Do Tinted Windows Affect Auto Insurance Rates? [Updated Advice]

The average tint job costs over $100, but tinted windows won't affect your auto insurance rates as long as you stay within the legal limits of your state.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She works as an associate editor and writer for for over a year and enjoys creating content that offers expert advice on car insurance topics.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs...

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Reviewed byLeslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: May 7, 2020

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In some states, drivers are allowed to tint their windows. But do tinted windows affect auto insurance rates?

It’s certainly possible for tinted windows to raise insurance rates, but it won’t happen in most cases. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about how tinted windows affect auto insurance rates.

If you’re worried about your rates after a window tinting, use our free tool to get a quote and see if you can save.

Does window tinting affect your auto insurance rates?

Do modifications affect auto insurance? Sometimes, the answer to this is yes. If you’ve modified your hot rod or built a kit car, it’s definitely going to have an impact on rates.

But does tinting your windows affect auto insurance? In most cases, insurance companies will not raise your rates just because you tinted your windows.

As long as window tinting is legal in your state, and the tinting was done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you should not face higher insurance rates. A law office in L.A. notes that, although tinting can cause accidents by making it harder to see, it can also prevent some by helping with glare. So there are benefits to the insurer either way.

To ensure you meet the legal requirements for tinted windows, we recommend working with a bonded and insured installer. Otherwise, you risk facing trouble from your insurance company or law enforcement. Illegal window tinting could even cause your policy to be canceled.

Here are the average rates for all drivers in the country.

U.S. Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
YearAnnual Liability Auto Insurance RatesAnnual Collision Auto Insurance RatesAnnual Comprehensive Auto Insurance RatesAnnual Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates
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If your policy is cancelled, it may cause you to pay more because of the coverage lapse.

Auto Insurance Coverage After Lapse
Auto Insurance CompaniesCar Insurance Rates Increase After Lapse
Liberty Mutual16.38%
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Your window tint isn’t likely to have a huge impact on your rates, but other things can. Make sure you keep a clean driving record and decent credit, then you’ll only have to worry about how dark your tint should be.

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Report Tinted Windows and Other Modifications to your Auto Insurance Company

Auto insurance covers the cost of repairing your vehicle to its pre-loss condition after an unexpected loss. If you tint your windows, and your insurance company doesn’t know about it, then your tinted windows will not be covered after a loss.

That’s why we recommend reporting tinted windows – and all other vehicle modifications – to your insurance company.

This video talks a little about the different types of window tint you could have for your vehicle.

Obviously, you may be hesitant to report tinted windows to your insurance company if you want to avoid higher insurance rates. However, as mentioned above, it’s unlikely for tinted windows to affect insurance premiums.

Does window tinting increase the chances of an automotive accident?

Studies have shown that window tinting increases the likelihood of an accident. Tinted windows let in less light than ordinary windows. They can obstruct your vision, making it difficult to see other vehicles and other road hazards.

Despite the increased risk of an accident, however, no major insurance company charges higher premiums specifically because of window tinting.

What are the benefits of window tinting?

Window tinting has its own advantages. Some of the benefits of window tinting include:

Benefits of Tinting Your Car Windows

Benefits of Tinting Your Car Windows
Making it more difficult for thieves to see inside your vehicle when it’s parked (reducing the chances of a break-in where you could lose possessions)
Enhancing privacy
Reducing the natural degradation of your car’s interior due to sunlight over time
Aesthetic appeal
Limiting exposure to sunlight for passengers or the driver
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One important benefit is that tinting makes it more difficult for thieves to see inside your vehicle when it’s parked. That reduces the chances of a break-in to your car.

Window tinting can even save on energy costs, as it will keep the car cooler during those hot summer months.

Some medical conditions, in fact, require drivers to have tinted windows. In this case, you may be able to get a special exemption from your state – particularly if window tinting is otherwise illegal in your state.

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Your Premiums May Rise If You Want Your Tinted Windows Covered

If your tinted windows are damaged in an accident, then your auto insurance company will not repair your tinted windows unless they’re explicitly covered by your auto insurance policy.

Contact your insurance company to notify them that your windows are tinted.

In most cases, your insurance company will not raise premiums. However, if you want your tinted windows to be covered by your auto insurance policy limits, then your insurer may raise premiums to cover the possibility of the expense.

Why would insuring your window tint raise your auto insurance rates? It all comes down to cost and risk for the insurer. If you get into a car accident and something happens where the tint is damaged, the insurer typically won’t’ cover that. If you get it insured, they’ll have to pay for the repair. Like all extra modification you may insure, the insurance company wants to recoup some of that cost upfront.

Furthermore, tinting your windows beyond the legal limits could even cause your insurance policy to be declared void. In the eyes of your insurance company, you are driving an illegal vehicle, and your insurer could refuse to cover any medical expenses, losses, or damages that come after.

That’s why it’s so important to disclose that you have window tint — or any modification — on your vehicle, even if you don’t want to insure it.

Window Tinting Legal Requirements

Different states have different rules regarding window tinting. There are laws governing the type of shading that is applied, so it’s best to get it done with a reputable dealer. Most states have set specific levels of opacity regarding window tinting – especially on the front windows.

Some states don’t allow window tinting at all.

California, for example, allows up to 70% window tinting on the front side windows and up to 100% window tinting on all other windows.

New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont, meanwhile, do not allow any level of window tinting on the front side windows.

Can you get pulled over for window tint that’s too dark? Check out the video below.

If the level of tint in the front window exceeds the maximum percentage allowed in your state, then your insurance company could raise premiums substantially.

Do tint tickets go on your record? Generally, no. Tint tickets are considered to be non-moving violations, similarly categorized with parking tickets and other minor violations. If you get ticketed, make sure you fix it before it becomes a bigger offense.

FindLaw notes that too many non-moving violations can make your rates increase, but you’re safe if you fix the issue before the window tint ticket affects your insurance.

You can view state-by-state window tinting requirements here. AAA has helpfully compiled a list of window tinting requirements by state. Each state is very different, with a lot of hotter, sunnier states allowing more tinting. That’s good news if you’re always parking in an unshaded spot.

At a certain point, too much window tinting makes it challenging to drive. It increases the likelihood of an accident. For that reason, your insurance company believes you are more likely to make a window tint insurance claim, which is why they’ll possibly charge higher rates.

Most states have no restrictions on the degree of tinting for back windows. However, your rear windshield must still meet specific requirements.

What happens if you don’t report window tinting to your auto insurance company?

Regardless of the modifications or customizations made to your car, you should always report it to your insurance company.

Even if you only paid $100 for window tinting, you want that amount to be covered in the event of an accident. Even if it causes premiums to rise slightly, it will still be cheaper than replacing tinted windows after a crash.

If you don’t tell your insurance company about window tinting, however, then it could make your insurance policy void. You modified your vehicle and refused to alert your insurance company. In this case, your insurer could refuse to cover medical expenses, damages, and other losses after an accident.

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Final Word on Window Tinting and Auto Insurance Rates

Tinting your window shouldn’t cause insurance rates to rise – assuming window tinting is legal in your state and you didn’t exceed any opacity limits set by your local government.

However, if you want your tinted windows to be covered by your auto insurance policy, then your premiums could rise by a few dollars per year. Overall, that small increase is probably worth it.

Regardless of whether you want your tinted windows covered, you must tell your auto insurance company about your tinted windows as soon as possible. Failure to notify your auto insurance company could cause your policy to be canceled, nullifying any future insurance claims.

Compare rates on your tinted vehicle with our FREE quote box below and see if there are ways to save on your auto insurance today.

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