Do I Need Full Glass Coverage?

November 14, 2011 No Comments »

windshield

Car insurance Q&A: “Do I need full glass coverage?”

It seems like there is no end to the number of auto insurance coverage options available nowadays.

Accident forgiveness, ticket forgiveness, personal injury protection, auto death indemnity…and now there are different types of auto glass coverage too?  Where does it end?

Well, believe it or not, auto glass coverage can get pretty darn complicated when it comes to insurance, despite sounding like a foolproof solution to a very straightforward problem.

What is Full Glass Coverage?

  • A policy add-on that covers windshield and other window damage
  • Because the cost to repair likely won’t exceed the deductible
  • If your deductible is $1,000 and the glass repair costs only $500
  • Your insurance won’t even come into play

The answer depends on your individual policy language and which company insures your car.

For the record, “full glass” coverage refers to a car insurance policy that DOES NOT charge a deductible for repair or replacement of damaged auto glass.

Why is this even a concern?  Well, primarily because auto glass is frequently damaged without being in an actual accident.  Picture a rock hitting your windshield while traveling on the highway.

It happens a lot, especially in places like Arizona. And even if it hasn’t happened yet, there’s a good chance it’ll get you one day, assuming you do a lot of driving.

The same goes for someone smashing your window in if you leave valuables in your vehicle.

And here’s the kicker: the average cost to replace auto glass is typically less than your auto policy’s deductible.

For example, if it costs $500 to repair the windshield and your deductible is $1,000, your insurance company wouldn’t even be involved.

The cost of repairs or replacement would have to exceed the deductible before they paid a dime.

Therefore, if your windshield gets cracked, or is completely destroyed, you are automatically on the hook for the entire cost to repair or replace the windshield.

That’s where an auto insurance policy with full glass coverage comes in – it would eliminate your out-of-pocket costs for these common repairs.  The insurer simply repairs or replaces your car’s damaged glass and you’re good to go.

However, you will pay a slightly higher overall insurance premium for this coverage in place. So in a sense, you’re still paying for it…like always.

Is Full Glass Coverage Necessary?

  • If you live in a place where break-ins are common
  • Or drive on roads where cracked windshields are standard
  • It could be sensible to add full glass coverage
  • Assuming the cost is nominal and likely to be recouped at some point

Whether or not full glass coverage is necessary depends on your risk tolerance and somewhat on the company that insures your car.

Safeco Insurance, for example, has partnered with Safelite Auto Glass to offer FREE repair of cracked windshields – to a degree.  And they don’t “count” the occurrence as an insurance claim and you are not charged a dime for the repairs.

However, Safeco Insurance still offers a comprehensive deductible with “glass coverage.”  Why?  If you read carefully, you would have noticed the repairs are free “to a degree.”

If your windshield cannot be repaired, but rather needs to be completely replaced, the comprehensive deductible would apply…and you will likely pay for the replacement out of your own pocket.

With the “auto glass” coverage, you would not be required to pay the deductible, even in the event the windshield needed to be replaced.

So that’s basically what this type of coverage does – it removes the deductible piece, which often costs more than the glass replacement.

For those susceptible to glass breakage, it might be a no-brainer. For others who have never had a windshield crack, it might be a waste of money.

If you’re unclear where you stand, contact your independent insurance agent or insurer to get all the details.

Read more: Does my insurance cover windshield replacement?

(photo: runran)

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