Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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 exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Alabama law requires replacement parts must be of similar quality to the original and restore a vehicle’s original value
  • Insurers in Alabama are not required to waive a deductible for windshield repair or replacement
  • Alabama does not prevent insurance policies from dictating repair vendors

Few things are as frustrating as getting a chipped or cracked windshield. What’s more, a small rock colliding with your windshield can cost you time and money. In Alabama, your insurance policy will dictate which parts or repair vendors may be used in your repair.

It’s important to compare policies carefully before purchasing to know what your policy will require and whether you have windshield replacement insurance.

Compare car insurance quotes today to see how much different coverage options will cost, and how much you could save by switching providers. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Does Alabama law require zero deductible full glass coverage?

A small number of states have what is known as zero deductible full glass coverage laws. These laws require insurers to pay for your windshield repair or replacement without requiring you to pay your deductible.

Unfortunately, Alabama does not have a zero deductible full glass coverage law.

Some insurers do offer policies where they agree to waive the deductible for windshields, however. These types of policies are only available with comprehensive coverage.

Standard liability insurance only covers damage to other vehicles that you are liable for and therefore isn’t designed to cover your own windshield. Comprehensive coverage is a type of auto coverage that applies to damage not resulting from a collision, including:

It is somewhat rare for insurers to offer these policies outside of states that don’t already require them.

Determining if a prospective policy has zero deductible full glass coverage is one reason why it’s recommended to compare three to four policies before selecting the appropriate one.

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Does Alabama law have requirements regarding what replacements parts may be used?

Requirements on using aftermarket parts vary from state to state with some jurisdictions having requirements that replacement parts are similar in value while others have no requirements at all.

In Alabama, parts must be “of like kind and quality and restore the vehicle its value before the loss.”

These guidelines set by the Alabama Department of Insurance mean that your repair vendor can use a different brand of parts when repairing your vehicle so long as they are of similar value and that your vehicle is worth as much as it was before it was damaged.

Ultimately, the decision on which parts to use belongs to your insurer under Alabama law so long as the parts meet the requirements mentioned above.

It’s recommended that before you set foot in a repair shop you carefully review your insurance policy. Your policy may have language that goes further than Alabama state law does regarding replacement parts.

Should I file a claim to get my windshield fixed?

The choice of your Alabama windshield repair vendor is important to you. For that reason, some states require insurance policies to leave the final choice of repair vendor to the policyholder.

Other states allow a policyholder to choose the vendor but obligate them to pay any difference if the insurer is able to get a lower quote.

However, Alabama law does not have any laws that address whether a policy can require a policyholder to use a repair vendor chosen by the insurer. The choice entirely depends on the language of your policy.

While it’s true that if a policy doesn’t have specific language about choosing a repair vendor the choice is up to the insured, the reality is most policies do have such language.

Alabama’s lack of a law protecting your choice of your repair vendors makes it critical that you consult your policy before you contact one. It’s likely that your policy includes language that requires you only to use an approved vendor chosen by your insurance company.

Taking your vehicle for an estimate at a repair vendor that isn’t approved by your insurance provider will only waste your time.

What’s more, your policy likely contains language that doesn’t obligate your insurance company to reimburse you for any repairs made at a repair vendor they haven’t approved. Review your policy carefully before contacting a repair vendor to save yourself time and money.

How can I get cheap auto insurance coverage in Alabama?

Ultimately your automobile insurance policy will be the deciding factor in where and how your vehicle repairs are handled. Alabama law does require that an insurer use parts that are of similar quality as the original and restores the value of your vehicle.

The actual decision regarding the parts or vendor used is dictated by your insurance policy so it’s important to review your policy to determine if any of these choices are yours to make.

To get the most from your insurance coverage it’s best to compare policies before ever purchasing one. Different policies may have different language regarding who gets to chose the parts or repair vendor.

Comparing three to four auto insurance policies before purchasing one can make all the difference. Enter your zip code below to begin comparing today!

References:

  1. https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-basic-auto-insurance-policy
  2. https://www.iii.org/article/what-is-covered-by-collision-and-comprehensive-auto-insurance
  3. http://www.aldoi.gov/Consumers/AutoFAQ.aspx
  4. http://www.aldoi.gov/Default.aspx
  5. http://www.alarise.com/consumers/consumer-rights.html