We’ve all been there: you’re driving down the highway and a rock flies into your windshield, immediately cracking it. Or maybe you come out to your car after work to find a brand-new chip in your windshield.

Windshield chips are unfortunately part of driving. Stuff happens! As drivers, we’re probably unsure of when we should seek professional repairs - and, more importantly, how much repairs will cost and what’s covered by our insurance.

Small Repairs
As a general rule of thumb, a chip or crass can be safely repaired if its smaller than a dollar bill — and someplace other than the driver’s line of sight. The repair process works by injecting a special resin into the chipped area. For cracks, holes may be drilled at the ends of the crack to prevent it from spreading. In other words, your windshield can be fixed, versus being completely replaced.  And, most of these smaller repairs cost less than $100, according to Windshield Repair Professionals NOVUS.

Windshield Replacement
You may need to completely replace your windshield if:

  • the chip is directly in the drivers line of sight,
  • there are more than three cracks or chips on the glass,
  • the damage is at the edge of the windshield, or
  • the windshield is old and covered with tiny divots
If your windshield needs to be repaired, do it immediately! A small chip can quickly spread across the windshield. Windshield replacement can run a couple hundred dollars depending on your car’s make and model.

What’s Covered?
This varies greatly by insurance companies and policies. Some companies cover small repairs that are preventative against future replacements. Comprehensive insurance typically covers non-accident based damage, but plans can vary in terms of whether the front windshield is covered (some plans cover only side/rear windows).

Before filing a claim through your insurance, consider your deductible. If your deductible is greater than the cost of the estimated repair, it might not be worth your time to file a claim. As always, review your policy and call your agent with any questions!

Drive safely!

Sources: DMV.org, How To Cover Windshield Repair Through Car Insurance | NOVUS Glass, Preserving the Safety Features of Your Windshield

Photo credit: Josh Ganderson, Cracked Windshield.

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