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If your windshield has been cracked, chipped or completely shattered, car insurance will cover the cost if you have the right coverage.

Windshield repair or replacement is covered by collision coverage if it was caused by an accident or comprehensive if it was caused by something like a flying rock or vandalism.

Keep reading to find out how to file a claim for windshield replacement or repair, whether you’ll need to pay a deductible and which coverage applies.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Comprehensive or collision coverage pays for windshield repair, depending on the cause of the damage. Both of these coverages are optional and have a deductible.
  • In some cases, you may not have to pay the deductible; some states require insurance companies to waive it for replacement, and many waive it for repairs regardless of the law.
  • Before filing a windshield damage claim, check your coverage and determine your deductible and whether it’s worth filing.

What type of car insurance covers windshield replacement?

Broken windshield repair is covered under either collision or comprehensive coverage, depending on what caused the damage.

Collision coverage covers damage to your car caused by a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object. Comprehensive coverage covers damage from other causes, such as vandalism, natural disasters, collisions with animals and falling objects. Both types of coverage are optional and have a deductible.

However, some car insurance policies waive the comprehensive deductible for windshield repairs. This allows car owners to repair small chips inexpensively rather than waiting until they develop into large cracks that require the replacement of the entire windshield. Check your policy for details.

In some states, car insurance companies are required to provide full glass replacement coverage with no deductible.

What if you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage?

If you don't have comprehensive or collision coverage, you will have to pay the entire tab for the repairs. However, there are situations where another person’s insurance will cover your windshield repair or replacement. They are when:

  • Another motorist is at-fault: When another driver crashes into your car and damages your windshield, their liability insurance will pay for your repair or replacement.
  • Another person (not driving) breaks your windshield: If someone else breaks your windshield, you know who they are, and they have homeowners insurance, you can file a claim against their policy.

How to file a claim for windshield damage

Filing a claim for windshield damage is not much different from filing any other claim. Before filing a windshield damage claim, you should assess the damage. If the damage or a crack on the windshield is greater than six inches, you’ll need to have the windshield replaced.

To file a windshield repair or replacement claim, follow these steps:

  • Photograph the damage.
  • Inform your car insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. You will also need to file a police report if the damage is due to vandalism or a hit-and-run.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the adjuster and provide any additional information they request.
  • Choose a glass repair company; you can select the one recommended by your insurer or choose your own.

The windshield is a vital part of the cabin’s structural integrity. Look for companies that have committed to installations that meet standards set by the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council. You should also ask if they will use OEM or aftermarket glass. While both are acceptable by safety standards, you may have a preference. Find out if your insurance company pays for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. If not, you may be able to pay the difference if having an OEM windshield is important to you.

Most glass repair and replacement companies offer mobile services and can likely complete the work at your home or office on your schedule.