Your windshield protects you from all sorts of danger, which is why it's essential to keep your car's glass maintained at all times. Glass and windshield damages are among the most common car insurance claims, with millions of drivers filing every year.

Even if the damage is just a sliver, it’s important to get any glass damage repaired quickly because it can grow larger or eventually result in a shattered windshield.

In this article, we will answer the following:

Does car insurance cover windshield replacement?

Car window and windshield repair and replacement are usually covered under a comprehensive auto insurance policy, an optional coverage that protects you from damages caused by events out of your control. This includes your glass being hit by a rock or damaged by vandalism.

If your glass or windshield damage came from a car crash, your collision coverage will pay for it — unless another driver caused the accident, that is. In that case, their liability coverage should pay for your damages. Purchasing comprehensive and collision coverage is highly recommended if your vehicle is brand new or expensive.

Some insurers have an add-on coverage called full glass coverage, which covers the deductible cost of replacing and repairing your car's glass. Full glass protection can usually be added on for a few extra dollars per month, but it isn't available in every state.

Some drivers only have liability insurance, which is the minimum car insurance required by law in most states. Liability insurance only covers what happens to another person’s car, so if you want to fix your car’s glass damage, you’ll need comprehensive coverage.

Should you repair or replace your car’s damaged glass?

Generally, insurers say that if it’s smaller than a dollar bill (or smaller than six inches), the crack can be repaired and you might even have your deductible waived. Usually, if it’s larger than that, the entire windshield will have to be replaced. As a good rule of thumb, always repair the glass if it’s possible because replacements are significantly more expensive than fixing a crack.

Regardless of the extent of the damage, you should always see a qualified windshield specialist to resolve your glass damage. Windshield damage often starts as a small crack, but that chip can quickly grow into a bigger issue.

Should you use insurance to replace your windshield?

Many insurers will repair a small glass crack or chip without requiring a deductible. If that’s the case, get the repairs completed immediately before the crack grows.

If your insurance provider requires you to pay a deductible for windshield repairs, compare the cost of the repair with your deductible. Many drivers have deductibles higher than the average cost of repairing or replacing a windshield. You could save money by paying for the repair out of your own pocket.

Be aware that if you have previous claims on your record within the past three, your insurance rates could increase.

Check with your insurance company to find out if glass damage claims count against you. If your premium will rise because of a claim, compare insurance quotes from multiple companies. There’s a good chance you can find cheaper coverage elsewhere.

Filing a claim for glass replacement or damage is no different than filing a claim for any other damage. However, if a crime was committed, such as vandalism or a hit-and-run, you need to call the police.

How insurance companies handle glass and windshield repair

How you repair your windshield and glass damage depends on your insurance company. Some insurance companies allow you to choose your own repair shop, while others have specific auto shops they will direct you to. Insurance companies also have different approaches to what types of windshield damage their auto policies will cover.

Company How does it work?
Allstate Comprehensive coverage or full glass coverage will help you pay for repairing or replacing your windshield. Full glass coverage is available in certain states as part of your comprehensive coverage or in addition to it. Whether you’ll need to pay a deductible for windshield damage depends on your policy and where you live.
American Family If you have comprehensive coverage, American Family will waive your deductible to repair your windshield. Full replacement usually requires a deductible.
Erie If your windshield needs to be replaced, the deductible applies.
Farmers If your glass crack is smaller than the length of a dollar bill, it should be reparable. You can schedule a repair online with Farmer's preferred glass repair provider, Safelite. Farmers also offer a glass buyback coverage option which reduces your deductible for glass repairs.
Geico At GEICO, windshield damage is generally handled under the Comprehensive Physical Damage Policy. If the chip or crack is smaller than a dollar bill, it’s usually considered repairable. And GEICO will waive your deductible if you have the appropriate coverage.
Nationwide With glass coverage, Nationwide doesn’t require a deductible to repair your windshield.
Progressive If your Progressive policy includes comprehensive coverage and the damage comes from a covered peril, it will cover windshield damage. If your windshield can be safely repaired rather than replaced, you pay no deductible for windshield repairs.
State Farm State Farm covers windshield repairs and replacements depending on the extent of the damage. Your deductible may apply.
USAA If you have comprehensive coverage, USAA will waive your deductible for windshield repairs.

How much does it cost to repair or replace a windshield?

The price to repair or replace a windshield varies depending on a few things. First, the extent of the damage. Repairing a small crack costs quite a bit less than replacing an entire windshield. Plus, the price to replace a windshield depends on the shop doing the work, the car make and model, and the type of glass.

According to AAA, repairing a single chip typically costs between $60 and $100. Repairing a crack, however, can cost $125 or more. Windshield replacement pricing is a bit trickier. The average cost of repairing a Honda Accord costs between $250 and $350, but between $350 and $450 for a BMW X6. However, this price can jump to anywhere between $500 to $1,500 for certain car makes and models.

There’s a big jump in cost from repairing a windshield to replacing it. That’s why it’s important to get a crack or chip fixed as soon as possible before it turns into a bigger and more expensive issue.

Extreme changes in temperature, another stray rock or an encounter with a pothole are all it takes to destroy a previously cracked or chipped windshield. It becomes even more of a no-brainer when you consider the fact that many insurers waive deductibles to repair chips or cracks.

Many insurance companies work with repair shops that specialize in repair and replacement.

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