(Thebalance) – A crack or chip in your windshield is important to repair. Your windshield is at risk for damage from flying objects like debris from a truck, rocks, or even from storm damage.
Maybe you hit a bird while driving or the neighbor kid hit a baseball into your vehicle. The potential causes are numerous, but the underlying question is, does your car insurance cover windshield damage?
It all depends on what type of car insurance policy you have.
Windshields and any other damaged window in your vehicle would be considered a comprehensive claim. So you are only covered if you purchased comprehensive coverage, which is sometimes referred to as “other than collision coverage,” before the damage occurred. Find out if you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle by checking your declaration page, calling your agent, or filing the claim and speaking with an adjuster.
It is possible you have a deductible on your comprehensive coverage. When you add comprehensive coverage to your vehicle, a deductible should be selected. Some companies offer a zero deductible on comprehensive, however, many times a deductible is chosen to reduce the overall cost of insurance. Many carriers also offer a deductible on comprehensive to cover the majority of comprehensive claims but offer a zero deductible specifically for glass damage. Check your policy to see what your deductible is for comprehensive claims.
If the cost of repairs is even slightly greater than your deductible, you should consider filing a claim. Most of the time, repairing a windshield won’t raise your premium amounts all that much, as it doesn’t really signal risky driving behavior in the way that, say, an at-fault accident would.
Full Glass Coverage
Many states are beginning to offer full glass coverage as an add-on to your insurance policy. If you’ve decided to purchase full glass coverage, you won’t have to even pay the deductible for repairing or replacing your windshield.
Don’t Procrastinate Filing a Glass Claim
Often a small chip will begin to crack over time requiring a full windshield replacement. If you have a small chip in your windshield, many times the glass can be repaired. Usually, insurance carriers cover chips which are repaired without a deductible, as long as comprehensive coverage is listed on your vehicle. The sooner you have a chip filled, the less likely it is to spread into a crack.
What If I Can’t Pay My Deductible?
Options are available if you cannot afford to pay your deductible.
- Put off your repair until you can save up the money. However, repairing your glass in a timely fashion is important and can result in a fix-it ticket from a police officer if you are caught with a cracked windshield.
- Check with reputable glass companies in your area to see if they will waive a part or all of your deductible. Glass companies are hungry for your business and will waive your deductible in order to get your business. Usually, only the largest glass companies are able to remain profitable after waiving your deductible.
Remember comprehensive coverage covers more than just deer accidents. The only way your windshield is covered by your insurance is if you purchase comprehensive. If you have a bare-bones policy with PLPD coverage only, you will have to repair or replace your glass on your own. Make sure you learn about your car insurance coverage before the time comes to file a claim.