How Does Auto Insurance Windshield Coverage Work?

Arranging appropriate car insurance coverage for it protects policyholders from the costs of repairing or replacing their vehicle’s windshield in the event of damage. Windshields are susceptible to various hazards, including rock chips, animal collisions, falling debris, and objects such as tree branches. Let’s explore the intricacies of auto insurance windshield coverage, including what it entails, the options for windshield repair or replacement, deductible considerations, coverage availability by state, and the impact on insurance premiums.

Required Vehicle Insurance Coverage for Glass and Windshield Claims

Normally Comprehensive coverage includes glass and windshield repairs and replacements, which is an optional add-on to auto insurance policies. This coverage typically includes windshields, windows, and sometimes other glass parts like mirrors or sunroofs. To be able to make a windshield claim in the future, you generally need to have Comprehensive coverage included in your policy so review your coverage to ensure you have it.

Types of Windshield Damage

Windshields can sustain different types of damage, and the extent of coverage may vary based on your policy and the insurance provider. Some common windshield damages include:

  1. Rock chips: Small cracks or chips caused by rocks or other debris kicked up by passing vehicles. These can often be repaired without replacing the entire windshield.
  2. Animal collisions: When an animal, such as a bird or a deer, collides with your windshield, it may cause cracks or shatter the glass.
  3. Falling debris: Damage caused by objects falling onto the windshield, such as branches, construction materials, or items carried by other vehicles.
  4. Accidental damage: Unforeseen events like a baseball hitting the windshield or other similar incidents.

Coverage Options and Deductibles

Most car insurance companies offer glass protection as part of their comprehensive coverage. When purchasing or reviewing your policy, pay attention to the specific coverage details and any deductibles associated with windshield claims.

Deductibles are the out-of-pocket expenses policyholders are responsible for in a claim. In few states such as Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina, auto insurance companies are not permitted to charge deductibles for windshield damages. However, in states where deductibles are applicable, policyholders may have to pay a deductible for windshield repair or replacement and it is usually the comprehensive deductible applicable to it.

In certain states, motorists have the option to arrange a separate glass deductible than the standard comprehensive coverage deductible. However, an additional premium may apply for this benefit. It is advisable to consult with your insurance provider to understand the options available in your state.

Windshield Damage in a Collision

When your vehicle sustains glass damage as a result of a collision, such as a car accident, the coverage depends on your policy. Generally, Collision coverage includes damages caused by a collision with another vehicle or object, including glass and windshield damage. In such cases, you will typically only need to pay one deductible, which would be the Collision coverage deductible for all the repairs to the vehicle.

Waiving Deductibles and Repairing Windshields

Some auto insurance companies, like Progressive, may waive the deductible for windshield repairs instead of replacement. Repairing a windshield is often a more affordable option than replacing it entirely, and it can help maintain the structural integrity of the glass.

The decision to repair or replace a windshield depends on the severity and location of the damage. Generally, small cracks or chips that are not in the driver’s line of sight and are smaller than a dollar bill can often be repaired. However, larger cracks or damage obstructing the driver’s view may require a complete windshield replacement.

Making a Windshield Claim

If you experience windshield damage, it is crucial to contact your insurance provider first before proceeding with any repairs or replacements. They can guide you through the claims process and provide a list of approved repair services that offer guarantees for their work.

When considering whether to make a windshield claim, it’s worth noting that some insurance companies may not require a deductible for repairs. For example, if your policy offers a zero-deductible glass repair option, it may be financially beneficial to make a claim for repair rather than paying out of pocket. Otherwise, you will need to check the deductible amount and the cost of repairs to decide if it is worth making a claim.

Impact on Insurance Premiums

Making a windshield claim does not necessarily result in an increase in your car insurance premiums. Windshield claims are typically considered “no-fault” claims, meaning they are not attributed to your driving record or considered an at-fault incident. However, it is always advisable to consult with your agent or provider to understand how a claim may affect your specific policy.

No Comprehensive Coverage? Repairing Windshield Damage

If you do not have comprehensive coverage or glass protection in your auto insurance policy, it is essential to address windshield damage promptly. Cracks and chips can worsen over time, especially with temperature fluctuations and additional impacts. Repairing the damage early can prevent further complications and potentially save you from the need for a complete windshield replacement.

In such cases, it is advisable to seek professional windshield repair services from reputable providers. Many repair shops offer affordable options for repairing minor damages, ensuring your windshield remains safe and intact. Regardless of having or using insurance or not, addressing windshield damage promptly ensures the safety of the driver and passengers, as well as the structural integrity of the vehicle.


Understanding their vehicle insurance coverage options, deductibles, and repair possibilities can help policyholders make informed decisions when it comes to filing a claim. By promptly addressing windshield damage and exploring the coverage available in their policies, motorists can ensure the safety and integrity of their vehicles while minimizing out-of-pocket expenses.