Ever found yourself cruising down the highway, singing along to your favorite song when suddenly – crack? A rogue pebble leaps from a passing truck’s tire and leaves you with an unwanted memento: a broken windshield.
That rock must have felt pretty proud of itself. Well, it might have won the battle but not the war.
In this guide, you’ll learn about different kinds of windshield damage and how insurance might factor in.
You’ll also learn what steps to take if your policy doesn’t cover glass replacement and what to do to minimize further broken windshield damage until repairs are done.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Considered Windshield Damage?
When you think about a broken windshield, your mind might instantly picture a shattered glass scenario. That’s not always the case.
Damages can vary from minor chips to larger cracks, and each type brings its own set of challenges. A small chip or crack might seem insignificant but can quickly escalate if left unattended.
A crucial factor in dealing with damaged windshields is knowing when they need complete replacement. Generally, if the crack is more than 6 inches long or originates from the edge of the glass, it calls for a new windshield altogether.
Does Your Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?
It’s important to understand your insurance policy because not all car insurance policies include comprehensive glass coverage. Whether your insurance policy covers windshield damage depends on your policy’s details. It’s important to review your plan or reach out to your insurer directly.
If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, then damages caused by incidents like falling objects or a tree branch are typically covered. This includes cracked windshields and other types of glass damage.
But if you only carry liability insurance which covers property damage and bodily injury but not damage to your own vehicle—then repairs won’t be covered unless another party is at fault for the accident.
What To Do If Your Insurance Doesn’t Cover Windshield Replacement
If your insurance doesn’t foot the bill for a new windshield, don’t panic. You’ve got options.
You could pay out of pocket. But before you shell out your hard-earned cash, check if you have deductible glass coverage on your policy. This means you only need to cover the cost up to a certain amount – usually $100 or $250 – and then your insurance company pays the rest.
Sometimes, it’s not fully covered but partially so with an applied deductible. That might still save you some bucks compared to paying everything yourself.
No matter what route you choose, getting that windshield fixed should be high on your list of priorities because safety always comes first.
How To Determine The Severity of Windshield Damage
Knowing how serious your windshield damage is can be tricky. You might wonder, “Is this small chip something to worry about?” The answer lies in the size and location.
If you’re dealing with minor damage like a small chip, it may seem insignificant. But here’s the catch: ignoring such seemingly harmless blemishes could lead to bigger problems down the line.
For instance, temperature changes or jolts from rough roads can turn that tiny crack into an extensive one before you know it.
When assessing whether immediate attention is needed for your chipped windshield, consider its length too. If any crack exceeds six inches long – roughly longer than a dollar bill – then replacement becomes necessary rather than optional.
Remember that driving around with severe glass damage compromises not only vehicle integrity but also passenger safety.
Preventing Further Damage to Your Windshield
If your windshield has a small chip or crack, you might be tempted to ignore it. But remember that even minor damage can quickly escalate if not addressed promptly.
The key is to take some temporary measures before getting professional help at a glass repair shop.
One option is to use clear packing tape over the area of impact on the exterior side of the glass. It won’t fix the problem but will prevent debris from making it worse until you reach a repair shop.
Temporary Measures to Protect Your Windshield
You could also consider DIY kits available in stores as short-term solutions for minor chips and cracks. However, these are merely stop-gap arrangements and should never replace professional repairs.
Bear in mind though, driving with a damaged windshield isn’t just risky—it’s illegal in many states. In fact, doing so can result in traffic violations and fines.
Refer To Your State’s Laws Regarding Damaged Windshields
If you’re driving around with a cracked windshield, you could be courting trouble. In some US states, it’s not only unsafe but also illegal to drive with a damaged windshield.
State laws vary when it comes to windshield damage. Some are lenient while others can hit hard with traffic violations and fines if they spot you on the road.
In Maryland for example, even minor cracks or chips in specific areas of the windscreen may result in penalties because they obstruct clear vision.
On top of that, if an accident happens due to impaired visibility from your broken windshield, guess who is going to be tagged as the at-fault driver? You got it. It’s always best to stay on top of any potential property damage issues and avoid falling foul of state laws.
When Towing is Necessary for a Broken Windshield
Sometimes, a damaged windshield needs more than just repairs – it might require your car to be towed. You may ask yourself “Why would I need to get my car towed due to a broken windshield?” Let’s look into some scenarios where towing is needed.
Identifying Situations That Require Towing
A minor chip or crack in the glass often doesn’t warrant towing. But if there’s severe damage like an entirely shattered window caused by events such as a rollover accident, then driving could put you and others at risk.
In fact, certain states have laws that prohibit driving with extensive windshield damage. So if an officer deems your vehicle unfit to drive because of the compromised visibility from the smashed glass, you’ll likely need professional tow services.
This step isn’t just about complying with state regulations but also ensures safety until replacement services can restore your vehicle’s condition.
Selecting a Reputable Windshield Repair or Replacement Service
When your windshield’s cracked, it’s crucial to find a reputable repair service. But how do you spot the pros from the amateurs? Well, experience matters. Always use a reputable company that knows what they’re doing.
Take note of how they handle an installed windshield. A properly done job will leave no gaps between the car frame and glass, ensuring safety in case of accidents. Ask about warranties too – a confident provider won’t hesitate to offer one.
Besides skillful technicians, stellar customer service should be on your checklist as well. Remember, fixing your broken windshield shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth.
Filing an Insurance Claim for Windshield Damage
So, you’ve got a damaged windshield. You may be able to get it fixed with your car insurance. But first, you need to understand the claim process.
Most policies have comprehensive insurance, which covers non-collision damages like falling tree branches or hailstorms. If your policy has this coverage, filing a claim is relatively simple.
You’ll start by reporting the damage to your insurer. This can generally be done by using the web or making a call. Be prepared to provide details about when and how the damage occurred.
If approved, choose from their network of repair shops for quick service without paying out-of-pocket expenses upfront. Remember: prompt action can prevent further glass damage.
In some cases though, you might pay a deductible before coverage kicks in. So review your policy’s fine print beforehand.
Importance of Properly Installed Windshields
Your car’s windshield isn’t just a piece of glass. The windscreen of your car isn’t just an ordinary pane. It’s a vital part of maintaining the structural stability and security of your vehicle.
When properly installed, windshields support the roof, helping to prevent it from caving in during an accident. Moreover, they serve as a backstop for airbags upon deployment. An improperly installed windshield can pop out under pressure, reducing its effectiveness.
Avoid this risk by choosing professional replacement services. These experts understand that windshields are double-paned with film sandwiched between – all essential components for durability and safety.
Don’t Let A Broken Windshield Get In Your Way
When you’re dealing with a broken windshield, knowing your options is crucial. It’s super important to distinguish between minor chips and serious cracks that compromise structural integrity.
Your auto insurance coverage can be your ally in fixing glass damage. But if your policy doesn’t cover windshield damage you will need to dig into alternative options. It’s essential to act fast, using quick fixes when possible to avoid further issues and potential fines.
Be aware of your state’s laws concerning damaged windshields. This will keep you on the right side of regulations while understanding when towing becomes necessary to protect both you and others on the road.
In choosing a repair service, always seek quality work backed by customer satisfaction guarantees. And if you need your vehicle towed, contact Geyers Towing.