Does Insurance Cover Broken Windows? Everything You Need to Know

inside of broken car windshield in car accident

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A car accident can lead to all types of damages, including broken windows. This might lead you to wonder if your insurance policy covers broken windows. The type of coverage you have will determine if windows will be part of your plan should you be involved in a situation.

Does Insurance Cover Broken Windows?

Whether or not your insurance policy covers broken windows will depend on the provider and the level of coverage that you have. A basic policy does not traditionally cover broken windows unless the damages are from an auto accident. If you are in a car accident, however, and your car’s windows are broken due to this, your insurance company may cover it after you have paid your deductible cost.

There are three types of insurance coverage to consider:

  • Liability coverage: Liability coverage only covers the cost of damages that you cause to another vehicle. It does not cover your own damages.
  • Collision coverage: Collision coverage covers your damages caused by another driver, or from an inanimate object.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers damages not related to a car accident, like theft or vandalism.

    Basic car insurance usually refers to liability coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage is usually an available add-on. While collision and comprehensive insurance will usually cover broken windows, it is important to evaluate your policy to ensure that it does.

    It is also a good idea to understand your deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you will have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company will step in and pay the rest of the claim. Liability insurance does not usually have a deductible, but comprehensive and collision do. Some policies do have no-deductible options for some types of damages, including with broken windows.

    This is why it always a good idea to evaluate your insurance policy so you know what is covered, and how much you have to pay yourself before you can file a claim.

    What Damages Does Comprehensive/Collision Insurance Cover?

    Collision and comprehensive coverage cover damages related to a car accident or a collision with an object, including your broken windows. Comprehensive and/or collision coverages may cover any of the following types of damages:

    • Broken windows
    • Broken locks
    • Stolen technologies, including radio or GPS system
    • Broken ignition
    • Damages to the paint or carpet
    • Glove box damage
    • Airbag replacement
    • Aftermarket parts damage (as long as it is included in the policy)

      Comprehensive coverage covers damages not related to an accident, which usually includes broken windows. This might include vandalism or bad weather which then leads to broken windows.

      However, comprehensive and collision do not always cover broken windows. Some insurance companies do require that you buy glass coverage. Always read the fine print of your policy to ensure that it is covered. If it is not, consider the cost of adding it to your policy. If it is available for just a few dollars a month, it may be worth the additional coverage because it can cost hundreds of dollars to repair broken windows.

      When to Buy Additional Coverage

      While liability insurance is a requirement in most states, comprehensive and collision coverage is usually up to you. If you have an auto loan or drive a lease, your lender may require that you carry full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision. If you don’t, you may have to decide how much coverage you need on your vehicle. Consider the following factors when deciding how much coverage you need:

      • The value of your vehicle: Consider how much it will cost to repair, or replace, your vehicle. If your vehicle isn’t worth that much, it may cost you more to carry full coverage than to replace it.
      • Your budget: If you add comprehensive and collision to your policy, you can expect your rate to increase. Consider your budget and how much you can afford each month, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of repairs or replacements if you are in an accident.
      • Your financial situation: Without proper coverage, you could be left without a vehicle. If you have to pay for repairs out-of-pocket, and you don’t have the funds, you may not be able to repair your vehicle.
      • Your risk: Driving in some locations can increase your risk of being in an accident, or having your vehicle vandalized. You might consider these risk factors when determining the level of coverage.

        Reducing your risk can help you avoid a costly claim too. According to Progressive, you may be able to reduce your risk with certain steps, like locking your doors and parking in a safe, well-lit area.

        You can also shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers, including ones with basic coverage versus full. Consider exactly how much more you will have to pay each month for the added coverage.

        Consider Your Insurance Limit

        Most insurance policies have a limit. This refers to the maximum amount that they will pay for any damages when filing a claim. Liability coverages are usually higher and according to Trusted Choice, may be as high as $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000. Comprehensive and collision coverage usually sets the limit at the total value of your vehicle. So, if your car is worth $20,000, they will cover up to $20,000.

        The value of your vehicle is calculated by considering the replacement value, minus depreciation. They will not usually cover the cost you paid for your vehicle, instead, they will estimate the current value and then base their assessment from that. If you reach your insurance limit before the broken windows are replaced, they will not cover them.

        How to Handle Broken Windows

        Whether your car windows break due to a car accident, weather, or any other reason, it is important to file a claim as soon as possible if you have comprehensive or collision coverage insurance. While there is usually no time limit to when you have to file a claim, driving with broken windows can be dangerous. Even a minor crack can quickly spread, further damaging the windshield.

        Some drivers worry that filing a claim will increase their insurance rate. Whether or not your insurance company increases your rates for a broken window will vary from provider to provider.

        Some types of insurance cover broken windows. This is why it is always a good idea to evaluate your policy before buying, so you know what it will cover.

        Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.


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