Is a broken car window covered by my insurance?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 23, 2017

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Insurers will pay for glass breakage under optional comprehensive physical damage cover
  • If you do carry comprehensive, the glass claim will be subject to the listed deductible
  • Some companies will waive the deductible when filing claims for a chipped windshield

Windshield repairs and replacements are the most common car repairs that are performed today. While the auto glass that is used in modern cars has come a long way, it is still vulnerable to falling objects, debris on the freeway and rocky roads.

Since a single windshield can cost anywhere from $185 to $1000, depending on the model of the car, having the appropriate insurance that can help you cover the expense for a replacement is smart.

Unfortunately, not all car insurance policies provide coverage for a broken window or windshield.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

What is physical damage coverage?

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In the United States, virtually all of the states in the country have some type of auto insurance requirement.

While the state minimum requirements state that you must carry third-party liability coverage to pay for damages you cause, no state official requires a driver to protect their own car.

Physical damage coverage consists of comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, which each pay for damage caused by different perils.

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What Comprehensive Coverage Covers

Comprehensive coverage is the form of physical damage coverage that pays to repair your vehicle, up to its fair market value, for several different types of claims that do not involve a moving car.

Some of the perils that are covered under your auto policy when filing a comprehensive claim include:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Explosion
  • Collision with live animal
  • Animal damage
  • Flood
  • Vandalism
  • Glass breakage

How does glass breakage coverage work?


There is a long list of causes that can lead to a broken window or a cracked windshield.

Everything from a vandalism to a falling tree branch that lands right on your windshield can lead to hundreds of dollars in auto glass bills for materials and labor.

As long as the damage was not from a collision with another vehicle or real property, the glass damage can be filed under comprehensive.

Consider Your Deductible Before Filing

Before you assume that your policy will pay for the damage, check your declarations page to see what deductible you carry on your comprehensive coverage.

The deductible listed under your physical damage coverage options is the amount that you are responsible for.

If you find that you carry a $500 deductible and the windshield costs $400 to replace, filing a claim is pointless.

How to File a Glass Claim


Filing a claim for something like a car window or a windshield can be quick and easy.

You can either call your insurer directly to file your claim for glass breakage or visit an auto glass shop first for pricing and to discuss the claims process.

Some companies will even take claims online or in person when making a claim there are a few options:

– Having the Glass Shop File a Claim for you

If you visit a larger auto glass company that is affiliated with the carrier that you do business with, it is possible that they will verify coverage for you and file your claim so that the payment is sent directly to the shop.

This can be helpful for you because you will not have to fork out any money out of pocket except for the amount that covers the deductible that you hold.

– File a claim for glass repairs for reimbursement

If you have already visited a glass repair company to have repairs done, you still have the option to file a claim.

You can submit the invoice that shows the repairs performed and the vehicle the repairs were performed on and the company will cut you a check for reimbursement minus your deductible.

Do glass claims raise rates?

Comprehensive claims are considered non-fault claims. Since the policyholder is not at fault, their rates are not affected when a glass claim is filed.

Even though this is the case, if you file multiple comprehensive claims throughout the year the insurer may cancel your coverage.

If you have filed a window claim in the past and you are not happy with how it was handled, it is time to consider shopping around.

Consider using an auto rate comparison tool to find the best rates and then buy a policy you will be happy with.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

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