Does Car Insurance Cover A Cracked Windshield?

(Get all your answers from an expert and find the coverage you need.)
Written by Maggie Tiede
Written by Maggie Tiede

Maggie Tiede is a writer and blogger based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Maggie has worked as a freelance writer since 2013, when she began reporting on politics, local events, health, and human interest for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

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Will car insurance cover a cracked windshield?
How do I know if my car insurance covers a cracked windshield?
How much windshield damage is covered by car insurance?
If basic car insurance does not cover a cracked windshield, what will?
Expert(s) Found on this Page

Will car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

I was wondering if car insurance covers things that aren’t car crashes. For example, does car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

Yes, but only if you have the right kind of car insurance. Liability is the most basic kind of car insurance, the kind you’re legally required to have. It won’t cover you if your windshield gets damaged. It’s only there to cover damage to other people or property that you caused.

The three types of insurance that could cover damage to your windshield are:

  • Comprehensive coverage, also called all-but-collision
  • Collision coverage
  • Glass coverage

Whether or not your car’s windshield and windows are covered by comprehensive and collision coverage varies from insurance company to insurance company. You may need to buy special glass coverage to make sure your windshield is covered.

How do I know if my car insurance covers a cracked windshield?

My friend’s windshield got cracked and his insurance didn’t cover it. It cost him a lot of money and now I’m nervous! How can I make sure that my car insurance will cover my car’s windshield if it cracks?

Good for you for thinking ahead! What you need to know is that there are three main car insurance coverage types: liability, collision, and comprehensive (a.k.a. all-but-collision). Each one covers different situations.

  • Liability: Covers damage you do to other people, vehicles, or property.
  • Collision: Covers damage that other vehicles do to you in a collision. Also covers damage from collisions with inanimate objects like mailboxes.
  • Comprehensive: Covers just about everything else.

If you have car insurance, then you definitely have liability insurance, since it’s the legally required minimum. But collision and comprehensive coverage are optional so you may not have them. Check the details of your policy online or in the paper packet to see.

Collision will cover you if your car’s windshield gets cracked in an accident. Comprehensive will cover you if it gets cracked for another reason, like a hailstorm.

Sometimes however, glass is excluded from your collision and comprehensive coverage. If you read up on your insurance policy online or in the paper packet, it should spell this out clearly. If it’s not covered, then you’ll need to buy special glass coverage.

It’s easy to work with an independent insurance agent and add extra coverage to your policy if you want it.

How much windshield damage is covered by car insurance?

I recently upgraded to a more expensive car than before. I know that parts and repair costs will be seriously expensive. I’m nervous that if any part of my car gets damaged, like the windshield, my car insurance won’t cover the whole cost. How much windshield damage does car insurance usually cover?

It depends on the size of the deductible and limit of your car insurance policy. 

The deductible is the amount the insurance company requires you to pay before coverage kicks in. For example, if the damage is $1000 and your deductible is $500, then you'll pay $500 and your insurance will pay the other $500.

The limit is what it sounds like: the limit of what the insurance company will pay. For comprehensive and collision policies, it's usually the actual cash value of your car.

Actual cash value isn’t what you paid for your car. It’s the replacement cost minus depreciation, a.k.a. the amount of value your car loses each year due to age and wear and tear.

Special glass coverage will work differently from all three of these. Glass coverage usually has no deductible, and its limit is a set amount that's designed to cover the cost of your windshield and windows specifically. Not having a deductible is a serious benefit of glass coverage.

So the answer to your question is that the insurance will cover the cost of repairs or replacement minus the deductible, up to the limit. The finer points depend on your coverage.

If basic car insurance does not cover a cracked windshield, what will?

I want car insurance that will cover my windshield if it gets cracked. How do I get it?

It’s good to think ahead about this coverage now, rather than regretting it later if something happens.  Luckily, coverage for your windshield is easy to get.

First, check if your windshield is covered by your collision or comprehensive coverage (if you have it). Preferably you would have both so that your windshield was covered whether it was damaged in a collision or from natural causes.

If it's not covered, an independent insurance agent can help you explore your glass coverage options.

Adding collision and comprehensive coverage usually costs only a few hundred dollars per year. Glass coverage is even less, and discounts can bring down that cost even further. 

A quick call or email to an independent insurance agent will get the ball rolling. They can help you fill out paperwork, find discounts, and generally make the process as painless as possible.

Hopefully your windshield never gets cracked. But if it does, you’ll be glad you took the time to get it covered. Good luck!

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