Should I Use Insurance To Fix My Windshield?

Learn when filing a claim for windshield damage is worth it

A man looking through a windshield drives a car.

Skynesher / Getty Images

One minute you’re enjoying a road trip and the next, a small rock hits your windshield leaving behind an unsightly crack. The good news is that some types of car insurance cover windshield damage and you may not have to pay a deductible. However, the claim could cause your premium to go up. So should you use insurance to fix your windshield? Here’s what to consider

Key Takeaways

  • Comprehensive insurance covers windshield damage caused by non-collision events.
  • Collision insurance covers windshield damage caused by collisions.
  • Some states and insurers waive the deductible for windshield damage.
  • Whether you should file a claim or not will depend on your repair costs, deductible amount, and how much your premium will increase.

Does Your Insurance Cover Windshield Damage?

Your auto insurance may pay for your windshield damage, but it depends on the type of coverage you have and the cause of the damage. Standard liability insurance only covers damage you cause to other vehicles, so it wouldn’t be helpful here, but the following types of coverage can usually help.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your vehicle that result from non-collision events (such as windstorms, floods, or hitting an animal). The coverage usually kicks in after you pay a deductible, and covers up to a set amount. If a rock hits and cracks your windshield, comprehensive coverage would likely help to cover your repair bill.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle that results from a collision. It also typically requires you to pay a deductible before coverage kicks in, and has set policy limits. This coverage could help cover the cost of windshield damage if it results from a collision you caused.

Full Glass Coverage

Full glass coverage covers the full cost of windshield repairs and replacements without requiring you to pay a deductible. In Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina, all policyholders get full glass coverage because it’s illegal for insurers to charge deductibles on windshield claims. In the other 47 states, insurers may offer full glass coverage as an add-on option for an additional cost.

What Your Insurance Will Cover

Once your claim is approved, your insurer will cover the costs that an auto repair shop charges to repair or replace your windshield, minus any required deductible. Repairs are often less expensive than replacements, but they won’t always be an option. According to the National Windshield Repair Association, windshield damage is only repairable if it involves a single crack line up to 14 inches or a stone break up to 2 inches.

Deductibles and Windshield Glass Claims

Wondering if you’ll pay a deductible on your windshield damage claim? Well, it depends. If your claim is covered by your comprehensive or collision insurance, a deductible will usually apply unless you:

  • Live in Florida, Kentucky, or South Carolina
  • Have full glass coverage
  • Need a repair and your insurer only charges deductibles for replacements

To find out if you need to pay a deductible or not, check with your insurance agent and your state laws.

Should I Use This Coverage if I Have It?

Whether it makes sense to file a claim with your auto insurer for windshield damage will depend on a couple of factors. First, find out the cost of your deductible (if applicable) and the estimate of the windshield repair or replacement. If your deductible costs more than the estimate, you should leave your insurance out of it.

If you don’t have a deductible or your repair costs surpass it, you may want to file a claim. But first consider how the claim will impact your insurance premium amount. In most cases, it will cause an increase, although it’ll usually be smaller than the increase for an at-fault accident (which is 28% on average). You can ask your agent for an estimate of the impact. If you can afford the out-of-pocket cost now, it may be cheaper than what you’ll pay over time due to the higher premium.


Check if your insurer offers an accident forgiveness program. For example, Progressive offers small-accident forgiveness so your rate won’t go up for claims of $500 or less. It also will forgive a larger accident after five years of being a customer with no other accidents or violations.

Windshield Replacement Tips

If your windshield gets damaged, it’s best to take immediate action to minimize your costs. Small repairable cracks and dents can quickly grow, leading to the need for a full windshield replacement. Driving with a damaged windshield can be illegal, depending on the extent of the damage. Federal law states that you can’t drive a vehicle if its windshield has any of the following:

  • A crack or chip with a ¾-inch or larger diameter
  • Intersecting cracks
  • Cracks directly in front of the driver
  • Two cracks within 3 inches of each other


Your state may have additional laws in place detailing the extent of damage that’s allowed on your windshield. You’ll also be subject to the laws of any states you drive through.

Beyond the laws, windshield damage can compromise the internal structure of the glass and impair your vision while driving. To stay safe and avoid a ticket, it’s best to fix your windshield as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can my windshield be replaced at home?

You may be able to hire an auto-glass repair company that offers a mobile service. The company will come to your home and perform the repair or replacement there. Availability will depend on the service companies in your area.

How long does a windshield replacement take?

The amount of time a windshield repair or replacement takes will depend on the shop you use, their practices, and how busy they are. That said, it usually takes about 30 minutes for a repair and 60 minutes for a replacement. Once the service is finished, the vehicle also needs to sit for at least an hour to set properly.

Can I fix a windshield crack myself?

DIY windshield repair kits are available so you can fix a windshield crack at home. However, according to the National Windshield Repair Division, they can only properly repair an estimated 10% of breaks. The kits often instruct the user to fill cracks with resin, but repairs may also require drilling and flexing. Your windshield plays an important role in keeping you safe while driving so it’s best to hire a trained professional to ensure the repair is done properly.

Was this page helpful?
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Progressive. “Does Car Insurance Cover Windshield Damage?

  2. Progressive. “Which States Offer Free Windshield Replacements?

  3. National Windshield Repair Association. “What Types of Damage Can Be Repaired.”

  4. Progressive. “Do Accidents Affect Insurance Rates?

  5. GovInfo. “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT.”

  6. Safelite. “Safelite FAQs: Auto Glass Service.”

  7. National Windshield Repair Division. “Consumer Information.”

Related Articles