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Car Insurance Situation – Windshield Replacement

October 14, 2009

Common Insurance Scenario: Damaged windshield

You’re driving along the highway and a stone flies up and hits your windshield. It starts out as a little line and before you know it, you have a cracked windshield. The location of the crack could compromise the structural integrity of the glass, not to mention impair your vision while driving.

What should you do?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your automobile policy, then you most likely have glass coverage. Depending upon the type of damage you have to your windshield, you may be able to have a simple windshield repair versus a whole windshield replacement.

If you have a windshield repair done, this should not negatively impact insurance coverage provided by most insurance companies. Most of the time, a windshield repair shop will simply bill your insurance company for the work done. The cost to repair the windshield is usually well below the deductible on your policy, and typically the insurance company will pay the whole amount.

If you have a windshield replacement done, you may have to cover part of the bill – usually your comprehensive deductible. Get an estimate from a glass repair company to see what the cost will be and then decide whether or not to claim the expense. The cost of replacement may be lower than your deductible, in which case you would pay for it completely out of pocket.

Your first glass replacement should not impact your insurance coverage. However, if you file three or more glass claims within a three-year period, you could be looking at some coverage changes come renewal time. Some insurance companies will increase your comprehensive deductible or remove coverage for glass damage from your policy.

When you notice that you have a chip or a little crack in your windshield, don’t wait too long to have it looked at. If it’s just a repairable chip, it’s a good idea to tend to it quickly so that it doesn’t get worse and turn into a full-blown windshield replacement.

Don’t forget you are putting yourself and others at risk if you don’t have a clear view, leading to potential accidents.

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