Although the rules for insurance around windshield replacement or repair vary by industry, the questions always remain the same. Do I need insurance? What will it cost and how much will the plan cover?

If you have a damaged windshield or need a replacement, there’s always the option to use insurance. Historically, windshield replacement has been a top claim for car insurance. However, is it the smartest choice to use insurance or will it end up costing you more in the long run?

Here we look at what types of insurance cover windshield repair and replacement, what it costs, and if it’s the right move to make for you and your car.

Windshield Replacement Insurance

Does insurance cover windshield replacement?

When it comes to replacing a windshield, it may be covered by insurance depending on your plan. The following are different types of car insurance and how they apply to windshield replacement:

  • Collision Insurance

    If you have collision insurance on your vehicle, it will pay for losses and repairs that were caused by a crash. If the windshield is cracked or needs to be replaced after an accident, collision insurance should cover windshield replacement, minus the deductible chosen for that plan. It’s also called “basic” insurance and is often required by the state you live in to obtain registration.

  • Comprehensive Insurance

    This type of insurance it’s what’s often referred to as “Full Coverage.” This means the insurance will cover all damages to your car, even when there is no one else involved. This can include windshield repair and replacement when something like a tree falls on your car or a rock dings the windshield.

Windshield Repair Insurance

Flagstaff, Arizona is known for harsh elements (like dust, heat, and wind) that aren’t always kind to the exterior of a car. Knicks, dings, chips, and other damage can easily occur to a windshield, no matter the speed you are driving.

One of the most common questions we hear at Inspector’s Auto is “does insurance cover cracked windshields?” People want to know what their options look like.

AAA reports that out-of-pocket costs for windshield repair can range from $40-$100 for a single chip. Therefore, it’s a wise move to look at insurance coverage and what types of windshield damages apply.

As stated above, a driver can opt for basic or full insurance coverage. If you live in a place like Flagstaff, it may be wise to look into a third option for windshield insurance coverage. It’s called “Full-Glass Coverage” and is an add-on to most comprehensive plans.

Full Glass Coverage

There is no such thing as “windshield insurance” or “windshield replacement insurance.”

However, some car insurance companies that cover areas known for harsher elements will also offer what’s called “Full Glass Coverage” as an add-on. This extra feature is exclusively dedicated to windshield glass repair or replacement and often with a $0 deductible option. It includes damage like:

  • Small breaks in the non-acute areas (not in front of the driver)
  • Chips and breaks such as bullseye, star, half-moon, and a combination
  • Replacements are needed once the damage is larger than then about 4-6 inches
  • Replacements are highly recommended if the crack is in the direct vision of the driver

Windshield Insurance Cost

So, the final question becomes “should I use insurance to replace windshield out-of-pocket payments?”

That all depends on a few factors. Since you’re looking to save the most money possible, consider:

  • The insurance company and plan
  • The year makes and models of your vehicles
  • Newer vehicles with advanced features can have constantly replacement expenses
  • The event that caused the glass to break

If you are getting your windshield repaired or replaced and paying out of pocket, the average cost will run between $250 – $400 for a standard model and about $1,000 for a luxury vehicle with advanced safety features. However, the make, model, year, and trim of the car will also cause the price to fluctuate.

Full coverage car insurance is more expensive than collision insurance, but it offers the comprehensive coverage that you need for windshield issues.. The annual average cost of car insurance for full coverage car insurance is $1,674 per year in the United States.

Paying a Deductible

The one issue you may run into is whether the deductible will cost more than the windshield repair or replacement. Most auto insurers will waive the comprehensive insurance deductible for a windshield repair.

However, there are what’s called “zero deductible” states. In this case, you will have to pay a deductible to use your insurance. This is currently only applied to Arizona, Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina, but laws can change.

Comprehensive insurance deductibles can range from $250-$1000. If the cost of your windshield repair or replacement runs more than that, it might be worth paying out of pocket.

Conclusion

When it comes to insurance, some companies can be intentionally obtuse about what they do and don’t cover. After all, it’s the insurance company’s job to keep all of their money in the bank but working with a reputable insurance company and Agent can go a long way and aid in finding the right coverages for you and your vehicle.

At the end of the day, when you live in a place like Flagstaff, your windshield will take a hit. It’s best to always opt for comprehensive plans so you’ll be covered in the event you need to come and see us! Talk with your insurance company/agent and make sure you understand your coverages.

At Inspector’s Auto, our number one priority is getting your glass repaired or replaced so you can get back on the road and operate your vehicle safely. Contact us for all your windshield needs and questions!

Click to read why you should have your windows tinted in Flagstaff.

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