Does having tinted windows affect car insurance rates?

Tinted windows shouldn't affect your insurance rates as long as they are legal in the state you live in. Any illegal changes made to your vehicle could increase your rates and even void your policy altogether.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • As long as the tinting is not illegal in the state in which the vehicle is manufactured and the tinting is done to the manufacturer’s recommendations, there should be no increase in premium
  • No matter the modification or customization you make to your car, you should always report it to your insurance company
  • Although it might be a little more expensive, it is important and will save money in the long run if the work is done by a dealer or other bonded and insured installer

Generally, tinting your car windows will not cause an increase in your auto insurance rates. While some cars today comes with the windows already tinted, individuals might want to have the front windows tinted, or increase the tint in the back windows.

As long as the tinting is not illegal in the state in which the vehicle is manufactured, and the tinting is done to the manufacturer’s recommendations, there should be no increase in premium. However, there are some other issues at play when it comes to insurance rates and window tinting.

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What steps should I take to find out if my car insurance rates will rise?

The first and most important step you should take is to simply call your independent insurance agent or car insurance company and tell them what you are planning to do as far as window tinting is concerned.

Many car manufacturers have a standard in place for window tinting, and it is based on the percentage of tint that is on the window. For example, a 20 percent tint allows in more sunlight than a 30 percent tint.

However, many states have strict laws on the amount of tint that a car can have.

Learning about these laws, and what they currently are in your state, can help save time and possible money.

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What if my tinted window needs repairing?

Although some car insurance companies may not raise your insurance rates if you tint your windows, there is the possibility that, if your tinted window needs replacing, it may not be covered by your policy.

For example, if an individual tints his or her front windows to a legal level, but that window is broken, the insurance company might only replace the window to its original manufacturer’s specification, which would be without any level of tint.

If you would like to have your tinted windows covered and included in a car insurance quote, there will most likely be an additional amount added to your premium to cover the possibility of the expense.

If the level of tint in the front window exceeds the state maximum percentage, there could be a substantial increase in premiums. This is because the car would be considered more dangerous to drive, and therefore more likely to be in a collision or accident, than a car without severely tinted windows.

There are no restrictions as to the degree of tinting for back windows, although the back windshield must meet certain requirements.

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What if I decide not to report the tinting to my insurance company?

No matter the modification or customization you make to your car, you should always report it to your insurance company.

An average tint job will cost about $100 at the least and, while no one wants an increased premium, that amount will almost always be less than having to re-tint the windows if you get into an accident and the windows need replacing.

If you have the additional coverage, the replacement window will also be tinted.

It is also important to remember that tinting the car windows to illegal levels might not only cause an increase in car insurance premiums, but may void the insurance policy altogether.

Also, if it is determined that illegal and unreported tint was the cause of an accident, you may not be covered for any losses, medical expenses, or damages.

Who should perform the tinting if I choose to have it done?

It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on making any improvements or upgrades on your vehicle. Contact the dealer you purchased the car from, or call the car manufacturer and ask them for a recommendation.

Although it might be a little more expensive, it is important and will save money in the long run if the work is done by a dealer or other bonded and insured installer.

Individuals can also choose to tint the car windows on their own, which can save money.

No matter what option you choose, you should always contact your insurance company before performing any type of modification or customization, even if it is just a simple window tint.

Remember, you always have the option of not performing the window tint if you determine that the cost of the premium increase is not worth the aesthetic value of tinting the windows. Or better yet, you can always just wear sunglasses as there is no premium increase for that.

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