Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2021

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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, insurance will not cover windshield replacement unless you have a comprehensive policy included in your auto insurance.

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 insurance coverage, you don’t stand a chance.

It’s highly recommended that you buy full-coverage insurance. Liability insurance is mandated by law in most states, but if you only buy liability coverage, your own injuries and car repairs will not be paid for by your insurance company.

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.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages like this, as well as damage caused by weather, natural disaster, vandalism, or theft.

(Collision vs. comprehensive coverage)

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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 bringing it in. Contact your insurer to determine if you have this optional coverage.

Also, some insurers offer comprehensive coverage “with glass,” which means they waive the deductible for windshield replacement. It would be a good idea to ask if this is an option for you.

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.

You will only see a significant increase in your auto insurance rates if your windshield was damaged in an accident that you caused.

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What’s the bottom line?

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. Comprehensive coverage covers most types of damage except those covered under collision coverage. This includes a broken windshield that wasn’t damaged in an accident.

Your deductibles matter! If you don’t meet them, then you’re paying for something else with your premiums. Ask questions about windshield coverage and everything else you can think of before you buy an auto policy.

Shop around for auto insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal on all the coverage you need.

Read more: Top 10 auto insurance myths.

(photo: holisticmonkey)