Windshields are wonderful things. They keep the rain and snow out of our eyes when we are driving in less than ideal weather. They help to keep us in the car and other unwanted things out of the car. But most importantly, they allow us to see what is in front of us while we are driving. Though this is very important, it is also the fatal flaw of windshields, we can see through them. Why is this a fatal flaw? Simply because they are made of glass and it is a known fact that glass breaks.
Since broken glass is dangerous, you will most likely want to get it repaired as soon as possible should it become chipped, cracked, or even broken completely. However, if you have already shopped around for a windshield repair shop, you have probably realized that this isn’t a cheap repair. Then you remembered that you have insurance, right? Now you want to know if your insurance is really worth what you pay for it. When it comes to auto glass and windshield repairs, several factors determine whether it is covered or not, including the state you live in and the type insurance coverage you pay for.
One could only hope that the answer to the question of auto insurance coverage would be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ But who are we kidding? The list of things in life that are that simple is very short and it most certainly doesn’t include anything dealing with insurance. Let’s see if we can’t make it as easy as possible.
Standard auto insurance usually covers damage done to any auto glass, which includes windshields, sunroofs, and side and rear windows, that are obtained during a collision (not including animal collisions). That means that if your windshield was broken during a storm, it’s not covered. If you had a run in with vandals, you are on your own. If you were unlucky enough to figure out why chickens and other wildlife cross the road and have a collision with an animal, you might want to see if the animal will cover the costs because your insurance won’t. Or if you were struck by one of those pesky flying pebbles, you guessed it, your standard insurance will not cover the repair costs.
If you want to make sure you’re not spending your hard earned cash to have your windshield replaced, your best option is to add comprehensive coverage. This will cover all of the above-mentioned damages and make sure that you don’t have to pay for those repairs yourself.
If you don’t have the coverage needed to get the insurance to repair or replace your windshield, you do have a few other options. If the crack is small and you consider yourself to be even slightly handy, you could fix it yourself. You can buy windshield repair kits for around $10 online or at your local auto supply shop. Be aware of the type of damage your windshield sustained so that you can make sure to buy a repair kit that is suitable for fixing that type of damage. If you are unsure, you can most likely ask a local mechanic or auto body repairman just to clarify.
If you are like many people and you don’t consider yourself to be handy or you just simply don’t have the time or patience to do it yourself, you can always pay to have the repairs done out of pocket. This will probably cost you between $100 and $400 depending on the extent of the damage. If you just get the crack or chip filled to keep it from spreading, it will save you some money but you will still be left with a damaged windshield. If the damage is extensive or you just want to fix the problem once and for all, you can pay to have a new windshield installed but it will definitely cost you more.
Types of Cracks
There are several different types of windshield cracks that a windshield can get from different types of impact. This is important to know, especially if you decided that repairing the damage yourself is your best option. To decide which type of crack you have, first start by assessing the impact site. This is the place on the windshield that made direct contact with the object that did the damage. From here, there are over a dozen different types of cracks. You have the smaller ones like dings, chips, stone breaks, and pits. Then you also have the more complex and larger cracks that include long cracks, edge cracks, floater cracks, and combination breaks.
Each crack will have to be treated differently. If you have a long crack that stretches the full length of your windshield, the best and safest option is to just replace the whole windshield. But if you are dealing with a small chip or ding, you can most likely put some filler in it with a DIY kit just to make sure it doesn’t spread and become a long crack.
Summing it Up
To make this annoying insurance question a little simpler for you, here is a summary of everything you just read:
- Yes, some insurance coverage will cover the cost of having your windshield repaired or replaced.
- No, it is not part of the standard insurance package, it is usually part of Comprehensive Coverage that you can add if you wish.
- If your insurance won’t cover the cost of the repairs, you can do it yourself or pay someone yourself.
- Finally, there are a lot of different ways tiny little stones can damage your windshield (chip, crack, star break, etc.)
If you don’t currently have a damaged windshield and you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you might want to consider getting it now, just in case you need it. If you have comprehensive coverage and a broken windshield, you are good to contact the insurance company now so you can start the process of getting that crack repaired. Finally, if you don’t have comprehensive insurance and you have a cracked windshield, it’s probably time for you to start contacting local windshield repair shops or looking for a do it yourself repair kit. Whatever options you have available, it is important to get existing issues repaired and make sure you are covered in the future.