Does Car Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield?

If your car insurance includes coverage for comprehensive physical damage, your probably covered for cracked windshield within the limits of your policy. Usually, such perils are subject to a deductible. To discover whether you have comprehensive coverage, check your insurance policy document or contact your insurance company representative.

Deductibles

Many insurance policies include a deductible amount for comprehensive claims. It is a good idea to weigh the potential cost of repairing or replacing a windshield against the amount of the deductible. As an example, if the repair is likely to cost $217 and your deductible amount is $200, consider paying for the repair yourself. The insurance company will only pay $17 and you will have submitted a claim that will be noted in your insurance record.

Some insurance providers respond to any claim regardless of its cost as a cause for reclassifying the insured person as a high-risk driver. Making excessive claims of any kind can cause premiums to spike, an event known as applying a surcharge.

Deductible Waivers

Insurance companies in some states and regions, especially rural ones, may waive deductibles for windshield damage. Their reasons are simple. Some areas experience severe winters and, to preserve local wildlife, highway departments cover icy roads with gravel and sand instead of snow-melting salt. Car and truck wheels pick up hard debris and occasionally a pebble flies into a windshield. In these instances, insurers consider windshield cracks to be a no-fault event and they waive the deductible. The waiver of deductible for windshield "rock chips," as they are called, is spelled out in the insurance policy.

Repairs

When a windshield is chipped or cracked, it may be repairable. One way to get an idea of whether a windshield can be repaired is to hold a dollar bill over the crack. If the bill covers the entire crack, it can likely be repaired. In some areas, insurers send out a mobile repair unit with a technician who can do the job on the spot. The repair process can take as little as half an hour. One advantage to repair is that it leaves the original factory windshield seal in place and undisturbed. The repair can leave a slight blemish that fades from view so that it becomes invisible. And, since a windshield is made of non-recyclable material, the repair of a windshield is more kind to the environment than replacement.

Replacements

Sometimes the damage to a cracked windshield is so great that it must be replaced. If the windshield glass breaks and your car insurance includes comprehensive coverage, the usual procedure is to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. If glass has fallen into the vehicle, it is important to protect people from glass and protect the vehicle's interior from weather damage by either covering the open area or garaging the vehicle.

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