Does car insurance cover rock chips?

What information is requested when filing a claim?

The moment you notice a rock chip on your car, you need to call and file a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will then help you through the claims process.

If you wait too long, it’s hard to tie the damages to the incident, resulting in a claim being denied.

In most instances, the damage is not going to be enough to prevent you from driving your car. Additionally, it isn’t going to be something where you call the police out to the scene, which means you won’t have a police report.

Every insurance company is different; however, most companies will collect a lot of the same information. Insurance adjusters will want to know:

  • The date of the incident
  • Where you were
  • The extent of damages

The extent of damage will determine whether the adjuster wants you to bring the car into a collision center to be viewed or if they will authorize the repairs without it being seen.

If you work with a collision center, body shop, or glass shop authorized by the insurance company, they will provide all of the information to insurance. Going to a location authorized by insurance will help to speed up the claims process and save you a few steps.

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Does Car Insurance Cover a Windshield Replacement?

What if your windshield is completely totaled and you need a replacement? Does car insurance cover a broken windshield? Luckily, when you have car insurance, a windshield replacement is usually covered as long as it meets certain requirements.

Naturally, your car insurance will recommend that you first repair any windshield when it’s safe to do so. That’s because it’s usually cheaper than a full replacement.

However, if your windshield has large cracks or has cracks that obstruct the driver’s line of vision, your comprehensive policy or windshield protection plan will cover the costs. Just like with a cracked windshield, you may need to decide whether or not it’s the most cost-effective for you to use insurance or pay out of pocket.

Cost of a Windshield Replacement

The average cost to replace a windshield is $350, according to the National Windshield Repair Division. Unfortunately, though, this range can vary even more than the cost of repairing cracks. Factors that affect the cost of a new windshield include:

  • Sensors and other technology. Many newer cars contain important sensors and other technology. These must also be replaced with glass, drastically increasing costs by several hundred dollars. Therefore, you may find it’s cheaper to get replacement glass in your older vehicle.
  • Classic cars. That said, not all older cars have cheap windshield replacements. Classic cars may require custom windshields because they aren’t a standard size.
  • Tinted glass. Do you want tinted or special glass? If so, this will cost you more than standard auto glass.
  • Luxury vehicle. Certain makes, like Mercedes Benz and Lexus, require special glass straight from the manufacturer. This increases the cost of glass.
  • Front or back windshield. Usually, it’s your front windshield that takes the brunt of any damage. But if your back windshield needs to be replaced, it can be a little cheaper because you usually don’t have to worry about the wiper assembly.
  • OEM glass. Using an aftermarket windshield can greatly lower the cost of a replacement. However, using OEM glass provides higher quality.

Should I use insurance to replace my windshield?

In general, it’s worth filing a claim for glass or windshield damage if the repair cost is higher than your car insurance deductible. For example, if your windshield replacement costs $400 and your deductible is $250, you’ll only pay $250, and your insurer will pick up the remaining $150.

Does filing a windshield claim affect my insurance premium?

This varies between car insurance companies. Talk to your insurer for more details.

Comprehensive Coverage

The key to ensuring that you have coverage for a cracked windshield is having comprehensive insurance. The vast majority of cases will be covered under your comprehensive policy, but you have to have a comprehensive policy in the first place. It’s an optional addition to your policy that’s not legally required in any state. Typically, it’s coupled with collision insurance and covers any damage that can happen to your vehicle due to what are called acts of God.

Value Penguin explains that there are several common occurrences that comprehensive coverage protects you from, but essentially any damage that falls outside of collision coverage could potentially be covered. Some of the most common causes of cracked windshields that comprehensive coverage would protect you from include the following:

  • A falling tree branch

  • A flying baseball

  • Road debris

  • An animal

  • Vandalism

  • Snow

  • Hail

Filing a Claim

There are numerous considerations to keep in mind before filing a claim for glass damage, but it’s typically not as severe as filing a claim after an at-fault accident. A cracked windshield caused by something like flying road debris or a stray baseball doesn’t implicate you as someone of risk, so you won’t see your premiums go up in response. Just keep in mind that deciding to file when you have a deductible is primarily a financial concern. If the cost of repairs exceeds your deductible, you’ll probably want to file.

If you can’t afford your deductible, you’ll be in a tight spot. Driving with a cracked windshield is risky. Not only does it make driving itself more dangerous, but you could get a ticket if a police officer catches you. Fortunately, it may be possible to find a private glass company in your area that’s happy to waive part of your deductible. They often need the business, according to The Balance, so you can expect to find a company that’s eager to help because they can still profit after covering part of your deductible.

Help! I Just Got Into A Car Accident

So you just got into a car accident, now what? Read as GEICO takes you through exactly what to do after you’ve been in a car accident.

Now You Know — Does Car Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield?

You’ll never have to ask yourself, “does car insurance cover a cracked windshield?” again when you choose an affordable windshield protection plan from Freeway Insurance. Our windshield protection plans cover minor windshield damage, including chips and cracks up to six inches long. Call us to purchase a plan now!

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