No matter what steps you take to protect your vehicle, you’re probably going to deal with a damaged windshield at some point. Flying debris can crack your windshield in the blink of an eye, and you’ll need to take care of that damage right away if you want to avoid bigger problems down the road. Luckily, your car insurance might cover the repairs or pay for a replacement windshield if you have a comprehensive policy.
The Importance of Fixing Chips and Cracks
While it might be tempting to ignore chips and cracks in your windshield, this type of damage can be very dangerous. Your vehicle’s windshield is an incredibly important safety feature, and small cracks will compromise its structural integrity. The damage is also going to get worse as moisture inside the crack causes it to expand and contract. A small crack or chip could quickly spread until it compromises your ability to see the road. If the damage isn’t taken care of immediately, you might receive tickets and fines.
Repair vs. Replacement
Many drivers are surprised to hear that most small cracks and chips can be repaired if they haven’t spread. As a general rule, a windshield won’t need to be replaced unless the damage can be felt on both sides of the glass or the crack is more than an inch or two long. To repair a damaged windshield, a specialist will inject an acrylic compound into the crack or chip with a small syringe. After the material has had a chance to cure, it’ll be just as strong as the windshield itself.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance and Windshield Damage
Every insurance policy is slightly different, but most comprehensive policies cover windshield damage. Unlike basic liability policies, comprehensive insurance is designed to cover almost any type of damage to your car that doesn’t result from a collision. In addition to paying for windshield cracks, a comprehensive policy might also cover flat tires, dents from shopping carts, and scratches in the paint. To see exactly what your insurance covers, you’ll need to read over all the hazards listed in your policy.
Determining if You Should File a Claim
There are a few different variables you’ll need to take into consideration before you file a claim for your damaged windshield. The most important factor is how the damage occurred. If the damage was directly caused by the actions of another driver, you must file a claim as soon as possible. For flying pebbles and other unexpected hazards, you should double-check your policy to see what your deductible is. The deductible might be higher than the cost of a new windshield, and it would make more sense to pay for the replacement yourself in that situation.
Drivers who are searching for reliable, affordable auto insurance should reach out to the experienced professionals at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to auto coverage, we offer a variety of insurance products, including business, homeowners, and motorcycle insurance. San Diego residents can call one of our friendly agents today at 619-474-6666 for a free quote.