While comprehensive coverage will pay for damages, is it better to pay out-of-pocket?
Your auto insurance policy likely covers windshield repair or replacement, though you will need to carry comprehensive coverage. However, using your insurance may not be the best or cheapest way to take care of windshield damage.
Read on to find out more about how insurance companies handle auto glass damage.
Your windshield and auto glass are covered by your car insurance if you carry comprehensive coverage. This coverage can protect your vehicle from non-collision damages including weather damage (like hail, flooding, etc.), theft and animal damage (including colliding with larger animals such as deer). When paired with collision coverage, this combination is often referred to as “full coverage.” Consider adding comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is worth $4,000 or more. Bear in mind that comprehensive claims are often subject to a deductible.
If your windshield is damaged in an accident in which you were not at fault, the damage will be paid for by the property damage liability coverage of the at-fault party.
Yes. If the cracks or chips are too big to be repaired with resin, your insurance company will pay for the installation of a new windshield. In many cases, the cost to replace a windshield is more expensive than the deductible, meaning that going through insurance could be a good idea.
Using your insurance coverage could be wise if it seems likely that you will have to get a new windshield entirely. However, if it’s just a small chip or minor damage, it may not be wise to file a claim. Generally speaking, if your deductible is higher than $1,000, it will not likely be worth filing a claim, as most repairs won’t cost that much.
However, full windshield replacement will likely be too expensive for most folks to simply pay out-of-pocket. Unless your deductible is on the higher end, filing a claim with your insurance is probably the way to go.
Because windshield claims are covered by your comprehensive insurance, your standard deductible will apply. The deductible is the portion of the cost that you are responsible for, with your insurance company covering the rest. Car insurance deductibles are typically set anywhere between $250 to $1,000. When choosing a deductible, remember: the lower your deductible, the higher your monthly payments will be.
Some companies, such as GEICO, may waive your deductible for small glass repairs if you carry comprehensive coverage. Consult your insurance company to find out if the insurer will waive the deductible for windshield repair claims. Be aware, however, that just because such a claim doesn’t affect your rate with one company, the same may not be true if you try to switch to another.
Chipped or cracked windshields are considered comprehensive claims and can cause your rates to rise. The average increase for a comprehensive insurance claim is $34 over the course of a six-month policy. Such a claim can stay on your record for three to five years, meaning that you could be paying more for insurance over a prolonged period of time.
In general, glass claims are not likely to increase your rates as much as other types of claims. For instance, a collision coverage claim raises your insurance rates an average of $335 for a six-month policy. The rate increase tends to be much higher when using collision insurance because such claims are considered to be more within the control of the driver, while comprehensive claims are less likely to be in their control.
A glass claim is usually no different than a standard claim. The process will nearly always start by contacting your insurance company. This can typically be done by calling your insurance agent or filing online. Making a claim online or through a mobile app is usually quite easy and can allow you to upload photos instantly to get the claims process started.
If your windshield was damaged in an act of vandalism, you should file a police report as soon as possible. After contacting the police, begin the claims process with your insurer as you normally would.
Most often, minor glass damages like a little chip or crack can usually be fixed without having to replace the entire windshield — as long as you act fast enough. As soon as you notice small chips or cracks, it’s best to get your windshield repaired as soon as possible to prevent this damage from getting worse. Cracks that form can be worsened by sun exposure, temperature extremes, excessive moisture and even bumps in the road. Quick action can help prevent you from having to purchase an entirely new windshield.
Most insurance companies have a list of trusted repair shops with whom they partner. There are many companies that specialize in auto glass replacement and repair. Local body shops or more nationally-known specialists like Safelite can typically repair glass or windshield damage quickly and affordably. Mobile glass repair has become quite popular, allowing technicians to travel to your home or work to fix your windshield. Remember that glass claims will most likely require you to pay a deductible, as noted above.
Whether or not you should use your insurance to repair a cracked or broken windshield depends on a number of factors: your coverage, the cost of repair, and your deductible. If you do decide to make an auto glass claim through your comprehensive coverage, it’s not likely to raise your premiums by much. In some cases, you may not even need to pay the deductible.
If you’re looking for cheap car insurance after a windshield claim, it pays to shop around. Insurance companies rate certain factors differently, meaning your claim for windshield damage could cost you far more with one insurance company versus another.
The Zebra is a great place to start your search for insurance, allowing you to compare rates from most of the top insurers in the country. Simply enter your ZIP below to get started.