Replacing or repairing broken glass in your vehicle is covered under your car insurance policy's comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage typically requires a deductible, which is the amount you agree to pay toward repairing your vehicle in the event of a claim. For example, if you have a $3,000 claim after a hailstorm and a $500 deductible, your insurance company would pay $2,500 and you would pay the other $500 toward the repair.
Glass claims are often only a few hundred dollars, which means a typical comprehensive claim would leave the insured to pay for the entire amount out-of-pocket. Because damaged glass doesn’t impact the car’s ability to drive, it is tempting to just ignore the cracked windshield or tape a garbage bag over a broken window and call it good enough.
This is dangerous, though, because it interferes with the driver’s visibility, making it unsafe to drive with damaged glass. This is why some states have introduced a zero dollar glass deductible, which allows drivers to use their insurance to pay for glass replacement at no-cost to them.
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What is a zero dollar glass deductible?
A zero dollar glass deductible means you can replace your damaged glass without an out-of-pocket cost. There are many places glass is used in an average vehicle, including:
The front and rear windshield are typically made of laminated glass, often called safety glass. It is designed to crack in a spider web formation to prevent shards of glass from harming people in an accident. The rest of the glass in a vehicle is tempered glass, which is designed to be very strong and resistant to breaking.
A zero dollar glass deductible allows drivers to replace the damaged glass in their car for free, though each state has their own limitations on exactly what glass is covered. Several states have put zero dollar glass deductible laws in place to encourage drivers to get broken glass replaced so they aren’t a danger to other drivers on the road.
What states offer full glass coverage with no deductible?
There are two states that require insurance companies to provide full glass coverage with no deductible for any drivers who have comprehensive coverage, including:
Insurance companies in Kentucky not only offer a zero dollar deductible for glass coverage, but also for anything determined to be “safety equipment,” including glass, plastic, and other materials used in the lights in your vehicle.
Insurance companies in Arizona provide full repair or replacement of all glass in the vehicle with no deductible, including both safety glass and tempered glass.
Are there other states that offer some type of zero deductible glass coverage?
Several states have laws regarding glass deductibles that don’t necessarily include full glass coverage, including:
South Carolina does not allow insurance companies to impose a deductible for safety glass repair or replacement, which means your windshield can be repaired or replaced without an out-of-pocket cost. The state does not make the same guarantee for tempered glass, like the windows in your car doors.
New York allows insurance companies to sell comprehensive coverage with a zero dollar deductible, but it isn’t required.
Massachusetts allows companies to sell comprehensive coverage with a zero dollar deductible, but it isn’t a requirement. The customer can make the choice, though a zero dollar glass deductible is likely more expensive than higher deductible amounts.
Florida does not allow insurance companies to apply a deductible to windshield repair or replacement, but other automobile glass, like your windows, mirrors and lights, may incur a deductible.
Connecticut offers safety glass replacement with no deductible as an optional coverage for an additional fee.
Should I use my insurance to fix my windshield?
If you live in one of the states that requires a zero dollar deductible for windshield replacement and you have comprehensive coverage, you can certainly use your insurance to pay for the repair. It may or may not impact your insurance rates, however, so review your policy carefully before filing the claim.
If you don’t have access to comprehensive coverage with no deductible, get a quote for the repair and see how much it will cost. If the cost of the repair is less than the cost of your deductible, the insurance company won’t pay anything toward the repair and there is no reason to file the claim.
How do I know if my insurance covers windshield replacement?
The details of your coverage are included in your insurance policy, so you can always review your policy’s declarations page for more information. If you have questions about your coverage or you want to change your policy to include windshield replacement, reach out to your insurance representative for help.
Will a glass claim raise my insurance?
Glass claims don’t typically raise your insurance rates. Because comprehensive coverage only covers things beyond your control, like weather related damage or rocks thrown up from the road, insurers usually don’t increase your rates for small comprehensive claims like repairing a windshield.
That being said, every situation is different. Your insurance company may have their own rules regarding glass claims or other things that can impact your rate, so checking with your insurance company is the best way to be sure your rate won’t go up because of a glass claim.