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Does My Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?

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Insurance Q&A: “Does my insurance cover windshield replacement?”

It has already happened or likely will at some point in your driving career.

A rock will get kicked up in the air by someone else’s tire on the highway…and as a result, your windshield will get cracked. Seems pretty unfair, right?

Well, once you’ve dealt with the fear of a rock flying at your face at 65 miles-per-hour, you’ll probably start thinking about how it’s going to be paid for. More specifically, if your auto insurance company will pay for the damages.

The answer depends on a few key points related to the policy you purchased. Below is the rundown on what you need to know.

Do You Have the Right Coverage?

Unless you windshield was cracked as a result of an accident, the damage would fall under the comprehensive coverage part of your auto insurance policy.

You must have purchased a full coverage auto insurance policy (liability and physical damage coverage), including the comprehensive coverage part, in order to be covered here. Without comprehensive coverage you don’t stand a chance.

Note: Collision coverage will not pay for windshield damage unless it happened as a result of an accident (collision), which does not include flying rocks on the highway.

(Collision vs. comprehensive coverage)

What’s Your Deductible?

Next you have to take your auto insurance deductible into account. You will be out of luck if your deductible exceeds your damages. For example, you are responsible for fixing the windshield if you have a $500 comprehensive deductible and only $350 worth of damage. Bummer? Maybe not.

Many insurers now offer free windshield crack repair services. You simply contact the insurer, file the insurance claim and a windshield repair company will get you squared away. This service is for cracks and likely will not cover you for a severely damaged windshield.

Typically, the repairs are “mobile” and you can have the service performed where you are rather than brining it in. Contact you insurer to determine if you have this optional coverage.

Also, some insurers offer comprehensive coverage “with glass,” which means they waive the deductible on glass damage…even more severe damage than a crack.

How Much Does It Cost?

Depending on the type of car you have and some personal factors, including your credit history (insurance score) and your driving record (MVR and C.L.U.E. report) comprehensive coverage is not terribly expensive.

There are too many combinations of individual pricing factors for us to generate an expected insurance premium for this coverage. So contact your agent or insurer to get a quote for adding comprehensive coverage.

The “with glass” option is usually very cheap. We may be talking about $20-$30 per year.

Will My Premium Go Up If I File a Windshield Claim?

Good question. You’re thinking like an insurance agent now. Typically, insurers consider a cracked windshield a “no fault” incident. Meaning you didn’t contribute to the damage occurring.

“No fault” claims are normally not counted against you. You may see a slight increase, but the odds are this type of claim is not going to affect your premium at all.

Again, read your policy carefully and talk to your agent or insurer to verify this coverage. The circumstances of the damage to the windshield may play a significant role in how your policy responds to the claim.

Read more: Top 10 auto insurance myths.

(photo: holisticmonkey)

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