Your vehicle’s windshield is your window to the world when driving and cracks or chips are not only a distraction, they can be dangerous if allowed to grow larger. Your auto insurance may be able to help cover the cost of repair or replacement if you already have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance covers many risks to your vehicle that aren’t due to a collision.
Most chips and cracks less than the length of a dollar bill can be repaired. Modern windshield repair processes can fix chips and small cracks while leaving the windshield in place, with the factory seal still intact. Expect to see a slight blemish, in some cases, which becomes less noticeable as time passes. Windshield repair can often be completed in less than 30 minutes and it isn’t uncommon for repair providers to come to your home or place of work to get the job done conveniently.
Is there a cost? Depending on your location and the specifics of your policy, repairs may or may not require a deductible payment. In some US states, for example, state laws require that windshield repairs be done with no deductible charge. The deductible is the part of the claim that you pay. Generally speaking, choosing a lower deductible for comprehensive coverage doesn’t raise the overall cost of car insurance by much, which makes incidental damage — like cracked or chipped windshields — affordable to repair.
Some insurers also cover the cost of some windshield repairs at no cost, although if the damage cannot be repaired your deductible may apply.
What if repair isn’t possible? Some types of windshield damage can’t be repaired. Cracks longer than 6 inches or cracks or chips in front of the driver’s line of sight may not be eligible for repair. In this case, the windshield may need to be replaced. The area in front of the driver is called the acute area. Damage in the non-acute area can often be repaired.
If you don’t yet have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, it can usually be added to your policy but you’ll need coverage in place before your windshield is damaged for your policy to help cover the cost of repair or replacement.
If you already have comprehensive coverage and notice a crack or chip in your windshield, reach out to your broker to learn the next steps. It’s important to act quickly if you find windshield damage to prevent the crack from spreading and possibly becoming unrepairable.