One minute you’re driving down the road, and the next a small rock hits your windshield, leaving an unsightly crack. The good news is that some car insurance policies cover such damage and may not require you to pay a deductible. However, the claim may result in an increase in your premium. So, should you use your insurance to replace your windshield? Consider the following:
Is Windshield Damage Covered by Your Insurance?
Your auto insurance may cover windshield damage, depending on the type of coverage you have and the cause of the damage. Standard liability insurance only covers damage to other people’s vehicles, so it won’t help here, but the following types of coverage can.
Damage to your vehicle caused by non-collision events is covered by comprehensive coverage (such as windstorms, floods, or hitting an animal). After you pay a deductible, the coverage usually kicks in and covers you up to a certain amount. If a rock shatters your windshield, comprehensive coverage will almost certainly help to cover the repair costs.
Coverage for Collisions
Collision coverage protects your vehicle from damage caused by a collision. It also has policy limits and typically requires you to pay a deductible before coverage begins. This coverage may help cover the cost of the damage caused by a collision you caused.
Full Glass Protection
Full glass coverage covers the entire cost of the repairs and replacements, with no deductible required. Because it is illegal for insurers to charge deductibles on windshield claims in Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina, all policyholders receive full glass coverage. In the remaining 47 states, insurers may charge an additional fee for full glass coverage.
What Your Insurance Provides
Once your claim is approved, your insurer will cover the costs of repairing or replacing your windshield, minus any required deductible. Repairs are frequently less expensive than replacements, but they are not always available. The National Windshield Repair Association states that such a damage is only repairable if it involves a single crack line of up to 14 inches or a stone break of up to 2 inches.
Windshield Glass Claims and Deductibles
Do you want to know if you’ll have to pay a deductible on your windshield damage claim? It all depends. If your claim is covered by your comprehensive or collision insurance, you will usually be required to pay a deductible unless you:
- -Be a resident of Florida, Kentucky, or South Carolina.
- -Offer complete glass coverage
- -Require a repair but your insurance company only charges deductibles for replacements
Check with your insurance agent and state laws to see if you need to pay a deductible.
Should I Use My Insurance If I Have It?
The decision to file a claim with your auto insurer for damage is influenced by a number of factors. Determine the cost of your deductible (if applicable) and the estimated cost of windshield repair or replacement first. If your deductible exceeds the estimate, you should disregard your insurance.
If you don’t have a deductible and your repair costs exceed it, you should file a claim. But first, consider how the claim will affect the amount of your insurance premium. In most cases, it will result in an increase, but it will usually be less than the increase caused by an at-fault accident (which is 28% on average). You can get an estimate of the impact from your agent. If you can afford the out-of-pocket cost now, it may be less expensive than the higher premium you’ll pay later.
Windshield Replacement Suggestions
If your windshield is damaged, you should act quickly to reduce your costs. Small repairable cracks and dents can quickly grow out of control, necessitating a full replacement. Depending on the extent of the damage, driving with a damaged windshield may be illegal. According to federal law, you are not permitted to drive a vehicle if its windshield contains any of the following:
A crack or chip with a diameter of 34 inches or greater
- Cracks that intersect
- Directly in front of the driver, there are cracks.
- Two cracks that are only 3 inches apart
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