It’s good to know if your insurance covers windshield repair before an accident happens. Rarely is it the fault of the driver when a windshield begins to crack. More commonly, small rocks and debris flying through the air after being churned up by other vehicles on the roadways cause the crack in your windshield.
What Caused the Windshield Damage?
Determining the reason for the damage and the extent can help you decide if you should simply repair the windshield, or if a complete replacement is in order. Chips caused by gravel can be easy to repair, but extensive damage after colliding with a large animal or falling branches from a storm may warrant a replacement.
Unless you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, insurance companies will not cover costs. Most insurance policies only require the insured to carry liability coverage, so many drivers opt out of comprehensive coverage to save on their monthly bill. If you do have comprehensive coverage, you must find out if auto glass repair is covered under the terms of your policy. Sometimes the policy may only cover the windows, not the windshield, so obtain your policy documents for review.
How High is Your Deductible?
If windshield repair is covered under your policy, find out the total deductible amount. If it is the same as the cost to replace your windshield, it might be beneficial to simply pay for the replacement alone. Even if the windshield damage was not your fault, the insurance claim will go on record. Of course, not every policy counts auto glass claims against you; some companies file it in the “no-fault” category, but contact your insurance agent to be sure before deciding to file a claim.
How Do You File a Claim?
Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to file an auto glass claim over the phone, through the mobile application or in person at their office. You can either choose an auto glass repair shop contracted by the company, or find a network repair provider. Some insurance agencies require the work to be completed at the shop of their choice, while others may allow you to schedule the repair and submit the receipt after the fact, receiving reimbursement at that point.
Know the difference between original engine manufacturer parts (OEM) and aftermarket parts. Your insurance may only cover the repair if it is completed with aftermarket parts, but OEM parts are safer, stronger and more reliable. To upgrade to OEM parts, your insurance may allow you to pay for the difference in price.
Regardless of the status of your insurance policy, each windshield crack should be repaired as quickly as possible to keep you safe while driving your vehicle. Small chips that could have been repaired can quickly splinter into a much larger break if they go unattended. Contact your local auto glass repair shop for an estimate and further advice regarding windshield repair insurance and costs.