What should you do if your windshield breaks?

If your windshield breaks, you should file a claim as soon as possible and before any repairs are made. If the damage occurs while you're driving, pull over as soon as you can, and report your claim immediately.

If your windshield gets chipped or cracked, you should file a comprehensive claim as soon as you can and before you proceed with repairs.

Important note: While there's no deadline to file a glass claim, you shouldn't wait too long after the damage occurs, and the claim should be filed before any repairs take place. The longer you wait to get your windshield or window fixed, the more likely the chip or crack will spread.

When does car insurance cover windshield replacement or glass damage in general?

In most cases, you need to carry comprehensive coverage to cover a broken windshield or other glass damage, but collision coverage often applies in an accident with another vehicle.

When comprehensive applies: If your windshield is damaged as a result of falling debris or hitting an animal, then comprehensive coverage generally covers the cost to repair or replace it.

When collision applies: If your windshield is damaged in a car crash, collision coverage typically covers the damage instead of comprehensive.

Important note: If your windshield is damaged in a car accident, and the other driver is at fault, then you can choose to file a claim against their insurance to cover the cost to fix your windshield.

How much does it cost to fix a broken windshield?

Repairing a windshield is less expensive than replacing one. That's because the cost to repair a windshield generally varies by how much of the glass needs fixing. In contrast, the cost of a windshield replacement can vary based on many factors, including:

  • Your car's make and model
  • Your location
  • The type of glass used

Bear in mind, depending on your state and policy, if you file an auto glass claim, the most you'll need to pay is your deductible — your insurance should cover the rest of the bill if the damage qualifies for coverage.

Should I use insurance to repair or replace my windshield?

In general, it's worth filing a claim for glass or windshield damage if the repair cost is higher than your deductible. For example, if your windshield replacement costs $400 and your deductible is $250, you'll only pay $250 and your insurer will pick up the remaining $150.

Will filing a glass claim raise my insurance rate?

This varies between insurance companies. Talk to your insurer for more details.

What should I do if my insurance doesn't cover glass damage?

If your car insurance doesn't cover windshield or glass damage, you should still get the repairs done. Many states have laws against driving with a cracked windshield. Plus, you're putting yourself and your passengers at greater risk. Not only is it harder to see out of a cracked windshield, but it's also more likely to shatter if something else hits it.

Can I pass a state inspection with a cracked windshield?

If your state requires vehicle safety inspections (most do not), you could pass if your windshield has only minor damage. However, inspection requirements vary significantly between states, and they can be very specific. For example, Virginia rejects any vehicles with a pit, chip, or star crack larger than 1.5 inches in diameter or length that's 3 inches above the bottom of the windshield. Vehicles can also fail inspection if there's any crack that weakens the windshield to the point that one piece can be moved in relation to the other.

Even if your vehicle passes inspection with a damaged windshield, you should still get it fixed. Windshields are an essential safety feature, and even the most minor damage can become a major hazard if left unrepaired.