What are the Full Glass coverage laws in California?

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Things to remember...

  • A broken windshield is a considerable driving hazard and should be repaired by California motorists as soon as possible
  • While some Californians have a zero deductible glass replacement benefit on their auto insurance policy, this type of coverage is not mandated by state law
  • When your auto insurance deductible is too high, it may not be worth filing a claim for a windshield replacement or repair

Getting around a huge, bustling state like California conveniently requires the use of a private car in most cases. You may spend several hours or more each day commuting in your car, running errands, and more.

During these hours, there is always a chance that a small rock or another projectile could strike your vehicle’s windshield and cause it to crack, chip, or even entirely shatter.

Even though you may still be able to see out of your windshield, you should be aware that driving with a damaged windshield is not safe.

Even a small crack in your windshield could minimize the full visibility of the road and vehicles in front of you, and it also creates a vulnerable weakness that may make your windshield more likely to shatter completely in the future.

Because the cost of a windshield replacement or repair service may be several hundred dollars or more, you may be thinking about filing a claim against your auto insurance policy so that your benefits can pay for this expense.

Your ability to file a claim for a cracked or otherwise damaged windshield in California will be based partially on the type of auto policy you have.

Liability and collision insurance are common types of insurance that California drivers have, but these coverages do not usually provide glass replacement benefits. A comprehensive auto policy, however, may have the glass benefits that you need.

Comprehensive insurance pays for repairs to your own vehicle for damages caused by a wide range of non-collision events. This is opposed to collision insurance, which pays for vehicle repairs related to a car accident.

Full glass coverage may or may not be included in a comprehensive policy, and the zero-deductible possibility for full glass coverage also varies.

If you have comprehensive insurance with glass replacement benefits, your next task is to analyze the deductible amount associated with this type of claim.

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California Glass Coverage: Deductibles and Payment Options


You may have heard that some drivers have benefited from a zero deductible full glass replacement clause in their auto insurance policy.

California does not require this type of benefit by law as a few states do, and this means that the deductible associated with your glass replacement service is at the discretion of your provider.

The good news, however, is that some providers do offer a zero deductible benefit for full glass replacement service even though it is not required by law in this state.

You should contact your insurance company today to begin remedying the dangerous situation of a cracked windshield. With a simple phone call, you can determine if you have this zero deductible benefit or how much your deductible amount will be for this type of claim.

Some providers have a partial deductible amount for a glass replacement claim, such as $50. Therefore, you may not always have to pay the full deductible amount for this type of claim. Keep in mind that some full deductible amounts may be as much as $500 or $1,000.

After you determine how much your deductible amount is for this type of glass replacement service, you also need to request several quotes for the work to be done to your car.

Shopping around may help you to identify savings, and you could potentially identify a reputable and responsive vendor to work with.

Filing a claim for glass replacement usually only makes sense to California drivers if the replacement cost is substantially higher than the deductible amount they will be responsible for.

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Windshield Repairs and Replacement Regulations in California

Some California glass replacement vendors only use new glass windshields for this type of service, but others use aftermarket parts. If a vendor uses aftermarket parts, they are required to do the following:

  • notify you in writing
  • use high-quality materials that accurately fit your vehicle
  • use materials that have a similar warranty and performance capability as the previous material that was used

Obtaining an aftermarket windshield may sound undesirable at first glance to some motorists. However, the legal requirements ensure the quality of the material that is being used. More than that, the aftermarket material may be available at a lower price than another option.

Selecting Your California Glass Replacement Vendor

Some states do not specify if a motorist is required to use the insurance company’s vendor when filing a claim, and other states specifically say that you must use the insurance company’s vendor or pay the difference in cost.

In California, however, the motorist is legally permitted to choose his or her preferred vendor to complete this work.

Therefore, regardless of whether you are filing a claim or paying for the replacement out of your own funds, you should shop around to compare quotes for the window replacement.

If you had to pay for this expense on your own, consider updating your coverage before this type of event happens again. As you compare insurance coverage quotes, look for a provider that offers a zero deductible glass replacement benefit.

By taking this step today, you could be better prepared for the next time your windshield is damaged by a rock or another item. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool today to get started!

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