For most car owners, walking outside to go to work and seeing your car with a damaged windshield is one of the worst feelings. Not only can a chip or crack impair your ability to see and drive safely, but it could be far more expensive than you realize. We’re all busy with work, family, or school obligations, and having to handle a car repair is the often last thing we want to add to our to-do list.

When it comes to windshield repair, is it best to use your insurance coverage or should you consider paying out of pocket for a new windshield? Let’s explore all of your options to determine the best solution for your windshield needs. Initially, it might seem like the process is complicated, but once you have a basic understanding of your options, getting your windshield repaired or replaced will be a breeze.

Sometimes a broken windshield can be a catalyst for evaluating your level of satisfaction with your current auto insurance policy. If you’re thinking of shopping around to find cheaper car insurance, consider visiting Insurify. After answering a few simple questions, you can compare multiple quotes at once and find a policy that meets your specific needs.

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Auto Glass Replacement Options

Whether you have a rock chip that’s right in your line of sight or a major crack that makes it impossible to drive, it’s important to consider all of your options when it comes to windshield replacement. Keep in mind that your options may vary based on the extent of the damage, the type of vehicle, and the structural integrity of the damaged glass.

Should I contact my auto insurance company?

If you decide to contact your insurance company to get your windshield repaired or replaced, it’s likely that the insurance claim will be associated with your comprehensive coverage. This part of your insurance policy offers protection when a tree falls on your car, when hail damages your windshield, and in a variety of other situations that are often called “acts of God.” This aspect of your policy is often coupled with collision coverage.

Drivers who don’t have comprehensive coverage could potentially have insurance coverage help with the repair cost if the damage was caused during an accident or if another person intentionally damaged the windshield. These situations come up rarely, however, as most individuals purchase comprehensive insurance.

Before you call your agent to see if your insurance covers a new windshield, you’ll want to obtain a windshield repair cost estimate and determine what your deductible is. For example, a new windshield could run up to $1,500 for luxury vehicles, and if your deductible is only $500, you’d be saving $1,000 by filing an insurance claim. However, if you have a very high deductible, it may be smarter to pay for the repair out of pocket to avoid the potential of a premium increase.

Windshield Replacement Considerations

Whether you opt to pay out of pocket or use your insurance for your car’s windshield, you could have several options to consider. Many third-party repair shops offer mobile service and will come to you to repair or replace your damaged windshield. Remember, this additional feature may add on fees above and beyond the average cost for glass repair.

Although some insurers offer roadside assistance as a policy option, many drivers enroll in this benefit elsewhere through companies like AAA. While professional installers may not be able to address a small chip if you’re broken down on the side of the highway, it’s possible to bring your vehicle to a certified repair shop and receive a discount.

There are even more elements to consider when getting your windshield repaired or replaced, as pricing can vary based on the type of glass used and whether your windshield has a safety device or rain sensors integrated into its design. Some drivers prefer to cut costs by choosing an aftermarket windshield, one that’s made by a company other than your vehicle manufacturer. Others opt for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshield, but ultimately you’ll want to consider the costs of both options.

Windshield Replacement vs. Windshield Repair

When it comes to glass damage, any chip or crack doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to completely replace your windshield. Glass repair specialists must adhere to specific safety standards and will only make recommendations based on the specific level of damage to your vehicle.

In most instances, a shallow chip or crack that’s less than six inches in length can be repaired. Larger cracks, deep chips, or areas of damage that include multiple cracks close together may be impossible to repair safely and could necessitate a brand new windshield. Again, whether you replace or repair your auto glass is often at the discretion of the repair shop.

Best Insurance Companies for Windshield Damage Repair

As windshield damage can happen at a moment’s notice and often through no fault of drivers, it’s common for insurance companies to offer coverage for glass repair. In most cases, a policyholder can opt for glass coverage at a small additional cost and, in the event of an insurance claim, will enjoy repairs or a replacement windshield with no out-of-pocket cost. In some states, including Kentucky and Florida, a driver’s comprehensive coverage must pay for glass damage in full.

Other states, like Arizona or New York, allow drivers the option of selecting a lower deductible for glass repair when they enroll in coverage.

Browse here to see which car insurance companies in your area offer windshield damage repair. 

How to Find Auto Glass Repair Near You

While determining how you want to handle your auto glass repair may be slightly more complicated than it seems on the surface, finding a repair shop to actually complete the work is far more straightforward. If you choose to file an insurance claim for your repair or replacement, your insurance company will likely provide a list of specific shops in your area. If you will be paying out of pocket, a quick internet search can help you see which places have great reviews and are nearby.

Windshield Replacement Cost FAQ 

Does my auto insurance cover a windshield replacement?

Most drivers who have comprehensive coverage can file a claim with their insurance company for a new windshield. Remember that you may have to pay a deductible before your policy will cover the remaining expenses.

How will I know if my windshield can be repaired or if I need a replacement?

In most cases, chips or cracks smaller than six inches can be repaired, while larger damages might call for a replacement. The glass repair shop will be able to tell you which method is suitable for your situation.

Where can I compare cheap car insurance policies online?

Drivers in the market for new car insurance don’t have to waste time calling multiple companies for quotes. If you’re looking for a cheap policy, head over to Insurify. You’ll be able to compare prices in just a few minutes and find the policy that best meets your needs.

Conclusion: How to get the best and cheapest car insurance

Getting your windshield repaired or replaced can sometimes add a bit of stress to your day, but when it comes to car insurance, your policy should be one of the most stress-free things about driving. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance quotes, you don’t have to sacrifice great customer service or robust policy options.

Simply visit Insurify to help make your search that much easier. After answering a few simple questions, you can compare free quotes from multiple insurance companies at once and select the option that makes the most sense for you.

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Updated January 8, 2021

Courtney Elder has loved to write since age six, yet she didn’t turn it into a career until many years after that. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Communications, and when she’s not creating content for Insurify, she’s exploring Portland, OR with her kids.