Does Car Insurance Cover A Cracked Windshield?

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Updated: 03 May 2024
Written by
Cara Carlone
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According to the Insurance Journal, about 30% of all car insurance claims are for cracked windshields. With such prevalence, consumers should be aware of whether their car insurance provides coverage and in what situations. Fortunately, most car insurers will pay to repair or replace cracked windshields, providing you have the appropriate coverage.

Like all claim situations, there are nuances that customers should be aware of. I’ve been in the insurance industry for over 20 years and can break it down for you. Keep reading to learn about when car insurance will cover cracked windshields.

Key Takeaways

  • Car insurance will pay for damaged windshields through comprehensive coverage

  • Some states offer full glass coverage, which allows glass to be repaired or replaced without a deductible

  • If full glass is not offered in your state, glass may still be covered, but subject to your comprehensive deductible

  • Driving with a damaged windshield can be a safety hazard so it’s imperative to make repairs

  • Glass claims shouldn’t cause your policy premium to increase but filing too many can affect your eligibility with a company

Does Car Insurance Cover Cracked Windshields?

In general, insurance will cover cracked windshields, as long as you carry the appropriate coverage.

Comprehensive is the coverage on your policy that typically pays for glass damage, but if your glass was damaged due to a car accident, collision coverage would pay for the repair. Depending on the state you live in and your insurance company, your policy may have full glass coverage, which provides coverage for glass at a low deductible or no deductible at all.

Note: If your state doesn’t offer full glass coverage, windshield repair or replacement may still be covered under comprehensive. However, it will be subject to your deductible. Select a lower deductible, such as $250 to ensure your insurance will pay for glass claims.

What to Do if You Have a Broken Windshield

Once you notice damage to your windshield, regardless of the cause, you should follow the steps below.

  • Inspect the Damage – Review the damage on your windshield and determine whether it is safe to drive. Cracks that spread along the driver’s side of the windshield and could impair your line of sight should be addressed prior to driving.
  • Try to Prevent Further Damage – According to a Motor Industry Research Association study, cracks are 60% more likely to spread in 32-degree weather and lower, and 80% more likely when the temperatures drop to 14 degrees. To prevent further damage, try to keep the car out of extreme temperatures, and away from other cars or objects that could worsen the crack.
  • Call Your Insurer – If you think the crack needs to be repaired or the windshield replaced, your next step is to contact your insurance company. Your carrier will be able to tell you if you have coverage and what your deductible is, if any.

Should I Use Insurance to Replace My Windshield?

Just because your insurer will cover windshield replacement, doesn’t necessarily mean you should file a claim. There are certain factors you should consider before using your insurance to replace your windshield.

First, consider the cost. The average cost to replace a windshield is about $325, which is below most consumer’s comprehensive deductible. If full glass is not offered by your state or insurance company, your insurer will not cover the cost of replacement unless it exceeds your deductible amount.

You should also consider the cause of damage to the windshield. If it was from a car accident, the replacement of the windshield will be included in the cost of the other repairs to the car. In these cases, it’s definitely worth the insurance carrier paying for the replacement.

Important: Insurers will review your claim frequency when determining if you still meet the company’s underwriting guidelines at renewal. Since glass claims often count against your policy, there is a possibility that filing too many can affect your eligibility. So you should consider this before using insurance to replace your windshield.

Should I Repair or Replace my Windshield?

To determine whether to repair or replace a windshield, you should look at several factors. First, consider the extent of the damage. Minor chips and cracks, typically smaller than a dollar bill, can often be repaired effectively without compromising the structural integrity of the windshield. However, if the damage is extensive, such as long cracks or multiple chips, replacement may be necessary to ensure the safety of the vehicle occupants.

Next, consider the location of the damage. If the chip or crack is in the driver’s line of sight or near the edge of the windshield, it may impair visibility and compromise the strength of the glass, requiring a replacement. The size and depth of the damage play also play a significant role. If the chip/crack is too large or too deep, it may not be repairable, and replacement would be the safer option.

What Is Full Glass Coverage?

Full glass coverage allows customers to get their glass repaired or replaced without paying a deductible. Some states offer complete full glass coverage, while others may offer it as an optional add-on to comprehensive coverage. If your state does not offer this as an option, you are still able to get your glass replaced or repaired but a deductible will apply.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Windshield?

Windshield replacement costs between $250-$400 on average for most windshields. However, the cost can vary depending on the following factors:

  • The extent of the damage
  • The age of the vehicle
  • The type of the vehicle
  • Whether the vehicle has advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS

Cars with ADAS have safety technology such as forward collision, and lane departure warnings that can increase the cost of windshield repair. According to AAA, 92.7% of new cars in the US have at least one advanced driver assistance system. Customers with these vehicles can expect to pay $1,000 on average for windshield replacement.

Tip: If your windshield needs to be replaced as a result of damage that someone else caused, such as a car accident where you are not at fault, the responsible party’s insurance carrier may cover the cost.

How to File a Claim for Windshield Damage

To file a claim for windshield damage, you should follow the steps below.

Report The Claim

Some companies allow you to file a claim online or through a mobile app, while some may require you to call. Regardless of how you report the claim, this process should not take longer than 15 minutes. Be sure you have your policy number handy when you reach out.


Choose a Repair Shop

Your next step will be to choose a shop to replace your windshield. Most insurance companies will have some recommendations based on which are in their preferred network. You can also choose your own shop for repairs, but confirm it meets your insurer’s specifications.


Complete the Repairs

Once you choose a shop and your insurer approves, you should then have the repairs completed. Depending on the glass repair company, you may be able to have a technician travel to you and repair the glass instead of having it done at their location. If you have a glass deductible, this is when you will usually be required to pay it.


Submit Paperwork

Lastly, you need to submit the repair paperwork to your insurance company for payment. The company will typically pay the glass shop directly and close the claim.


Will Someone Else’s Insurance Replace my Windshield?

There may be instances where someone else’s insurance will pay to replace your windshield. This is usually in cases where another party is responsible for the damage. For example, if you are in an accident and the other vehicle is at fault, their insurance would pay for the damage to your car, including any glass breakage.

Will I Have to Pay a Deductible to Fix my Windshield?

Deductibles may apply for windshield repair and other glass claims, depending on your state and your insurance company. Some states offer full glass coverage, which means glass can be repaired or replaced with no deductible. If you don’t live in a state where full glass is offered, you will be subject to your comprehensive deductible, which is what typically covers glass.

What to Do If Insurance Won’t Replace My Windshield

In cases where your insurance won’t replace your windshield, you should still consider replacement. Windshields help to absorb some of the forces in an accident. If the glass is chipped or cracked, it can shatter towards the interior of the vehicle, injuring you or your passengers. They also help to maintain the structural integrity of the car in rollover accidents and prevent the roof from caving.

Driving with a broken or compromised windshield is not only a potential safety hazard, it is illegal in some states. Maine, for example, doesn’t allow cracks longer than six inches and Pennsylvania prohibits any defects in the center of the driver’s side windshield.


Is it worth it to use insurance for a cracked windshield?

It may be worth using insurance to replace a cracked windshield if your comprehensive deductible is below the cost of replacement or if your state offers full glass coverage. This allows you to replace or repair glass without a deductible.

Does insurance cover if a rock hits your windshield?

Comprehensive provides coverage for glass-related damage that is not due to a car accident. If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will pay for a rock hitting your windshield.

Will my insurance go up if I claim for a windshield?

Each state has its own regulations regarding rate increases for accidents, and guidelines can also vary by company. But in general, glass claims will not affect the price of your policy. However, it may affect your eligibility if you file too many.

Does comprehensive insurance cover the windshield?

Yes. comprehensive is the coverage that would pay for glass damage to your vehicle. However, collision coverage can also provide coverage for the glass in your car, if the damage is a result of a car accident.


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