Damaged Windshield? Tips to Maneuver Your Insurance Claim

May 30, 2018Auto Glass, Windshield Repair

Financially, what happens when a pebble shoots up from the road and chips your windshield? You need to get the damage repaired, especially if the damage is bigger than a simple chip and your windshield itself needs to be replaced. Damage to your windshield may be covered by your auto insurance, but then again, it might not be. If you want to know what costs to expect, keep reading to understand when your policy can help and what you should do about it.

When Does Auto Insurance Cover the Costs?

Generally, auto insurance covers damages sustained in a collision. If your windshield needs to be replaced after a car crash, your policy will include the glass damage.

However, if your windshield was damaged by something else (a rock flying up from the road, a fire, a storm, vandalism, or a collision with an animal) your coverage depends on your type of insurance. Comprehensive coverage usually covers the above situations. However, not everyone has comprehensive insurance. It isn’t required, and costs more.

If you opted for a liability only plan that only covers damage to others, windshield damage likely won’t be covered. You’ll be on your own.

If you opted for comprehensive coverage, read through your policy or call your insurance company. They will tell you just how much your particular plan covers. For example, some comprehensive plans only cover the side and back windows of your car, not the windshield. Generally, if the policy says that the auto glass coverage is “all-inclusive,” the company picks up the tab for the windshield damage.

Should You Submit an Insurance Claim?

Even if your insurance policy covers the windshield damage, you may not want to submit a claim. It may be cheaper in the long run to pay for the repair or replacement out of pocket.

For your policy to start paying for damage, you first must meet the deductible. Meaning that you are required to spend a certain amount of your own money before the insurance covers the rest of the costs. The deductible’s cost varies between plans and companies. Check your policy for listed deductibles.

If the deductible for your plan is higher than the cost of the repair, you’d be better off simply paying for the repair instead of bothering to send in the claim. For example, if your deductible is $500 and the cost of replacing your windshield is $300, then the insurance wouldn’t contribute anything to the replacement anyway. Some policies offer no deductible glass coverage, which means your insurance company will cover 100% of the cost of glass only damage.

Additionally, sometimes making claims can raise your insurance rates, depending on the circumstances. If your windshield was damaged in a situation that you didn’t cause, like a hailstorm, then the insurance company shouldn’t raise your rate. However, if your own negligence contributed, then the insurance company may see raise your rates.

Generally, the more claims filed, the more likely to be viewed as a risky customer. If the cost of your repair is less than your deductible, you might be better off handling the costs without your carrier’s involvement. If the cost is significantly higher, you may want to file the claim. For further information about how a claim will affect your rates, please contact your insurance provider.

How Can You File a Claim?

If you decide to file a claim, document the damage. Next, report the damage to your provider. Submit the claim electronically, in person, by mail, or over the phone.

Afterwards, an insurance representative will contact you to confirm coverage. Once the company decides that your car’s damage is covered, they will direct you to get your glass fixed.

Some companies have preferred vendors. Nonetheless, you’re free to choose any glass company for repairs. Many auto glass shops, like GoGlass, will help you send in the claim.

If you need help understanding how your policy affects your windshield, contact GoGlass. With our years in the industry, we have seen and worked with every kind of auto insurance. We can help you understand yours. Regardless of if you decide to submit a claim or pay for the damage yourself, we provide you quick, reliable auto glass repair or replacement. Call us at 800-746-4527 today.