Are broken car windows covered by my auto insurance?

Broken car windows are an expensive problem to fix.. Comprehensive or collision insurance covers damage to broken windows, but you may need to pay a deductible.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 25, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • To file a claim for broken windows, you need collision or comprehensive insurance in place, depending on what caused the damage
  • You will typically need to pay a deductible before the insurance covers the rest
  • Insurance companies will specify how much they are willing to pay for repair

If you wake up one morning to find that someone has broken into your car through a side window, one of your first worries will be the expense of fixing the damage. You may wonder if car insurance covers broken windows. Read on to learn how it works.

Compare coverage options with many companies side-by-side. Use our free rate-quote tool to begin. Just enter your ZIP to get quotes that include the window coverage you need.

Does insurance cover broken windows?

Does your liability insurance cover a broken window? Unfortunately no. If you want to file a claim against your insurance for damage to one or more of your car windows, you will need collision or comprehensive coverage. These are typically add-ons to a basic liability policy and provide you with different types of protection

Comprehensive insurance covers glass damage if it’s due to theft, vandalism, weather events, or impact with a wild animal. On the other hand, collision insurance will protect you if you hit an inanimate object or another vehicle.

Check out this table to see how much it would cost you on average to add comprehensive coverage to your policy.

Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Comprehensive Rates
Alabama$146.28
Alaska$141.08
Arizona$184.20
Arkansas$183.36
California$99.29
Colorado$158.34
Connecticut$126.02
Countrywide$138.87
Delaware$113.23
District of Columbia$230.25
Florida$110.12
Georgia$153.61
Hawaii$100.09
Idaho$110.78
Illinois$117.98
Indiana$115.02
Iowa$171.58
Kansas$230.65
Kentucky$130.15
Louisiana$208.59
Maine$96.66
Maryland$146.77
Massachusetts$128.92
Michigan$147.02
Minnesota$173.04
Mississippi$194.74
Missouri$166.34
Montana$199.87
Nebraska$206.24
Nevada$116.79
New Hampshire$103.03
New Jersey$123.18
New Mexico$166.89
New York$156.66
North Carolina$123.00
North Dakota$227.64
Ohio$112.74
Oklahoma$201.56
Oregon$89.66
Pennsylvania$132.01
Rhode Island$122.17
South Carolina$165.38
South Dakota$228.59
Tennessee$135.62
Texas$186.70
Utah$106.57
Vermont$118.31
Virginia$129.89
Washington$104.11
West Virginia$195.04
Wisconsin$126.34
Wyoming$222.86
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The Difference Between a Windshield and Other Windows

There is a big difference between your side window and your windshield. Side windows typically have tempered glass, which is stronger than ordinary glass but could break into many shards or smaller pieces following a sudden impact. The windshield has laminated glass and will put up with more stress. When something hits the glass with sufficient force, its layers usually stay bound together in one piece.

Are there separate coverage rules for different windows?

Rules vary by state across the country for many reasons, even when it comes to the type of window. It’s common to ask, “Does insurance cover a cracked windshield?” Some companies treat this separately, as different states have requirements that dictate if you must replace a windshield due to cracks or chips. In addition, some states insist that insurance companies extend zero-deductible coverage, while others make this optional.

How do you file a broken window insurance claim?

Much will depend on the circumstances of the incident and the type of coverage you have in place. You’ll also need to consider your deductible and whether you will need to pay that before insurance kicks in. 

While you will typically need comprehensive or collision coverage, some companies have a specific offering known as “glass coverage.” Look at the small print on your policy or discuss these options with different companies if you’re looking for a new provider.

Does insurance cover broken windows due to theft?

If a thief caused side window damage when they broke in to try and steal some of your belongings, insurers would cover this under your comprehensive policy. If you caused a car crash and your side window broke, your collision coverage will typically pay the bill. If an incident were the other driver’s fault, their insurance would settle and cover you under the other’s driver’s liability policy.

Collision coverage overall is pretty cheap to add to your auto insurance. Let’s look at the average annual rates of adding collision to your policy.

Average Annual Collision Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Collision Auto Insurance
Rates
Alabama$299.10
Alaska$360.18
Arizona$259.31
Arkansas$304.87
California$364.56
Colorado$263.36
Connecticut$348.70
Delaware$296.60
District of Columbia$449.27
Florida$251.30
Georgia$320.45
Hawaii$297.75
Idaho$209.00
Illinois$284.92
Indiana$237.19
Iowa$207.10
Kansas$251.46
Kentucky$255.33
Louisiana$391.03
Maine$249.00
Maryland$331.72
Massachusetts$358.68
Michigan$383.21
Minnesota$214.02
Mississippi$302.96
Missouri$259.65
Montana$254.90
Nebraska$223.50
Nevada$293.78
New Hampshire$281.70
New Jersey$365.23
New Mexico$267.48
New York$358.45
North Carolina$264.58
North Dakota$227.44
Ohio$252.21
Oklahoma$298.21
Oregon$212.47
Pennsylvania$307.31
Rhode Island$377.06
South Carolina$247.62
South Dakota$200.10
Tennessee$290.39
Texas$340.51
Utah$254.41
Vermont$278.38
Virginia$264.70
Washington$250.13
West Virginia$319.10
Wisconsin$209.93
Wyoming$270.48
Countrywide Average$299.73
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Should you always file a claim?

In many cases, insurance companies will insist that you pay a deductible when you file a claim for damage to broken windows. In that case, you will need to look at the repair quote to see if it’s worth filing a claim. Glass repairs often don’t exceed the cost of a deductible (at least not by much), so it may not be worth making a claim. Otherwise, an insurance company may raise your future premiums to compensate for your claims history.

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Are broken car windows covered by my auto insurance?: The Bottom Line

If you want to file a claim against your car insurance for a broken window, you will need comprehensive or collision coverage on your policy, depending on the cause of damage. Sometimes, glass-specific coverage is also available. Bear in mind that your policy may have a deductible in place, so you need to compare this to the cost of the repairs as you decide how to proceed.

See how much you could save by comparing auto insurance companies today. Enter your ZIP to get quotes that include collision and comprehensive coverage.

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