Rocks and gravel, damage from weather and even temperature changes are all common causes of a cracked, broken or chipped windshield. It might surprise you that repairing a cracked windshield is actually a pretty simple fix — as long as you take care of it right away. Because what may seem like a small, insignificant crack at first could turn into a bigger, more expensive problem if left unrepaired.
We know the question you want answers to: Is windshield repair covered by insurance? The short answer is yes! With some minor stipulations. We’ve highlighted some key information about windshield repair and replacement to help you understand how your insurance helps cover you from these small but impactful damages.
Do I Need a Repair or a Replacement?
Did you know that a small chip or crack reduces the strength of a windshield by up to 70%*? And eventually those small cracks spread into larger cracks that just might require a full replacement (which means more money out of your pocket). Getting your chip or crack repaired right away helps preserve the structural integrity of the windshield, which is a critical safety feature of your vehicle, and almost always prevents damage from spreading into a more costly replacement.
To determine if your windshield needs a simple repair or a full-on replacement, you’ll need to identify what kind of damage exists. For example, if you have a small break, like a half-moon, bullseye, star or combination, you’ll typically be able to get a quick repair — which usually only takes about 30 minutes to fix!
Here’s a list of common types of cracks:
Chip or ding. Usually, small chips or dings are caused by a rock or other hard object hitting the windshield and taking out a small chunk of glass. Though small and usually not impeding your line of sight, a chip or ding could eventually spread and require a full windshield replacement. So take the time to get it repaired right away!
Bullseye. A bullseye crack looks just like its name — and it’s usually one of the most common types of windshield damage. The good news is it’s one of the most repairable kinds of cracks.
Stress crack. A stress crack occurs when your windshield is exposed to extreme variations in temperature in a short amount of time. For instance things like extreme or swift temperature changes like cranking up the A/C or heat can cause a chip to expand into a larger crack, or if you put hot water on your ice-covered windshield, a stress crack may form.
Edge and floater crack. An edge crack is formed near the edge of your windshield, whereas a floater crack is near the center of the windshield. These kinds of cracks usually cover a large area of your windshield and will need a full replacement. Over time, all the bumps and other impacts that occur during driving can cause the edge or floater crack to worsen.
Does My Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement or Repair?
Insurance coverage for windshield replacement or repair depends on what type of coverage you have and the extent of the damage.
If your windshield is damaged in a car accident, your collision insurance would cover repairs or replacement, but you’ll be required to pay a deductible, which is the amount you pay before your insurance company steps in.
No Deductible Windshield Replacement
Do you have comprehensive insurance? At American Family Insurance, if your windshield is repaired instead of replaced for a covered comprehensive loss, the deductible is usually waived. Keep in mind, if the windshield needs to be replaced, you’ll still be covered but a deductible may be applied.
How to File a Claim to Replace or Repair Your Windshield
American Family Insurance offers a glass repair program with our trusted partner, Safelite. With them, we’ll work quickly to get your windshield repaired or replaced so you can get back to more important things.
Make sure you file a claim before you take your vehicle in for repairs, since your agent can help you determine how you’re covered. Remember, a repair usually won’t cost you anything, but a replacement will often require a deductible.
Submit a claim online to Safelite or get in touch with our Glass Claims Department at 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326).
Have the following information on hand when submitting your claim to make sure the process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible:
- Policy number
- Details about the damage
- Make, model and year of your vehicle
Does a Windshield Claim Increase Insurance?
If you file a windshield claim, your insurance company typically won’t apply a surcharge, which is the rise in your insurance premium. However, if you do frequently file auto repair claims, your company could consider you a high-risk driver, which would cause a hike in your premium.
Don’t forget to weigh your options when deciding to file a claim. Are you required to pay a deductible? Is the deductible going to cost more than your repairs? If so, maybe consider paying out of pocket for the repairs and avoid adding a claim to your car insurance history.
At American Family Insurance, we want to make sure you’re confident and in the know about all the ways you’re covered. Your agent is always happy to answer any questions you have about how you’re protected — in the meantime, check out more about our claims process so you know just what to do to keep moving forward when dealing with the unexpected.
* Source: Belron® Technical, the world's leading vehicle glass research & development organization.
Related Topics: Insurance Needs