How Does Auto Glass Repair & Replacement Work with Insurance?

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How Does Auto Glass Repair & Replacement Work with Insurance?

It’s happened to all of us. A storm hit your town last night, it got really bad, a tree landed on your vehicle, and now you have a cracked windshield. Well, did you know that the most frequent of insurance vehicle claims is glass damage? 80 percent of those are windshield damage versus side or back glass and 13 to 14 million windshields are replaced each year! What can you do? Should you file for insurance to repair or replace? Or should you cost the cost on your own?

Let’s talk about auto glass repair and insurance!

The first thing you want to do when there’s been damage to your auto glass is to inspect the damage. There are quite a few different kinds of auto glass damage you can sustain depending on the cause of the damage. Whether or not you should file a claim with your insurance depends on the type of damage sustained, because some repairs cost much less than a full windshield replacement.

Types of damage:

  • Chips: Chips occur when a small chunk of glass comes off. It’s typically caused by a rock or other object hitting the auto glass. Chips are repaired easily if they are smaller than six inches.
  • Cracks: Cracks usually form from chips. Again, a crack smaller than six inches can be repaired easily.
  • Shatter: Impact can cause your auto glass to shatter, especially if there were cracks or chips already. Shattered auto glass typically requires a complete replacement, which costs more than a repair.
  • Combination Break: A combination break is when several different types of breaks are in a windshield. Get this fixed as soon as possible.
  • Star Break: These breaks look like stars and are caused by several small splinters shooting from the impact. These can spread into large and hard to repair cracks, so get these repaired immediately.
  • Stress Cracks: These are caused by an extreme change in temperature. Stress cracks are why it is not recommended to toss hot or even boiling water onto frozen auto glass. Keep your auto glass in a garage or a shaded area whenever extreme temperatures are expected. Use a good ice scraper when you experience ice or snow. If you have a stress crack, get it repaired as soon as possible.

If your auto glass has been damaged at all directly in front of the driver’s line of view, complete replacement may be necessary. 

Now that we have identified the damage to the auto glass, give us a call at 877-49-GLASS or contact us online to get a pre-inspection. Repair is usually a lot less costly than replacement, and doing so quickly prevents the chip or crack from spreading.

If repair is not an option, look at the prices for auto glass replacement and compare them with your insurance policy and deductible. It’s always a good idea to be knowledgeable with what is in your insurance policy before an accident happens, though. Different policies cover different things. Currently, there are no federal or state regulations covering replacement windshields, so regulations vary by state.

Some states, known as “Zero Deductible States,” (Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Kentucky) require insurance companies to allow those with comprehensive insurance on their vehicles to add windshield replacement with no deductible on their policies. Driving with a damaged windshield is dangerous and can result in injury or death. Policies in place in Massachusetts and Florida must fully cover windshields, but those in South Carolina and Kentucky must cover replacement of other auto glass.

In states like Minnesota, insurance companies must offer their customers coverage for full glass replacement but it is optional. In Connecticut, customers can pay for optional full glass insurance coverage, which covers auto glass damage with no deductible.

Replacing a front windshield typically costs $180-$400, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Repairing a crack averages between $30-$150. However, some makes and models can cost over $1,000 to replace. Look at the cost of repairing or replacing against your insurance deductible. This will change depending on what kind of insurance you have.

What type of insurance coverage do you have?

  • Liability: Liability coverage only covers the other vehicles in accidents. If another vehicle is at fault for your broken auto glass, their liability insurance will cover it.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive usually covers a few things, like a rock or pebble hitting your windshield, a baseball hitting your windshield, acts of vandalism, an animal hitting your windshield or falling objects breaking your windshield (like a tree.) Comprehensive insurance usually has a deductible of $100-$300, with some states offering this with no deductible to be paid.
  • Full Coverage: This one covers everything.

There is also an optional insurance add-on called “full glass coverage,” which may be offered through your insurance company. In many cases, most insurance companies will not count auto glass damage as a claim on your policy, making your rates go up. Be sure to confirm your specific auto glass coverage with your agent and insurance provider.

If your windshield was damaged or destroyed as an act of vandalism, call the police right away and obtain a copy of the police report. This will come in handy with the insurance provider.

Filing a claim for broken glass is often the same process as other types of car insurance claims. Most companies allow you to either call an agent or submit a claim online. Auto insurance companies like to be notified as soon as possible, so file your claim right away.

Most insurance companies have chosen vendors they prefer you to use when getting your windshield replaced, but make sure to shop around to get the best price and quality job. Some auto insurers make you take the car to a shop of their choice for the damage, while others may be more lenient. Be sure to save all of your receipts so your insurance company knows how much to reimburse you for.

This is a reminder to go and check the coverage your auto insurer provides for your auto glass so you are always prepared. Remember, we are always here to help you at 877-49-GLASS.

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Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

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    Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

      Enter your full name

      What is your glass issue?

      Enter a valid email

      Where can we reach you?

      Any additional information we should know about.