Louisiana Windshield Insurance: What are the full glass coverage laws in Louisiana?

Louisiana does not allow you to drive with a damaged windshield, but insurance can help repair it.

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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 11, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Collision, comprehensive, or full glass coverage may work as Louisiana windshield insurance depending on the source of the damage
  • Louisiana state law requires drivers have a clear view of the road, which means a cracked windshield will not pass inspection
  • Tickets for driving with a cracked windshield usually cost between $100 and $150

Nearly every driver has been surprised by a loud crack while driving. Afterward, they examine their windshield and see a new crack. Something — a small rock, nail, or trash, perhaps — hit their window and left a mark.

Streets and highways collect all the little things that fall off cars and trucks. When a car runs these little pieces of detriment over, the pressure often launches them into the air. This debris has to find its way back down, and sometimes that means your windshield becomes a landing zone.

Small pieces don’t usually cause much damage to glass, but they can become a serious problem when struck by a piece moving in the opposite direction. The increased speed and force can cause a harder impact and leave more damage.

Cracks can obscure your vision and weaken the integrity of your glass, posing a significant risk while you’re driving. For that reason, states and the federal government have laws requiring drivers to replace their windshield when it’s damaged. Louisiana cracked windshield laws require windshields to be repaired as soon as possible.

Luckily, a comprehensive or full glass policy typically covers Louisiana windshield damage. Having the right car insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.

Ready to learn more about Louisiana’s cracked windshield laws? Explore Louisiana’s laws below, then learn how insurance can help keep your windshield clear.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the coverage that’s right for your needs. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above to begin.

How does Louisiana define windshield damage?

A road is a dangerous place for your windshield. From pebbles to things falling off commercial trucks, there are a lot of hazards out there. It can be hard to keep your glass in perfect shape.

In Louisiana, “Windshield damage” describes several types of cracks, chips, and other injuries to your glass, including:

  • Edge cracks. These cracks — which occur within two inches from the edge of your glass — indicate that your windshield needs replacement.
  • Stress cracks. Cold weather makes everything contract, including your windshield. A small chip can turn into a huge crack when cold weather sets in.
  • Float cracks. A float crack is anything that starts in the middle of your windshield and requires either repair or glass replacement.
  • Crack chips. Chips happen when something small hits your window without a lot of force and leaves a small mark on your glass.
  • Shatter. Also called a bullseye, this severe damage occurs when something big hits your window hard. A shattered windshield needs immediate replacement.

Some damage is repairable, while others require replacing the entire windshield. The deciding factors are the extent of the damage and its location. A general rule of thumb is that you should replace glass with damage longer than six inches.

If your windshield needs replacement, a glass technician will carefully remove the piece and replace it with a similar one. If the technician can repair it, they’ll thoroughly clean the glass and inject a clear resin into the crack. Your windshield will look like there was never damage after the resin cures.

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What do Louisiana cracked windshield laws say about driving with cracks?

Although some windshield damage is acceptable to drive with, you can’t operate your vehicle with cracks that impair your vision or threaten your safety.

Below is a list of Louisiana cracked windshield laws that drivers should know.

  • There must be no cracks within the driver’s direct line of vision.
  • There must be no star cracks larger than two inches on the driver’s side
  • The driver’s side cannot have two or more cracks larger than eight inches.
  • The driver’s side cannot have more than two chips, knicks, stars, or half-moon cracks.
  • Replacement windshields must be of the same quality and kind, though Louisiana does allow aftermarket glass.

Louisiana also has several laws regarding other aspects of your windshield, listed below.

  • Posters, signs, stickers, or other non-transparent materials cannot block the driver’s line of vision.
  • Cars must have windshield wipers in proper working order, and there can be no damage that stops them from operating.
  • If you have comprehensive insurance, your deductible can’t be more than $250 for a windshield replacement.

The federal government also requires drivers to keep their windshields clear. By federal law, chips or cracks must be smaller than three-fourths of an inch, and each crack must have at least three inches of clear space around it.

Additionally, the area directly above the steering wheel must be damage-free.

What happens if you drive with a cracked windshield in Louisiana?

Although you can get a ticket for driving with a cracked window, you’re more likely to get a warning. Of course, that depends on the severity of the damage — you won’t drive off with a repair order if you can’t see through your windshield.

If you get pulled over for a cracked windshield, the officer will probably issue a warning to get it fixed, especially if the damage just happened. Make sure to get your windshield fixed as soon as possible. Aside from the danger of driving with a cracked windshield, the officer won’t be so lenient next time they pull you over.

Tickets for cracked windshields typically range from $100 to $150 for the first citation. Depending on your car, replacing a windshield in Louisiana costs anywhere from $170 to $1,120. At that price, it’s best to avoid adding more to your bill with a ticket.

What are some options for Louisiana windshield insurance?

You can probably get your windshield replaced through your insurance if you have the right policy.

Insurance companies do everything possible to encourage safe driving with their policyholders. Since an obscured windshield is a driving hazard, insurance companies typically help a driver replace it.

However, if you only have minimum insurance, you can’t file a windshield claim. Louisiana requires drivers to have liability, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorists, none of which covers your windshield.

The most popularly used insurance for windshield repair is comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance helps pay for repairs to your car after unexpected damage caused outside of accidents, such as fires, weather, flooding, vandalism, and theft.

A comprehensive policy usually includes debris hitting your windshield.

If you’re involved in an accident — with another driver or a stationary object —  and your glass gets damaged, a collision policy will help pay for a new windshield.

A third option is a full glass coverage add-on for your car insurance policy, allowing  you to replace your windshield when it’s damaged. As stated before, Louisiana limits deductibles for windshield replacement to $250, and you typically won’t have a deductible if a repair is necessary.

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How do you file a Louisiana windshield insurance claim?

Before you file a claim, you should ensure the damage is worth a claim.

If Louisiana requires you to fix damage to your windshield, you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced. In this case, it’s a good idea to file a claim.

You should repair a small crack as quickly as possible since minor damage can creep into a web of cracks while you drive. Glass repairs can stop a small crack from turning a simple process into a replacement.

If you want to file a car insurance claim, follow these easy steps:

  • Measure the cracks and chips and take photographs to provide to your insurance company.
  • File a claim through your preferred method, usually on a website or mobile app, or by calling your agent.
  • Provide your photos and measurements to the claims adjuster.
  • Most insurance companies have a list of preferred glass technicians. You’ll need to bring your car to them, or they might meet you at your home or work.

The claim process is over once the windshield repair or replacement is complete. If your windshield is clear of damage, you’re ready to get back on the road.

Find the Best Louisiana Windshield Insurance Today

Windshield damage is a common annoyance on the road, and all drivers deal with it from time to time. However, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars to get your windshield replaced if you have the right policy.

Comprehensive insurance and full glass coverage can help you stay good in the eyes of Louisiana’s cracked windshield laws. Both types of insurance are generally affordable, and you can compare quotes with multiple companies to find the best rates.

Enter your zip code right here to find a car insurance quote comparison for your coverage needs.

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