Windshield damage is something that nobody wants to deal with – especially when you’re out on a road trip and looking forward to a stress-free vacation!
Unfortunately, car problems rarely wait for the most convenient moment to strike, and windshield damage (big or small) is no different!
Whether you get a sudden chip from a rogue road rock or find your windshield cracked, knowing how to handle windshield replacement services and insurance coverage is critical.
In this guide, we’ll help you navigate everything you need to know – from the windshield damage you should look for how your auto glass replacement may be impacted by insurance coverage.
As always, our team at myWindshield is here to connect you to the best windshield installation and repair services. Let’s dig in and see what you need to know before hitting the road.
What is windshield damage?
Before we turn to insurance coverage for windshield replacement, let’s look at the various types of auto glass damage you may experience. Remember that your vehicle’s windshield – while robust in its design – can be damaged by a variety of impacts and high-speed debris.
Here are some of the top damage types to watch for:
- Chips or Dings: We’ve all experienced the minor chips in our glass that come from rocks or other road debris being kicked up by other vehicles at high speeds. You can also get chips and dings from scraping ice too intensely and by other fine impacts.
- Cracks: Cracks occur when chips and dings give way, or when the glass is impacted by a much larger object. Cracks can vary in size, from small hairline cracks to deep crevices that are difficult to see around.
- Bull’s Eye: If a round object strikes auto glass, you may get a “bull’s eye” impact – where the cracks and chips emanate from around the main impact. The impact will also feature a “bulge” where the object struck.
- Star Break: Star breaks are similar to bull’s eye cracks in that they emanate from the point of impact in a star-like fracture.
- Combination Break: If your auto glass has a variety of cracks – often the result of a crash – you may have a combination break that includes some or all of the above.
Each type of damage can vary in severity, and you may be able to continue driving even after the crack or chip appears. However, you should immediately contact your insurance company and windshield replacement team when damage occurs, as your safety is paramount when driving on the road!
Who provides windshield repair services?
The good news is that many professionals provide windshield repair and replacement services, including auto body shops, glass shops, and independent technicians. If you’re looking for a reliable service provider in your area, it’s best to use myWindshield or ask friends or family members for referrals.
Typically, you’ll have a local option for windshield repair services. But what if you are out on the road, miles from home?
Fortunately for customers, myWindshield lists auto glass companies across many US states that offer mobile windshield repair services. These companies will often come to you and repair the damage on-site and will manage the entire process from start to finish.
What is the windshield repair process?
A crack, a bulls-eye, a crack, a star break – dealing with a damaged windshield is never fun. It can often feel overwhelming. Fortunately, repairing your windshield is simple and can usually be completed in one day.
Step 1: Assessment
The first step in any windshield replacement or repair is assessing the damage. An insurance adjustor and your repair service will want to look over the damage to get a better idea of what they need to do to ensure the cracked window is completely fixed.
Step 2: Preparation
Before the repair can occur, it’s essential to clear the windshield of any dirt, debris, or broken/loose glass. This will ensure that the repair process can be completed without error.
Step 3: Repair/Replacement
Your professional will begin to repair or replace the damaged windshield. Repairs can be completed in about 20-30 minutes. It involves filling the chip with a special resin that prevents further damage. Replacements require significant time and effort, as a new windshield must be manufactured and installed on your vehicle.
Step 4: Curing and Polishing
As the resin is placed, it will need to be cured for the repair to take hold. A windshield repair technician will use a special UV light to cure the windshield and ensure the resin holds. A polish will be added once the curing is finished to give it one final finish!
Step 5: Inspection & Billing
Before sending you on your way, your technician will inspect the windshield thoroughly to ensure everything is up to snuff. At this point, you’ll be billed for the service and can then drive away with a repaired or replaced windshield.
Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be billed for the cost of repair or replacement, any applicable taxes, and a deductible. Double-check your insurance policy to see what is covered and what isn’t.
The role of auto insurance in windshield fixes
Auto insurance can be a lifesaver when mitigating the costs of windshield repair or replacement. Yet many holders only consider their specific type of coverage once it’s time to get their windshield fixed.
Most comprehensive coverage plans will cover the repair cost for damage caused by rocks or road debris as long as it’s not extensive enough to require a full replacement windshield part. On the other hand, if you need a full replacement of your windshield, an additional deductible may need to be paid.
Windshield damage repair and replacement coverage will vary depending on your insurance. However, there are common coverages that most providers offer. Let’s break down the most common types:
What is comprehensive auto insurance coverage?
Comprehensive auto insurance is designed to cover damages to your vehicle that occur outside of a collision. This includes damages from natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and windshield damage!
What’s included within your comprehensive coverage will vary depending on your policy; however, you should expect coverage for the repair or replacement of the windshield and any applicable taxes.
What is collision coverage?
Collision coverage protects you from damages caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. While some policies may cover windshield damage resulting from a collision, many will not so double-check your specific coverage.
What is “Full Glass” or “Glass-Only” coverage?
Some auto insurance policies include specific windshield and glass repair or replacement provisions, often called “full auto glass replacement only” or “glass-only” coverage. This coverage typically allows for repairing or replacing your vehicle’s glass without a deductible. For instance, some policies may offer protection from rock chips and/or cracks less than six inches long.
How do I use my windshield repair insurance?
Generally, you’ll follow the same process as any other auto insurance claim. You’ll need to contact your insurance provider, inform them about the damage, and ensure they know your coverage type.
Here’s what you might expect to do should you have any windshield damage that you want to have covered by your insurance:
- Assess the Damage: The first step is to assess the damage. Depending on the severity and location of the damage, you may need either a repair or a replacement. If the damage is minimal, a repair could be the best option.
- Review Your Policy: You’ll want to check your insurance policy to see if windshield repair or replacement is covered. Policies can vary and will typically determine if you’ll need to cover an out-of-pocket cost.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider: If your policy covers windshield damage, your next step is to contact your insurance company. Fortunately, they’ll guide you through the claim process – like filling out a claim form and providing necessary details about what caused the damage.
- Documentation: You’ll likely be asked to provide documentation in the filing. This could include photos of the damage, details of how and when it occurred, etc.
- Schedule an Inspection: Your insurance company may want to complete an inspection to analyze the damage. Typically, this includes an insurance adjuster visiting in person.
- Carry Out the Repair or Replacement: If your claim is approved, you can proceed with the repair or replacement. As usual, opt for a reputable service provider – and make sure your insurance company has approved their work.
- Payment: Depending on the policy, you may need to pay your deductible and other costs associated with the repair or replacement. This should be outlined in your policy.
From start to finish, the process isn’t too complex – you’ll need to do your due diligence to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Take advantage of any discounts or promotions that could further reduce your costs.
I’m out of state! What do I do?
As we said above, windshield damage often happens when least expected. If you’re out of state, you should still let the damage go unchecked. In most cases, you can still use your insurance coverage to repair or replace the damaged windshields.
Your coverage travels with you
While states may vary in a lot of things, your insurance should hold no matter where you travel. If you have partial or full coverage for glass damage in your home state, it’s likely that the coverage will carry over when you cross state lines.
Know the potential state-to-state variations
Some states have specific laws requiring insurance companies to waive the cost of a windshield repair or replacement deductible. However, these laws typically apply to policies written in that state, so they may not apply out of state.
Reporting the damage & handling claims
Just like you would if you were driving around your hometown, report your damage the moment it occurs. The faster you can provide the information necessary, the more likely you’ll be able to complete either a repair or replacement service at partial or full coverage. Sometimes, you may need to pay out of pocket for a windshield to be repaired, and your insurance will reimburse you.
Choosing a repair service
Most insurance providers will allow you to fix your windshield at any reputable and approved auto glass repair shop nationwide. There may be specific requirements that your insurance coverage has for specific shops, so always make sure you check your policy before scheduling a repair. With myWindshield, you can avoid the hassle and get a full list of the best locations for windshield repair and auto glass replacement services.
Don’t let windshield damage spread – act fast & save
The key to successful windshield repair is to act quickly. If you wait too long, the damage can spread and become a more expensive problem requiring a full windshield replacement!
At myWindshield, we simplify this process. We provide access to quick, free, and no-obligation quotes from over 300 vetted and reputable auto glass technicians across the US. You can easily contact our listed repair centers via phone or email, and our live help and support services are available to assist you at no extra cost.
We ensure that each repair center in our network meets high-quality standards, so you can trust you’re dealing with reputable technicians. With myWindshield, you’re not alone on this journey. We are committed to providing reliable, quality service to keep you and your vehicle safe.