A cracked or chipped windshield is typically inexpensive to fix, but replacing a windshield can be costly. This is where you should have a car insurance policy with collision and comprehensive coverages to cover windshield replacement/damage. However, do you know when these coverages will kick in to cover windshields? Read on to find out.
A cracked/damaged windshield is usually covered by comprehensive coverage. However, if an at-fault accident (with another driver or an object like a tree) causes the damage, your collision coverage will kick in to cover the loss.
If your windshield is damaged in a collision not caused by you, the other driver’s liability coverage will kick in to pay for the damage. However, you will have to file a claim against their insurance's property damage liability portion before making the repairs.
If someone accidentally or intentionally breaks your windshield, their homeowners or renters insurance will cover your loss. However, you will have to prove to the at-fault person’s insurance provider that the incident is their fault, or else you won’t be compensated.
Suppose a third party is responsible for the damage to your windshield, but they do not carry insurance or have limited coverage. In that case, you will be covered by your car insurance, provided you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Comprehensive coverage will pay for the windshield damage resulting from:
You have to compare the total replacement cost against your deductible amount and file a claim only if it exceeds your deductible, costing several hundreds of dollars. It is good to do the minor repairs out of pocket to save your premiums from increasing because of filing claims.
It may cost $150 or more depending on the windshield's make and model and the damage's extent.
Whether or not your car insurance rates increase depends on the type of claim you file, including:
Your insurance provider will not increase your premiums after a comprehensive claim because this coverage is designed to protect you against uncontrollable events, like a windshield damaged by falling tree branches. However, if you file several comprehensive claims quickly, your insurer may increase your rate.
A collision claim is often filed after an at-fault accident so that insurance rates may increase. However, whether your insurer increases your rates depends on the cost of the claim and whether you have accident forgiveness coverage. If you don’t have accident forgiveness coverage, filing a claim for windshield replacement is not recommended.
Windshield damage cannot always be prevented, but having proper coverage (like comprehensive or collision) in place will cover the damage, helping you drive with peace of mind.