will car insurance cover windshield replacement

Will Car Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement

A cracked or broken windshield is an inconvenience no driver wants to deal with. Not only does it obstruct your view of the road, but it can lead to fines and failed vehicle inspections in some states if left unrepaired. The good news is that if you carry comprehensive coverage,

your car insurance will likely cover windshield repair or replacement to restore your windshield and get your car back in good working order. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of windshield replacement insurance coverage.

We’ll explore what causes windshield damage, types of auto policies that cover windshield claims, how the claims process works, what a replacement costs, and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about making an insurance claim when your windshield needs fixing.

What Causes Windshield Damage?

There are a few common causes of windshield chips, cracks, and breaks:

Road debris – One of the most common reasons for windshield damage is debris kicked up by other vehicles on the road. Rocks, gravel, metal fragments, and other objects can easily chip or crack safety glass. Road maintenance work can also send pebbles and debris airborne.

Extreme weather – Hail storms frequently lead to windshield damage. The small, hard balls of ice can pit and crack windshields during severe weather. Extreme temperature shifts from cold to hot can also stress and crack auto glass.

Accidents – Windshield damage often occurs during traffic accidents, especially those involving rollovers. The force of impact can cause glass to shatter or dislodge from the windshield frame.

Vandalism – While less common than other causes, vandals may intentionally break a parked vehicle’s windshield by smashing it with an object. Acts of vandalism are often covered by comprehensive insurance.

Manufacturing defects – Auto glass manufacturers follow strict quality control processes, but sometimes a windshield is improperly made and more prone to cracking and breaking. This type of damage should be covered under the vehicle’s factory warranty.

Improper installation – Windshield glass that is not installed correctly is more likely to crack or come loose. Errors like incomplete seals, incorrect positioning, or failure to follow auto glass installation procedures can all lead to windshield damage later on.

Normal wear and tear – Over time, small dings and chips in a windshield may spread into larger cracks just through normal vehicle use and exposure to the elements. Gradual windshield wear is typically covered by comprehensive auto insurance.

What Causes Windshield Damage?
What Causes Windshield Damage?

Do You Need Insurance To Replace a Windshield?

Replacing a windshield is not mandatory by law, but it is highly recommended for safety. Significant cracks or chips can distort visibility and increase the chances of a windshield collapsing during an accident. All states require undamaged windshields for annual vehicle inspections.

The cost of a total windshield replacement often ranges from $200 to $600 depending on the vehicle, aftermarket parts versus OEM glass, and additional services needed like ADAS recalibration. Car insurance can drastically reduce your

out-of-pocket costs for what is usually an unexpected auto repair. Filing an insurance claim means you only have to pay the applicable deductible, if any, instead of the full windshield replacement cost. For many drivers, using insurance just makes financial sense.

Do You Need Insurance To Replace A Windshield?
Do You Need Insurance To Replace a Windshield?

cases when paying the full price instead of using car insurance

You have a high comprehensive deductible that is close to the total price of the windshield repair or replacement. You have a limited number of comprehensive claims available per policy term and want to save them for larger repairs.

  • You are close to reaching the limits on your policy and want to save the coverage for a total loss situation.
  • You are leasing the car and are required to repair all damage before returning the leased vehicle.
  • You want to avoid any increase in premiums at your next policy renewal, however unlikely a glass claim is to affect your rates.

As long as you have comprehensive coverage, the choice is yours whether or not to file an insurance claim when your windshield breaks. Contact your insurance provider to understand all your options before making a decision.

Cases When Paying The Full Price Instead Of Using Car Insurance
cases when paying the full price instead of using car insurance

What Insurance Covers Windshield Replacement?

To get windshield repair or replacement covered by insurance, you need to have comprehensive and collision coverage. Together, they provide protection for auto glass damage stemming from a variety of causes.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for “other than collision” damage to your vehicle. This includes:

  • Windshield repair and replacement
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Hail damage
  • Flood damage
  • Striking an animal such as a deer
  • Falling objects
  • Explosions

Comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your windshield from most causes except an auto accident. Cracks and chips from road debris, extreme weather, vandalism, and manufacturing defects are all covered.

The tradeoff is that comprehensive claims typically have a deductible you must pay. For windshield repair and replacement, this deductible often ranges from $100 to $500.

Some states require insurers to offer “full glass coverage” add-ons that have lower or no deductibles for windshield and auto glass claims made under comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Collision Insurance Coverage

Collision insurance covers your vehicle for damage sustained in an accident with another car, object, or as a result of flipping over. It will pay for windshield repair or replacement due to crash-related damage.

Collision coverage also comes with a deductible, which is usually higher than the comprehensive deductible. For windshield replacement claims after an accident, you would pay the collision deductible amount listed in your policy.

Specialized Glass Repair or Replacement Coverage

In addition to comprehensive and collision insurance, a handful of insurers offer specialized auto glass coverage or endorsements. This coverage may feature:

  • $0 glass deductible – No out-of-pocket cost for windshield repair or replacement
  • Reduced glass deductible – Typically $25 to $100 deductible for windshield services
  • Glass repair deductible waiver – Deductible waived if the windshield can be repaired vs. replaced
  • OEM glass coverage – 100% coverage for replacement with original manufacturer glass
  • Extended glass coverage – Coverage for door, quarter, and back glass in addition to windshield

Not all states allow insurers to offer glass-specific coverage with reduced or no deductibles. When available, this coverage is always optional and comes with an additional premium. However, it can be worth it for peace of mind and savings if you have to make a windshield claim.

Specialized Glass Repair Or Replacement Coverage

Steps To Get Windshield Damage Covered By Insurance

What steps you need to take to file an insurance claim for windshield repair or replacement depends on your individual insurance provider. Here is a general overview:

  • Review your auto policy – Confirm you have comprehensive and collision coverage with deductible amounts. Also check for any glass repair deductible waivers or specialized glass coverage.
  • Get a repair or replacement quote – Contact a glass repair shop for an estimate so you know the expected costs.
  • Report damage to your insurer – Call your insurance company or agent or file a claim online to start the claims process. Provide details about what caused the damage.
  • Select a repair shop – Work with your insurer to pick an approved auto glass repair shop or dealer. Choosing an in-network shop can maximize coverage and convenience.
  • Pay deductible – The shop will bill your insurance provider directly and you pay any applicable deductible amount.
  • Get ADAS calibrated – If your vehicle is equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), this equipment will need recalibration after windshield installation. Make sure this service is covered.
  • Confirm repairs – Inspect the completed windshield replacement work before driving away. Follow up with your insurance company to close out the claim.
Steps To Get Windshield Damage Covered By Insurance

Does Insurance Cover Windshield Repair or Just Replacement?

Car insurance covers both windshield repair and full windshield replacement depending on the severity of damage. Smaller chips and cracks can often be repaired, while extensive damage will require total replacement of the windshield.

Insurance repair coverage includes:

  • Filling small chips and divots with resin
  • Injecting special glue into cracks to prevent spreading
  • Smoothing out damaged windshield glass
  • Polishing cracks and chips to restore clarity

If the damage is too extensive, a full windshield replacement becomes necessary. Replacement is also required if damage is in the driver’s direct line of sight or compromises the structural integrity of the windshield.

Insurance replacement coverage includes:

  • Removing old auto glass
  • Installing new OEM or aftermarket windshield
  • Calibrating ADAS systems if required
  • Resealing, curing, and testing new windshield

Many insurers will waive your comprehensive deductible if a chip or crack can be repaired vs. replaced. This provides an incentive to take care of windshield damage as soon as possible before replacement is required.

How Much Does Insurance Cover for Windshield Replacement?

Windshield Glass

  • Aftermarket windshield: $200-$400
  • OEM windshield: $300-$600+ (some insurers will only cover the aftermarket price)

Parts & Materials

  • Moldings: $50-$150
  • Urethane adhesive: $50-$100
  • Primers and cleaners: $25-$50


  • Removal of old windshield: $50-$75
  • Installation of new windshield: $75-$200
  • ADAS calibration: $100-$250
  • Total labor: $200-$500+

Additional Services

  • Mobile installation: free – $50
  • Post-installation adjustments: free – $25

Total replacement cost:

  • Aftermarket windshield with minimum labor: approx. $400-$650
  • OEM windshield with ADAS calibration: approx. $600-$1,000+

Your out-of-pocket cost is the applicable deductible. With no deductible, glass coverage or a repair instead of replacement, your insurer may cover the total windshield cost.

How Much Does Insurance Cover For Windshield Replacement?
How Much Does Insurance Cover for Windshield Replacement?

Factors That Affect Insurance Coverage for Windshield Replacement

Deductible Amount
Your comprehensive or collision deductible directly impacts your out-of-pocket costs for windshield repair or replacement. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and a new windshield costs $350,

you would pay $350 and your insurer covers the remaining costs. Any discount from the glass shop is typically applied before the deductible.

However, some states require insurers to waive your deductible if the windshield only needs a minor repair vs. a full replacement. And if you opted for glass coverage with a reduced or $0 deductible, you may not have to pay anything out of pocket toward the work.

Type of Windshield
Most insurers will pay for aftermarket windshields that meet your state’s requirements but cost less than OEM glass. Aftermarket windshields by third-party manufacturers run from $200 to $400 on average.

If you prefer an OEM windshield from the original manufacturer, some insurers will only cover up to the aftermarket price. You would pay the difference yourself. Policies with OEM glass coverage remove this extra cost.

Additional Services
Services like windshield removal, moldings, recalibration for ADAS systems, and post-installation adjustments are often covered. But check with your insurer as policies vary. Any additional services not included would be an out-of-pocket cost for you.

Labor Costs
Most insurers will cover reasonable labor costs related to the windshield repair or installation. This is not a fixed dollar amount, but rather what the insurer determines is customary and fair market price for the work involved.

Claims paid for work drastically above typical rates raise flags for insurance fraud.

Policy Limits
If the total windshield replacement cost including parts and labor exceeds the limits of your policy, you may have to pay the amount above your coverage maximum. This rarely happens with glass claims though. Checking your remaining policy limits can help avoid any payment gaps.

Network Status
Using an in-network glass repair shop versus an out-of-network provider also impacts your insurance coverage. Out-of-network shops may bill you for any

charges above what your insurer determines is reasonable for the repair or replacement. Sticking to network providers maximizes coverage.


Does claiming windshield affect premium?

Filing a windshield replacement claim is unlikely to increase your car insurance premiums. Windshield damage is common and comprehensive claims for issues like glass chips, cracks, and breaks typically don’t count against your policy or driving record. However, multiple glass claims in a short period may indicate higher risk to some insurers.

What does $500 deductible with full glass mean?

A $500 deductible with full glass coverage means you would pay $500 for any comprehensive claim, except windshield repairs or replacement which are covered in full with no deductible. This incentive to repair glass promptly can minimize damage and costs.

What is the law for windshield replacement in Florida?

Florida law requires insurers to provide $0 glass deductible coverage for policyholders that opt for comprehensive insurance. This means windshield repair and replacements must be covered in full with no deductible costs. Glass damage from any cause is covered except if you intentionally break your own windshield.

Does insurance cover broken window from break in?

Yes, a car window broken intentionally in a break-in, vandalism, or theft situation would be covered under comprehensive insurance. You may have to pay your deductible. Some policies also cover personal items stolen from your car in a break-in.


A damaged windshield is an inconvenience and safety hazard for any driver. While windshield repair or replacement represents an added expense, comprehensive auto insurance provides affordable coverage options. As long as you carry the proper coverage,

the majority of replacement costs will be picked up by your insurer. Understanding factors like deductibles, glass types, additional services, and policy limits allows you to maximize your windshield claim benefits.

With some foresight into the claims process, you can get your windshield repaired or replaced correctly and cost-effectively. Your auto policy has you covered when the road, weather, or errant Items end up damaging your windshield.

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