Chipped Windshield—Now What? A Practical Guide for Drivers

Posted on: 18 April 2017

At some time in their lives, almost all drivers have to deal with a chipped or cracked windshield. Perhaps a rock flies up and hits your windshield, causing the trauma, or perhaps the breakage occurs during a collision. Even though damaged windshields are common, you're still sure to be a bit alarmed when this happens to you. Here are the answers to the questions you're most likely to have in the aftermath.

Will your insurance cover the damage?

The answer to this question truly is, "it depends." If you were in a collision with another driver, that driver is found to be "at fault" for the accident, and the accident led to the glass damage—then that driver's insurance company should cover the damage. 

If you were just driving down the street and circumstances, like a flying rock, lead to the windshield damage, then things get a little more complicated. Some comprehensive insurance policies automatically cover glass damage. Other companies, however, require you to buy an additional glass policy to cover this type of damage. To find out of your windshield damage is covered, read your insurance contract or give your insurance company a call.

Keep in mind that if the glass damage is covered, you may have to pay a deductible—and then the insurance company will cover the balance of the cost to have the windshield repaired. However, some insurance policies do have an exception for glass damage, allowing you to get a repair without paying the deductible for this type of repair only.

Do you really need to have the windshield repaired?

If the crack or chip is not in your line of vision, you may be tempted to just leave it alone—especially if your car is older. However, this could be dangerous. Cracks and chips are likely to spread, and quickly, if your windshield is put under any sort of extra strain. Another tiny rock hitting the windshield, or even the stress of ice forming on the glass, could cause it to shatter completely. So, it really is best to replace or repair the windshield sooner rather than later.

Do you need to replace the whole windshield, or can you just have the chip repaired?

To learn the answer to this question, you need to have an expert look at your windshield. If it truly does just have a small chip out of it, then the repair company will likely be able to fill the chip with epoxy and send you on your way. However, if there are tiny cracks streaming off from the chip, which is actually quite common, they may recommend replacing the windshield. If they were to simply fill the chip, the cracks would be likely to spread outward the next time the windshield faced any sort of trauma.

How can you fit windshield replacement into your schedule?

Having to go without your car for a day or more can be a major inconvenience. However, there are now companies that will come to you and replace your windshield while you are parked at work—or even at home. You give them the whereabouts of your car and your license plate information, and they'll show up at the scheduled time. When you get out of work, you'll have a car with a new (or freshly repaired) windshield waiting for you.

Having your windshield chip or crack is never fun. However, this damage is often covered by your insurance, and getting it repaired is not as much of a hassle as you might assume. To learn more, speak with a windshield replacement contractor like Martin Glass Co. in your area.


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