Does Liability Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?
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Motorists' liability insurance will not cover damages to their own windshield, but it will most likely cover the cost of repairing other people's windshields if the damage was the policyholder's fault. Liability coverage only pays for other parties' bodily injuries and property damages that the policyholder is responsible for, not the insured car or driver's own damages. Physical repairs to the insured vehicle are generally covered by either comprehensive or collision coverage, if those have been included in the policy.
If the policyholder's windshield is cracked or destroyed during an automobile accident that the driver of the insured vehicle caused, the windshield repair would be covered by the policyholder's insurance coverage.
If these damages are the result of something other than a collision, however, repairs would be covered by a driver's comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive would kick in if the windshield damage was caused by falling objects, flying projectiles, ice, hail, wind, contact with an animal, or a handful of other reasons.
Usually, when a motorist's insurance company pays for repairs, the policyholder will also have to pay a deductible, which is the amount agreed to pay before the auto insurance coverage actually kicks in. Because glass repair and replacement costs fluctuate based on the installer as well as the vehicle make, model, and year, motorists are encouraged to shop around for the best auto glass shop rates. Some glass replacement companies, such as Safelite, will make the windshield replacement at your location for added convenience. If a policyholder's comprehensive deductible exceeds the cost of the replacement, they may end up paying for the damages entirely out of pocket. In some states, motorists may not have to pay their deductible for repairing damaged glass at all. For example, drivers with South Carolina auto insurance can have their deductible waived when replacing the windshield. Florida and Kentucky are also considered free windshield replacement states since they also do not require paying the deductible. Because every state has different laws regarding replacement costs, it is essential that motorists check with their insurer and review state laws before moving forward.
In the case of a broken or cracked windshield, it is the driver's responsibility to report the incident to their insurance company and to take action to prevent further damage if possible. If drivers wait to take reasonable action and this leads to further damage, their policy provider may deny the insurance claim.
There are countless hazards on the open road that vehicle owners should be financially prepared to face, and if a motorist has not purchased a sufficient insurance policy, he or she may end up paying for expensive repairs out of pocket. Often there are repairs that vehicle owners cannot put off, and must be made immediately. In Wisconsin, for example, it is illegal for a resident to operate a motor vehicle with an excessively cracked or damaged windshield. This includes any crack that extends more than eight inches from the window frame.
Although most lending companies require lessees to purchase policies that already include comprehensive and collision coverage, those protections are not required by state law. Adding protections to an auto insurance policy can be costly, so motorists are encouraged to start comparing car insurance quotes online to efficiently evaluate dozens of sample rates at once.
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About The Author:
Jeremy Biberdorf is an entrepreneur and personal finance writer from Vancouver, Canada. After getting a computer systems technology diploma and working as a web programmer for 12 years, he pivoted his knowledge of the web into writing about his passion for personal finance, Modest Money. The finance blog started as a part-time side-project, but quickly grew it into a major platform staffed with a team of financial expert contributors. See his Linkedin profile.