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Article: Will Car Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield? A Comprehensive Guide

Will Car Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield? A Comprehensive Guide


A cracked windshield is a common issue that many drivers face at some point in their vehicle's lifespan. Whether it's a minor crack from a flying stone or a more significant fracture caused by an accident, a damaged windshield can be both inconvenient and potentially hazardous. One of the first questions that often comes to mind when dealing with a cracked windshield is, "Will my car insurance cover it?" In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of car insurance coverage for a cracked windshield, including the types of coverage available, the factors that influence your eligibility, and the steps to take if you find yourself with a damaged windshield.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage for a Cracked Windshield

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage, often referred to as "comp" or "other than collision" coverage, is an optional component of auto insurance that covers damage to your vehicle caused by events other than collisions. This type of coverage typically includes incidents like theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and yes, damage to your windshield. If you have comprehensive coverage, your policy is likely to cover a cracked windshield.

  2. Deductible: Keep in mind that comprehensive coverage often comes with a deductible, which is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. The specific deductible amount can vary depending on your policy, so it's essential to review your insurance documents or consult with your insurer to understand the details.

  3. Windshield Repair vs. Replacement: Some insurance policies differentiate between windshield repair and replacement. Repairing a minor crack or chip is often less expensive than replacing the entire windshield. Depending on the extent of the damage, your policy may cover repairs without requiring you to pay a deductible.

Factors Affecting Coverage

Whether your car insurance will cover a cracked windshield depends on several factors:

  1. Type of Coverage: As mentioned earlier, having comprehensive coverage is a crucial factor. If you only have liability coverage, which is typically required in most states and covers damage you cause to others, your windshield damage is unlikely to be covered.

  2. Cause of Damage: The cause of the windshield damage plays a significant role. Comprehensive coverage generally covers a wide range of non-collision incidents, but it's essential to check your policy for specific details. Common covered causes include vandalism, falling objects, and natural disasters.

  3. Severity of Damage: The severity of the crack or chip in your windshield can also impact coverage. Minor damage may be repairable and covered without a deductible, while more extensive damage requiring a full windshield replacement may involve deductible costs.

  4. Insurance Company and Policy: Different insurance companies offer varying policies and coverage options. The terms and conditions of your specific policy, as well as the insurance company's guidelines, will influence whether your windshield damage is covered.

Steps to Follow for Windshield Repair or Replacement

If you have a cracked windshield and believe it may be covered by your car insurance, follow these steps:

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the damage. They will guide you through the claims process and provide information on your coverage.

  2. Schedule an Inspection: Your insurer may require an inspection of the damage. They may send an appraiser or ask you to visit a preferred repair shop for assessment.

  3. Review Coverage Details: Discuss the specifics of your policy with your insurer. Understand the deductible amount, whether repairs are covered without a deductible, and any limitations or restrictions.

  4. Choose a Repair Shop: Depending on your policy, you may have the option to select a repair shop of your choice or be directed to a network of preferred shops. Ensure the chosen shop is reputable and certified.

  5. Repair or Replacement: Based on the inspection, your insurer will determine whether repair or replacement is necessary. If replacement is required, they will work with the repair shop to coordinate the process.

  6. Pay Deductible (if applicable): If your policy includes a deductible, you will need to pay it to the repair shop at the time of service. The deductible amount should be outlined in your policy.

  7. Provide Necessary Documentation: Be prepared to provide documentation, such as your insurance card, driver's license, and any relevant police reports if the damage resulted from vandalism or a criminal act.

  8. Follow Up: Stay in contact with the repair shop and your insurer to ensure a smooth process. Verify when the repair or replacement will be completed and when you can pick up your vehicle.

When Might Insurance Not Cover a Cracked Windshield?

While comprehensive coverage typically includes windshield repair or replacement, there are situations where it may not apply:

  1. Lack of Coverage: If you don't have comprehensive coverage, damage to your windshield is unlikely to be covered.

  2. Unreported Damage: Failing to report the damage to your insurer promptly may result in denial of coverage. Insurance companies often require timely reporting to process claims.

  3. Maintenance Neglect: If the damage to your windshield is a result of neglect, such as driving with a severely cracked windshield that eventually shatters, your insurer may deny the claim.

  4. Exceeding Policy Limits: If the cost of windshield repair or replacement exceeds the coverage limit specified in your policy, you may be responsible for the additional expenses.

  5. Non-Covered Causes: Some incidents, such as road debris damage, may not be covered under comprehensive insurance. Review your policy for details on covered and non-covered events.


A cracked windshield is a common issue for drivers, but whether it's covered by your car insurance depends on various factors, including the type of coverage you have and the cause and severity of the damage. Maintaining a clear and intact windshield is not only essential for your safety but also for the safety of others on the road. If you find yourself with a cracked windshield, contact your insurance provider promptly and follow the necessary steps to ensure a smooth claims process. Understanding your coverage and policy terms is key to making informed decisions when faced with windshield damage.

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