Auto glass damage is something you cannot afford to ignore. If your windshield or other vehicle windows are cracked, chipped, or pitted, tending to auto glass repair or replacement as promptly as possible is incredibly important. Fully intact auto glass doesn’t just protect you from outdoor debris; it also contributes to the structural integrity of your vehicle. If you’re involved in a collision, an intact windshield could even help save your life.
With the right type of auto insurance, your policy may provide coverage for certain types of windshield repairs or auto glass replacement. If you’re currently dealing with damaged vehicle windows, read on to learn what you need to know about using your insurance to get repairs.
Liability Insurance Doesn’t Cover Auto Glass
Although all drivers are required to have liability insurance, that insurance only provides coverage for any damage you cause to someone else’s vehicle. The liability coverage you carry does not cover repairs to your vehicle or auto glass, even if the damage was caused by something random, like a falling tree branch or hail.
When Does Insurance Cover Auto Glass Repairs?
If liability coverage won’t pay for auto glass repairs, what will? Comprehensive coverage. This optional type of insurance provides coverage for damage that you inflict on your vehicle or damage caused by what insurance companies call “acts of God.”
Comprehensive coverage will reimburse for several damage-causing incidents, including:
● Acts of vandalism (someone smashed your car window and left the scene)
● A piece of road debris flying up and cracking your windshield
● A flying ball colliding with a side window and shattering it
● A tree branch falling on your windshield and cracking it
● An animal colliding with your windshield
It’s important to note that policies can vary the types of auto glass they cover. Most comprehensive policies cover windshield replacement, but that’s not always true. Likewise, some policies cover side and rear auto glass replacement or repair, but not windshield repair or replacement.
If you’re considering filing a claim, read through your policy thoroughly or call your insurer first to determine which damaging events and which windows are actually covered.
What Should You Do if You Don’t Have Comprehensive Coverage?
In most cases, you can’t file an insurance claim for auto glass repair or replacement if you don’t have comprehensive coverage. But there are two exceptions to that general rule. If either of the following situations applies to you, insurance can pay to repair your windows:
● Someone crashes into your vehicle. If another driver causes a collision that damages your auto glass, you can file a claim against their property damage liability insurance. This is the same type of insurance that will pay for repairs to the body of your vehicle.
● Someone directly damages your auto glass. If someone breaks one of your windows, you can file a claim against the liability portion of their homeowners or renters insurance, provided they have one of those policies. This situation applies in cases where someone accidentally breaks your window with a rogue ball, intentionally breaks your window with a bat, etc.
When Should You File an Insurance Claim for Damaged Auto Glass?
First and foremost, take a look at your deductible for comprehensive claims. You’ll need to pay that deductible before your insurance will kick in and cover the remaining cost of auto glass replacement or repairs.
Next, get a service estimate from at least three different auto glass repair shops. Compare the cost of your deductible to the estimated cost of repairing or repairing the damaged window. If the repair cost is less than the cost of your deductible, it doesn’t make any sense to file a claim since your insurance won’t pay a cent toward the repair anyway.
Generally speaking, it doesn’t make sense to file a claim for minor auto glass repairs. Since chip and crack repairs usually aren’t expensive and won’t exceed the cost of a deductible (unless yours is $0), pay for those repairs out of pocket. On the other hand, auto glass replacement can cost several hundred dollars, so if your deductible is fairly low, it may be in your best interest to file a claim.
How to File a Claim for Auto Glass Repair or Replacement
When you file a claim for auto glass repairs, you’ll follow the same process you’d use for any other type of vehicle insurance claim. You should notify your insurer as soon as possible after the damage-causing incident occurs, and most companies will allow you to submit a claim by phone or online.
Whether your auto glass was damaged in a collision, by an act of vandalism, or due to an act of God, document the damage as thoroughly as possible. Obtain a copy of the police report, if applicable, because you’ll need to submit that report along with your claim.
After you file your claim, your insurance company will ask you to obtain repair quotes. Some companies may specify a particular shop, while others will allow you to get quotes from the companies of your choice.
Schedule Auto Glass Repair or Replacement in the Twin Cities
If you’re dealing with a damaged windshield, rear window, or side windows, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Only 1 Auto Glass! We specialize in mobile and in-shop auto glass repair and replacement and offer warranties on all our work. To schedule service, get a quote, or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 651-789-1111 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll be in touch promptly.