When you’re traveling at 65 mph down the highway, it doesn’t take a boulder to crack your windshield. Highway debris kicked up by the tires in front of you or a piece of gravel from a dump truck can collide with your window at high speed and cause a chip or significant crack. Windshield damage is the second most common car insurance claim in the US. Still, whether or not your car insurance policy will cover windshield replacement depends on the type of auto insurance you have.
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How Do I Know If I Need a Windshield Replacement?
Often, when a small piece of debris hits your windshield, it makes a small crack or chip. While it probably made a loud sound and made a blemish, it might not seem particularly dangerous. Unfortunately, these small cracks and chips often widen after a few days, creating long cracks that snake across a large portion of the windshield.
To determine whether you need a repair or replacement, time is of the essence. You can take your car to a qualified windshield specialist for a professional opinion about the services you need. If you’re assessing the damage yourself, the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) states that a chip or crack smaller than a dollar bill can generally be repaired.
Under Massachusetts state law on vehicle repairs, windshields are repaired and not replaced if:
- Damage is outside of the viewing area or the area your wipers cover when in use
- Damage results in a crack of less than six inches
- Dings and “star breaks” are less than an inch in diameter
- The repair will not compromise the safety of the vehicle
Will My Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?
Whether your windshield replacement will be covered by insurance depends on your insurance type and the incident that caused the damage. Massachusetts law requires all drivers to purchase four compulsory auto insurance coverages. Required coverage includes bodily injury to others, personal injury protection, bodily injury caused by uninsured auto, and damage to someone else’s property. These policies do not provide coverage for window replacement, but you may have other coverage that does. Many drivers choose to purchase optional insurance coverage that helps them protect their investments in their automobiles.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance
There are many reasons that windshields get broken. Often, a flying piece of debris will come out of nowhere and collide with your windshield. You might never see what caused the damage or where it came from. Other causes of windshield damage are collisions with wild animals like deer, falling debris or limbs, or even an object thrown by a nearby lawnmower. Comprehensive auto insurance typically covers windshield damage caused by incidents other than a collision.
Comprehensive auto insurance is an optional coverage that protects against damage to your vehicle caused by non-collision events that are outside of your control. Glass and windshield damage is a specific feature included in the coverage. If you have comprehensive coverage and your windshield was damaged in a non-collision event, your insurance will likely cover replacement.
Depending on your comprehensive insurance coverage, you may have to pay a deductible before your windshield replacement is covered by insurance. Under Massachusetts law, car insurance companies must offer windshield replacement coverage as part of their policies with either a zero deductible or a $100 deductible option. You’ll need to check your policy to determine whether you have a deductible.
Another Driver’s Insurance
If you were in an accident caused by another driver, the other driver’s insurance policy covers the damage to your windshield. The property damage portion of compulsory auto insurance covers accidental damage to your property (including your car). As such, it will pay for the cost of a windshield replacement and other damages up to $5,000.
Collision Auto Insurance
If you were in a car crash that was your fault, and you have collision auto insurance, your collision policy should cover the replacement of your windshield. Collision coverage protects your car from any damage that results from an accident you cause, whether it’s with another driver or a stationary object like a fence or tree. Collision coverage is generally subject to a deductible. Unlike comprehensive coverage, glass coverage under your collision coverage doesn’t have a separate deductible limit. You’ll be required to pay the deductible you chose for your collision coverage policy.
Collision coverage is an optional auto insurance coverage to pay for damages to your vehicle in the event you cause an accident. Massachusetts law does not require this insurance, so not all drivers have this policy. However, if you’re making payments on your car, your lender will likely require you to purchase collision coverage.
Learn More About Auto Insurance That Covers Windshield Replacement in Massachusetts
There are many types of auto insurance that will cover windshield replacement. However, compulsory coverage in Massachusetts does not include coverage for windshield replacement. Windshield replacement can be expensive and isn’t typically a repair that can be completed without service from a professional.
The average cost of a windshield replacement is between $200 and $400. However, the amount you pay depends on several factors. This includes the type of vehicle, the provider you choose, and whether you book a mobile or on-site appointment. If you drive a collector’s car or luxury model, the cost to replace your windshield may be higher. In some cases, replacing a windshield can cost $1,000 or more.
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Windshield repairs are some of the most common claims made on auto insurance policies. A repair is considerably less expensive than a replacement. For this reason, it’s important to repair your windshield as soon as possible after the damage occurs. To learn more about the types of auto insurance that will cover a windshield replacement, get in touch with an independent insurance agent at LoPriore Independent Insurance Agency.