Saturday, 9 December 2023
by Earn Media
The first time a pebble mysteriously levitated off the road, smashed into my father’s windshield, and cracked it, I had questions. What just happened? Were we covered by auto insurance? Did the road spirits of Los Angeles just assault our family Jeep? So many questions, so few answers.
We did figure out whether auto insurance covers windshield replacement. Turns out, it depends on the policies involved in the accident.
Most auto insurance policies can potentially cover the cost of windshield replacement.
Collision insurance covers damage for an accident if you are at fault. If you collide with another car, hit a pole, or crash into a tree, you’re covered. Unlike comprehensive insurance, collision insurance does not cover you if someone steals your car (or angry road pebbles assault your windshield).
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to car windshields and windows in nearly all non-collision situations. These include the following:
Another person’s insurance may cover your repair costs in two situations:
If your auto insurance covers damage done by uninsured drivers, you are also covered when an uninsured driver is at fault.
One caveat: Say your auto insurance technically covers the cost of replacing a windshield damaged by demonic road debris. You’re still on the hook for paying your deductible.
Replacing a windshield costs $200 to $400 on average, according to the online dealership Rydellcars.com. Depending on your car insurance deductible, you may be required to foot some of the bill. Collision and comprehensive insurance deductibles range from $50 to $2,000.
If you have a deductible higher than $1,000, don’t count on insurance covering a simple windshield replacement in the event of an accident. Even if you’re covered, chances are, you’ll be paying out of pocket.
If your deductible is less than $1,000, you may still pay fully or partially out of pocket. For example, if your deductible is $400 and the cost to replace your windshield is $450, you’ll have to pay for the $400 deductible before your insurance kicks in.
To get the best rates for car insurance, you’ll want to check out the best car insurance companies.
Sometimes, it’s not worth replacing windshields damaged by small branches or ferocious road rocks. Cracks that don’t impede vision and are smaller than one inch are unlikely to impact your driving experience. Plus, filing an insurance claim may cause your insurance rates to increase.
Consider replacing your cracked windshield when you notice spreading cracks or when a break is longer than six inches. These pose safety concerns and may warrant replacement costs. Your safety is the most important consideration when it comes to windshield replacement.
Ready to shop for car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling, or customer service, we’ve researched insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.