Windshield Replacement Insurance: How and When Car Insurance Covers Windshield Damage

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Car mechanics installing a windshield

Car insurance can cover windshield replacement, but it depends on the cause of damage and coverage you have on your policy. Common occurrences that can damage windshields include a car accident, a tree branch that hits your windshield, and flying debris. Buying the right coverage before something damages your windshield or auto glass is crucial.

Keep reading to learn what coverage pays for a damaged windshield, how to know if your windshield needs a repair or replacement, and when to file an insurance claim. We also list the top insurance companies that offer windshield replacement coverage.

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Does Car Insurance Cover Windshield Damage?

Closeup of a section of a damaged windshield

Physical damage coverage pays to repair cracked or broken windshields. Here’s what coverage you’d need on your auto policy for windshield damage.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive insurance pays for non-collision incidents that damage your car, such as:

  • Windblown objects
  • Falling tree branches or objects
  • Hail or storm damage
  • Flooding
  • Animal or rodent damage
  • Whole vehicle or attached parts theft
  • Vandalism

So if a rock from the road flies up and hits your windshield, causing a chip or cracked windshield, for example, your comprehensive coverage would pay for it. This coverage is optional, though lenders often require it if you finance or lease a vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance costs an average of $180 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). If you file a comprehensive claim, you’ll have to pay your policy deductible, which is usually between $50 and $1,000.

Collision coverage

Collision insurance covers physical damage to your car if you hit another vehicle or object or have a single-vehicle rollover accident. For example, collision coverage would pay if you rear-end someone or slide off the road in a rainstorm and flip your car, damaging your windshield.

The national average cost for collision coverage is $377, according to the NAIC. And, like comprehensive, you must pay your deductible if you file a collision claim.

Full glass coverage

Full glass coverage is optional and available in some states at an extra cost. You can get a free windshield repair without paying a deductible if you add it to your insurance policy.

Full coverage for glass repair is available in:

Other states may offer no-deductible glass coverage for an additional fee. The cost for full glass coverage varies by state and insurance company.

Repairing vs. Replacing a Windshield

Auto glass companies can usually repair a small crack or chip in your windshield and instances where there’s only damage to the outer layer. But some damage requires a full windshield replacement.

Examples that mean you’ll need a windshield replacement include:

  • The chip or crack obscures your vision while driving
  • Chips bigger than three-eights inch
  • Cracks longer than three inches (or the size of a dollar bill)
  • Multiple imperfections, a crack on the edge, or near glass sensors

Keep in mind that the location of the damage matters. For instance, edge cracks or chips can make your windshield unstable. So try to get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

That said, if you’re unsure whether you need a windshield repair or replacement, it’s worth having a local auto glass company take a look to assess the damage and give their professional opinion.

How Much Does Windshield Replacement Cost?

Car mechanics installing a windshield

Cracks and chips are cheaper to fix, and some auto glass companies will charge less than your comprehensive deductible for repairs. Multiple factors determine the cost of glass repair or replacement, including:

  • Your ZIP code
  • Vehicle year, make, and model
  • Size and location of the damage
  • Vehicles with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)
  • The glass company you choose
  • Extent of the damage

A single chip might only cost around $60–$100 to repair. But larger cracks will cost around $125 or more. Windshield replacements typically cost between $300–$600. But if you have ADAS that requires recalibration or a luxury vehicle, you could pay anywhere from $1,000 to more than $3,000.

The right coverage on your auto insurance policy can keep your out-of-pocket costs low. Here’s how.

How windshield claim deductibles work

In most states, you pay your comprehensive coverage deductible to repair or replace your car’s windshield. But it varies by state and insurance company.

Some state laws require insurers to waive the deductible for windshield claims. For example, if you live in Kentucky or South Carolina and have comprehensive coverage, you can get a free windshield replacement or repair with no deductible. Arizona and Massachusetts insurers can offer no-deductible comprehensive coverage but aren’t required to.

Recent Florida legislation signed into law in 2023 changed the zero-deductible rule, now allowing insurers to offer windshield glass repair, replacement, or recalibration as long as the insurer discounts your policy for standard comprehensive coverage.

In other states, car insurance companies may waive the auto glass repair deductible for a small break or rock chip. If a repair isn’t possible, the company may lower your comprehensive deductible to help cover the cost of replacing your windshield.

How to File a Windshield Damage Claim

Closeup of a finger pointing at a cracked windshield

If your deductible is more than the cost to repair or replace your damaged windshield, it’s not worth putting in an auto glass claim. But it’s probably worth it if the cost is higher or you don’t have a deductible.

Filing a claim for windshield damage is similar to a car accident claim. You’ll need some information to start the claims process:

  • Date, time, and location of where and how the glass damage occurred
  • Make, model, and VIN of involved vehicles
  • Policy number (yours or the other driver’s if someone else was at fault)
  • Your and any witness’ contact details

Most insurers will allow you to file a claim online, through its mobile app, or in person at your agent’s office. Take these steps to file a claim with your insurance company or under the at-fault driver’s insurer:

  1. Gather all the information.
  2. Log in to the insurer’s website or contact the company to start the claim.
  3. Provide the agent with all the necessary information.
  4. Wait to hear back from the assigned claims adjuster.
  5. Pick a glass repair shop to fix your car.
  6. Take your vehicle to the shop for a new windshield or glass repair.
  7. Pay the repair shop your deductible, if applicable.

Car Insurers That Cover Windshield Replacement

The following car insurance companies offer auto glass coverage for your windshield replacement. Keep in mind that deductibles don’t apply in states that prohibit them.

Insurance Company Window Replacement Coverage
Allstate In states that allow it, a deductible applies unless you have full glass coverage. Allstate may waive the deductible for repairs.
American Family American Family may waive your deductible for glass repairs, especially if you use its partner, Safelite AutoGlass. A deductible typically applies for windshield replacement.
Farmers Farmers offers optional coverage for full windshield and glass coverage with a $0 deductible or a glass deductible buyback feature, which covers glass repair and replacement with a $100 deductible.
GEICO GEICO waives your comprehensive deductible for glass repairs, but you’ll pay the deductible for replacement.
Nationwide Nationwide waives your deductible for repairs, but you still have to pay it to replace your windshield.
State Farm State Farm covers windshield repairs and replacements but will only waive your deductible if your state requires it.
Travelers Travelers usually waives your deductible for rock chips or small cracks but not for windshield replacements.

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Windshield Replacement Insurance FAQs

Learn more about windshield insurance coverage by reading the answers to the most common questions below.

Does filing a windshield claim increase your insurance?

It depends. Any claim you file can increase your insurance rates. But a windshield claim shouldn’t affect your premium much unless you make multiple claims in a short time frame.

You can always ask your insurance agent if you’re unsure whether you should file a claim.

Is it illegal to drive with a broken windshield?

In many states, yes. But legal standards vary by state and may be stricter than federal regulations.

The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates windshield replacement if the crack is larger than three-fourths of an inch, cracks intersect or are in the driver’s direct line of sight, or two cracks are within three inches of the other.

Should you use insurance to replace a windshield?

It depends. If the cost to replace a windshield is higher than your insurance deductible, it’s usually worth filing a claim. For instance, if you have a $100 comprehensive deductible and the windshield replacement costs $500, you’ll only pay $100, and your insurer will cover the remaining $400.

Does liability insurance cover broken windshields?

Liability coverage only covers broken windshields in an at-fault accident that you cause that damages another driver’s windshield. If they’re at fault and break your windshield, their liability insurance will pay to replace it. You’ll want comprehensive coverage to cover windshield damage, no matter who’s at fault.

Can you pass a state inspection with a cracked windshield?

It depends on the state. For example, Texas doesn’t require a window inspection unless it significantly limits your visibility, but it does require windshield wiper inspections. In Virginia, cracks that weaken the windshield or are larger than one and a half inches and at least three inches from the bottom of the windshield fail state inspection.


  1. Auto Glass Safety Council, “Florida Overhauls Auto Glass Laws Eliminating AOB and Zero Deductible,” Accessed May 21, 2024.
  2. Department of Transportation, “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT § 393.55,” Accessed May 21, 2024.
  3. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report,” Accessed May 21, 2024.
  4. Texas Department of Public Safety, “FAQ – Items of Inspection,” Accessed May 21, 2024.
  5. Virginia State Police, “Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual,” Accessed May 21, 2024.

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