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November 11, 2019

Does car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

You’re driving behind a truck on the highway and a rock hits your windshield. When you get home, you notice a crack in the glass. 

Do you need to get your windshield replaced or repaired—and will your car insurance cover it?

Repairing versus replacing a windshield

Depending on the size of the crack, you might not need to repair your windshield at all. But not all cracks stay small forever—some could get worse over time. If the crack is impacting your line of sight—and your safety on the road—it might not be wise to wait and see if it spreads.

Repairing a cracked windshield

You might be able to repair your windshield, if:

  • The crack is 6 inches or smaller

  • There are 3 or fewer chips in the glass

  • The damage isn’t in front of a camera or sensor

Replacing a cracked windshield

You will probably have to replace your windshield, if:

  • The crack is 6 inches or larger

  • There are multiple chips in the glass

  • The damage is in your line of sight

Using Comprehensive and Collision to cover a cracked windshield

If you’re paying out of pocket, you’ll likely pay less if you repair your windshield instead of replacing it. But, if you are in a situation where you need to replace the glass, your car insurance might be able to help.

If you have Comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy, it will cover windshield damage, regardless of whether you need the glass repaired or replaced. Comprehensive applies when the damage isn’t the result of an accident—like when a rock hits your windshield or someone damages it in an act of vandalism. These are called glass-only claims. 

If you’re in a car accident that damages your windshield in addition to other damages, repairing it would be covered instead by your Collision coverage, if you have it in your policy. 

Overall, repairing or replacing your windshield is likely to fall under your Comprehensive coverage in most cases.

If you use your Comprehensive to repair your windshield, you won’t need to pay the deductible. But, depending on your state, a deductible could apply if you need to completely replace your windshield. 

A deductible is the amount you’ll pay after you file a claim before your coverage kicks in to pay the rest. Deductibles are used per incident, not per policy period, and Comprehensive and Collision coverages each have a separate deductible.

If you’re not sure what car insurance coverages best fit your needs and situation, check out our How much coverage do you really need? blog post. 

How does Root handle glass claims?

As you would for any other type of claim with us, you can use the Root app to file your glass claim—and even schedule a time for your windshield to be repaired or replaced. We partner with Safelite® Auto Glass for windshield and glass claims. 

We chose to partner with Safelite because of their strong commitment to customer service. Like us, Safelite will work hard to make sure you’re back on the road in no time.

At Root, we base your rate primarily on how you drive, not who you are. We believe better drivers deserve better rates. Fairness is at the root of who we are.

And since we only insure good drivers, our customers can save hundreds on their car insurance per year.

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