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Windshield Repair or Replacement?

By September 18, 2019January 5th, 2021Insurance

Debris from vehicles, falling branches, or even sudden expanding cracks as you’re driving down the road—yes, glass damage happens all the time and comes in many forms. My favorite is the policyholder who broke their back glass loading wood beams… twice in consecutive weeks.

Glass damage falls under Other Than Collision Coverage (comprehensive) and is subject to a policy deductible depending on the severity of the damage. Often if your glass can be repaired there’s no deductible.

So what’s the difference between a windshield repair and replacement? According to Glass America:

Windshield Repair:  a convenient, cost effective way to fix minor chips and cracks in your car’s front windshield. If your windshield damage is not directly in the driver’s line of vision, chances are good that your auto glass can be repaired. Another good way for you to assess the damage is to see if the crack is NOT longer than your credit card, then it can usually be repaired.

Windshield replacement: If the windshield damage is more severe than a minor chip or crack, or if the crack is in the driver’s line of vision, then most likely your windshield will require replacement. Cracks or holes that go all the way through the glass and cracks that are longer than a credit card usually indicate a replacement is warranted.

Who can fix your glass? Insurance carriers work with a wide number of local shops that are part of their “glass network.” National companies, such as Safelite and Glass America, are also used by most carriers. And you can even use a shop out of a carrier’s glass network, though work may not guaranteed.

Full Glass Coverage On Auto Insurance

Insurance carriers such as Progressive, Grange, and Safeco offer full glass coverage, meaning that there is no deductible for glass damage. This coverage is for glass only, and separates the amount you pay out pocket from your selected Other Than Collision deductible.