As a car owner with motor insurance, you may wonder if your policy covers your vehicle against damage to your windshield. If it does, is the policy restricted only to extensive windshield damage or does it cover small cracks as well?
The answer to the first question is, yes, car insurance generally covers cracked windshields. For the second question, the policy is usually all-inclusive, meaning it caters to a wide range of damage regardless of size and location. That said, keep in mind that not all car insurance policies cover windshield damage.
For instance, basic auto insurance only offers the minimum mandatory coverage for your vehicle as required by the state. The policy prioritizes reimbursements for bodily injury, as well as damage to property caused by the vehicle. It places less emphasis on compensating the driver for any damage to their car. This makes it less likely that such coverage will also include damage to windshields.
But if you have comprehensive car insurance, any damage to your windshield is taken care of. As the name suggests, comprehensive coverage factors in a wide range of scenarios to ensure you’re fully covered. This even includes damage to your car that may not have been caused by another car.
Comprehensive car insurance policyholders can get reimbursed for cracked windshields and other windshield damage caused by:
- An “Act of God” such as a heavy storm, hurricane, earthquake, snow, hail, etc.
- An act of vandalism and theft that results in a damaged windshield.
- A heavy branch suddenly falling off a tree and landing on the windshield causing a crack.
- A bird or an animal colliding with the windshield while driving.
- Tiny rocks, pebbles, and debris flying off the road as you drive and colliding with your windshield.
How to Claim Windshield Insurance
When filing a claim you will need to provide detailed information about the incident to your insurance provider. Your insurance provider will use this information to determine whether or not you were at fault. If you were, you might still get compensated but the insurance company may deem you a person of “high risk” and raise your premiums.
To avoid this, ensure you document as much of the event as possible for the insurance inspectors to prove you were not negligent. For example, if you plan on filing a reimbursement claim under vandalism, first start by contacting the police and have the incident on record. If it’s an “Act of God,” take several high-definition photos of your car at the scene from various angles as proof. The same applies to crashes involving birds and animals.
While you wait for your claim to be processed, you can decide to have your windshield repaired or replaced out-of-pocket. If you choose to go this route make sure you keep all the bills and receipts you receive. Your insurance provider will need them as proof to know the exact amount you spent to reimburse you. If you fail to provide this evidence your insurer can deny you coverage or offer you a lesser amount than the cost of the damage.
In addition, always confirm with your insurer if they have ties to specific auto shops that they recommend to their customers. If they do, it’s advisable to use them for repairs to make your claim as smooth as possible. If they don’t, you can choose a repair shop of your choice. Just don’t forget to document all the transactions.