If you put in serious mileage on your vehicle, it’s bound to happen to you sooner or later – a cracked windshield. One moment you’re enjoying the relaxing drive down the freeway, and before you know it, you hear knock and a crack magically appears on your windshield.
There are a myriad of reasons why this might happen – a small stone that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a loose grain of sand that bounced off the top of a construction lorry, or even a falling stick that struck your windshield when you’re speeding 30mph above the speed limit.
Getting your windshield replaced goes without saying. It’s pretty much something that needs to be done. But will your insurance company pay for this? Or is it something that you will have to pay for out of your own pocket?
So, will my insurance cover the cost of replacing my windshield?
The answer to this question depends on the sort of coverage that your insurance policy entails. For those of you that purchased an insurance policy complete with collision and comprehensive coverage, you’ll most probably be able to claim for windshield damages.
The exact coverage type is often known as “full glass coverage”. However, it must be noted that this coverage usually requires for the repair costs to go beyond the deductible agreed upon before it allows you to claim the replacement costs from the insurance company.
This means that if your deductible goes up to the thousands, it will be pointless to try to claim the repair costs of your windshield from the insurance company – the replacement of a windshield will never cost you upwards of a few hundred dollars.
As such, it will pay to read through your next insurance policy, and understand the terms and conditions within the policy thoroughly before even penning down your signature onto the agreement contract.
What are the procedures involved to claim for windshield replacement costs?
If your insurance policy allows you to claim the costs associated with the windshield replacement, the next step, then, is to contact one of the auto glaziers or auto repair shops nominated by your insurance company to proceed with the repairs. It is important to note that your insurance company most likely will only accept a claim from one of these nominated repair shops.
It is always advisable to check if there are any documents needed for the damage assessment before arriving at the repair shop – if so, you’ll want to bring them along with you. Nothing is more frustrating than having to rush back home to pick up documents that the glazier or repair shop needs from you before they start the repairs.
In most cases the insurance company will make it mandatory for the repair shop or glazier to manually assess the extent in which the windshield is damage to determine whether a replacement is necessary. If the workshop deems that you do not need to replace your windshield, you will need to fork out money yourself if you want to replace the windshield entirely.
Repairs will take just a few hours – you might even get your vehicle back within the hour! Sometimes, however, more serious windshield cracks will warrant for a complete replacement for your windshield. This will usually take at least a day – remember to plan ahead so that you can push important meetings to other days.
After the repairs are done, do ask the repair shop or glazier about the insurance claim – most of them would have electronically notified your insurance company about the claim, and will bill your insurance company accordingly. However, there are instances where you’ll have to do the claims yourself, and there are instances where the workshop doesn’t know you are a client of the partner auto insurance company. It pays to clear things up before you leave the repair shop and head home.
Will my premiums increase because of this?
Thankfully, your premiums will not increase because of claims for replacement of a cracked windshield. Premium increases are usually related to “moving” violations, which involves, as the name implies, your vehicle moving at the time of the incident or accident. A cracked windshield is more like to be attributed to as an “act of God” or a natural disaster – no party can be held responsible for this.
(In some cases, however, repeated claims for a cracked windshield may cause your premiums to increase, simply because you’ve repeatedly damaged your windshield. You will need to talk to your insurance company to understand their policies towards this. Most people though, however, do not experience windshield cracks too frequently.)
A cracked windshield is something that nobody wants to deal with – although there are usually no direct safety concerns, the hassle of spending an entire day at the workshop waiting for the repairs to be done are less than desirable. Thankfully, it is possible for cracked windshields to be covered by insurance companies. After all, you do not have to fork out your own money to pay for this “act of God”.