead of laminated, then you should replace your windshield
- If the windshield crack is longer than a dollar bill, then you should replace your windshield
- If the crack or chip extends more than halfway deep into your windshield, then you should replace your windshield
- If the crack or chip extends to the outside edge of your windshield, then you should replace your windshield
- If you have multiple chips or cracks, then you may need to replace your windshield, even if the chips or cracks are relatively small
A glass repair technician from a place like Safelite can determine if you need to repair or replace your windshield. If a technician can repair your windshield crack, the technician will inject resin into the chipped or cracked area as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading.
Final Word on Windshield Crack Coverage
Windshield cracks should be covered by insurance, assuming you have comprehensive coverage.
Your insurer should cover the cost of repairing your windshield without requiring a deductible. However, if your windshield needs to be replaced, your insurer will require you to pay a deductible.
Contact your insurer or visit a glass repair center near you to determine whether to repair or replace your windshield crack.