Car Insurance Coverages in Houston
Does Car Insurance Cover Cracked Windshields?
Just about everyone experiences it eventually – driving along on a beautiful sunny day, radio blasting, singing along, and suddenly you hear it – crack! A pebble or some other piece of debris flies out from under the tire of the car ahead of you, hitting your windshield dead-center. Whether it causes a tiny chip or a bigger crack, you need to get it fixed.
So now you’re wondering, does car insurance cover cracked windshields?
Comprehensive Insurance Covers a Cracked Windshield
Even if it’s a tiny crack, you need to get it fixed – small cracks rarely stay small. The good news is that any comprehensive policy should cover auto glass repair or even windshield replacement, as long as the crack was from a covered event. Depending on your policy, windshield repair (rather than replacement) might not cost you anything, so check with your insurance company or agent before doing anything.
Before filing a claim, of course, you’ll want to be sure it’s worth it. If you only carry liability insurance, you will have to cover the cost yourself regardless, but even with comprehensive coverage you should consider your deductible. If the cost of windshield crack repair is less than or even slightly more than your deductible, it would probably not be worthwhile to file a claim.
Will the Claim Affect Your Premium?
Depending on where you live and on your specific policy, a deductible might not even apply. Some states require that for windshield repair, insurance companies cannot apply a deductible. Even outside of states with this requirement, your policy might not include a deductible for glass repair, so check your policy or talk to your agent to be sure.
Regardless, though, you’ll also want to consider the impact a claim will have on your rates. In most cases, if the window damage wasn’t caused by a collision, it won’t affect your rates. This isn’t a universal rule, though, so once again check the details of your policy.
Can It Be Repaired?
You might have been asking yourself, “Will my insurance cover windshield repair?” Usually, the better question to start with is whether it can be repaired at all or if you’ll need auto glass replacement instead. While windshield chip repair is always an option, cracks can only be repaired when they are small – less than six inches. That’s about the size of a dollar bill. If it’s bigger than that, the glass needs to be replaced.
Repairing the glass will always cost less than replacement. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, you’ll most likely want to use the less expensive option. If your insurance is covering it, they’ll probably decide for you whether to repair or replace and will typically go with the least expensive viable option.
Filing the Claim
If you’ve determined that your windshield damage is indeed covered by your insurance and that filing a claim is your best option, your next step is to contact your insurance company or agent to start the claims process. Depending on your insurance company, you might be able to start the claim online or with a mobile app as well.
The company will determine whether you do have a valid claim, and might suggest a repair shop – keep in mind that in most cases you can choose to use a different repair shop if you prefer. This is usually mandated by law. Either way, have the repairs completed and then submit your receipt to the insurance company, along with whatever information they request – at minimum your name and policy number, but they might ask for additional info.
Windshield cracks can be distracting and therefore dangerous, and small cracks will eventually become large ones if you ignore them. It is important, therefore, that you have them repaired immediately. Check your coverage now so that you’ll know what to expect if it ever happens to you.
Car Insurance Coverages in Houston
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