Broken Windshield

Q: Is a broken windshield covered under my auto policy deductible?

Broken windshields and other glass are typically covered under the comprehensive coverage portion of an auto insurance policy. Comprehensive generally provides coverage for physical damage to your vehicle caused not by a collision with an object or another vehicle, but by a variety of other specific perils. This type of coverage is optional in most states and, if purchased, will usually raise your premium and carry deductibles. It may or may not be cost effective, depending on the value of your vehicle.

So, if your windshield is broken but you don't have comprehensive coverage, the cost of replacing it may not be covered by your auto insurance. If you do have comprehensive, the cost probably will be covered, but to what extent depends on the details of your particular policy. Comprehensive coverage is broken down into the different items or perils covered under this section of the policy (e.g., fire, water, theft, etc.). Each is listed separately in the contract and is usually subject to its own deductible, which can often be adjusted up or down. Glass coverage is included as one part of comprehensive, but (unlike the other items covered under comprehensive) typically comes without a deductible. This means that, if your car windshield is damaged or destroyed and needs to be replaced; your auto insurance company will pay the entire bill.

You can usually attach a deductible to your glass coverage if you wish, in which case you would have to contribute a certain amount out of your own funds toward the cost of replacing your windshield. However, while adding a deductible to your glass coverage may be one way to cut your auto insurance costs, it's generally not advisable to do so. For example, if you put a $250 deductible on your glass coverage, you'll end up footing half the cost when your $500 windshield breaks. Whatever amount you save on your premium will probably be more than offset by that out-of-pocket deductible.

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