How To Cover Windshield Repair Through Car Insurance
Chipped, cracked, and broken windshields are among the most common car repairs. Pebbles, vandalism, falling branches, animals, and even sand and gravel can damage your windshield.
This page will review ways to pay for auto glass replacement and repair using car insurance.
Understand Glass Coverage
If your windshield (or other glass, e.g., side windows, rear window, or sunroof) is damaged by something other than a collision, you’ll likely pay for it using comprehensive coverage. However, understand that this coverage is optional and if you don’t have it, you may be on your own when it comes time to pay for repairs.
Comprehensive coverage typically pays for damages occurring from:
- Animal collisions.
Check to see whether your car insurance company includes windshield repair and replacement in your comprehensive coverage.
Even if you read the words "auto glass repair," inquire if it is all-inclusive. Auto glass replacement on some comprehensive coverage plans only covers the side and back windows, but not the windshield.
Consider Your Deductible
Before filing a windshield repair claim, compare the cost of the repair/replacement with the size of your comprehensive deductible.
If your deductible is greater than the cost of the estimated repair, it won't be worth your while to file a claim.
However, do note that some car insurance companies and some policies will allow for glass replacement without requiring payment of a deductible. Most likely, your coverage will cost more; however, you’ll save on your deductible.
The Potential Impact on Your Premium
In most cases, a claim for glass damage that does not result from a collision does not cause an increase in your car insurance rates. However, this will vary by car insurance company.
You may want to think twice about filing a claim if the cost of your repair is only a small amount greater than the amount of your deductible.
Your windshield gets cracked by a flying rock and:
- The windshield repair cost is $280.
- You have a $250 deductible.
- The insurance company will contribute only $30.
Consider whether saving $30 is worth filing the claim. The claim will go on your car insurance claim record. Essentially, having more claims on your record increases your perceived risk and, in turn, the chances of seeing a hike in your auto insurance renewal rates.
Submit Your Claim
If your deductible is low enough to warrant filing an auto glass claim, file the claim with your auto insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on your auto insurance company, this can be done:
- By phone.
- In person.
- Mobile application.
An insurance company agent will confirm whether or not you're covered for the windshield repair or replacement and explain your options. You may need to go to the car insurance company to get the damage inspected and get the approval for reimbursement.
Get the Damage Fixed
Your next step will be to get your windshield fixed. You may alternatively be able to submit the claim to get reimbursement after getting the work done.
Many car insurance companies offer two options for getting auto glass repair:
- Via a specific car repair shop with whom they are have a contract.
- Via a repair shop of your choice.
- NOTE: Certain limits on the reimbursement amounts may apply.
If you choose your own repair shop, make sure to choose a reputable one, such as one that meets Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council standards.
Submit Your Receipt for Reimbursement
Your car insurance company may allow you to upload or fax your receipt or invoice with:
- Your name.
- Policy number.
- Phone number.
- Date of damage.
Be sure to ask your company exactly which details you’ll need to submit.
Protect Yourself Against Windshield Repair Fraud
To ward off windshield and auto glass replacement fraud, recognize the following scam attempts:
- Your repairperson tries to convince you that you need your windshield replaced as opposed to being repaired.
- Someone approaches you unsolicited away from a repair shop (e.g., in a parking lot, car wash, or gas station) and tells you they can fix your windshield.
- Your repair shop charges your insurance for several windshield replacements without you knowing it.
These fraudulent schemes can harm you in multiple ways. For example, they can:
- Make your car dangerous to drive.
- If your windshield is replaced with subpar glass, you are at the risk of decreased vision and danger of the windshield popping out and injuring you in a crash.
- Increase your auto insurance premiums.
- Having an unnecessary claim on your insurance can raise your rates.
- Result in the loss of your auto insurance for making false claims.
- If your repairperson makes multiple, false claims against your insurance, you can find yourself with a cancelled policy.
To prevent fraud:
- Say no to anyone you don’t know who offers to repair your windshield unsolicited.
- Research repair shops before picking one. Your car insurance company can recommend reputable places.
- Contact your car insurance company BEFORE getting your windshield replacement. They may repair small damage for free.
- Review your bill carefully.
- Follow up with your insurance company to make sure additional claims weren’t made against your policy.
The best way to ensure you get any auto glass replaced, including your windshield, in a timely and affordable manner is to first speak with your car insurance company about your coverage, get any recommendations for reputable repair shops, and make sure to get receipts for all repairs.
Amanda Lautieri Limited Lines Auto Agent