In most cases, a chipped or cracked windshield will need to be repaired or replaced ASAP in order to fully comply with the law. Unfortunately, a windshield repair job can cost a lot of money, especially if you do not know exactly what to do after an accident. In this article, I’m going to list everything you should know about auto windshield replacement deductibles, auto insurance laws, and even local State laws related to windshield repair/replacement.
Do I have windshield insurance?
This will probably be one of the first questions that come to your mind when faced with an expensive repair/replacement job. Unfortunately, at least in some cases, the answer is not as straightforward as one would hope.
Simply put, the amount of money that you will have to pay out of your own pocket will be determined by what type of auto insurance you have, which State you live in and what kind of deductible you may be required to pay before insurance kicks in.
Types of coverage
Windshield replacement and repair claims are practically always considered to be comprehensive claims. This means that you must have comprehensive auto insurance to qualify. To find out whether your insurer will pay for any auto glass repairs, you should give your insurance agent a call. In addition to this, don’t forget to double-check all of the details in your insurance policy (sometimes agents get some of the facts wrong).
Next, you must file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Do not wait until the repair job is complete as that will more likely than not render your claim invalid.
Now, even if you have comprehensive auto insurance, you may still be required to pay a hefty deductible for any auto glass repair work. For example:
- Most comprehensive insurance packages come with a deductible. This is done in order to reduce insurance costs. Unfortunately, in a case of an accident, it also means that the customer has to pay the deductible bore insurance payments can start. In most cases your deductible will depend on the type of damage suffered and how the accident occurred.
- Some comprehensive insurance packages have special auto glass replacement deductibles that are smaller than general deductibles.
Remember to negotiate your deductible wherever possible. For example, some insurance companies will waive the deductible on auto glass repair jobs, as long as the customer goes with a simple repair instead of full windshield replacement. This is done because the deductible paid by the driver is often the same, while the insurance company would have to pay significantly more for a full replacement job. Read more about windshield repair/replacement deductibles.
The last thing to consider (although just as important as the rest) is your local State laws. Some US States have very strict regulations when it comes to driving around in a vehicle with a chipped windshield, while others have absolutely no such laws whatsoever. Plus, there are States where windshield repair jobs are required to be deductible-free, which can mean big savings! Here are some examples:
- Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina and Massachusetts are known as “zero deductible” States. As long as you have comprehensive auto insurance, you won’t have to pay a penny to get your car’s windshield replaced/repaired.
- Some States, such as Connecticut, require insurance providers to offer optional packages that include deductible-free auto glass repair and replacement.
To find out how your local laws might affect your insurance claim, see this article on State laws and windshield replacement.
Remember that windshield repair claims must be filed before the work takes place and there are many ways to reduce the amount that you will have to pay out, as long as you have comprehensive auto insurance. Plus, zero-deductible insurance is often a real possibility, so check out this article to learn more about that.