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 12, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Washington, D.C. drivers may have a zero-deductible glass replacement benefit on their car insurance policy, but some may not have coverage or may need to pay a deductible to file a claim
  • Washington, D.C. does not have a legal requirement prohibiting the use of aftermarket crash glass
  • The terms of your car insurance policy in Washington, D.C. will determine what type of glass may be used and which vendor repairs the windshield if you file a claim

Can I drive with a cracked windshield in Washington D.C.?

While Washington D.C. is a capital district rather than a state, it does have specific legal rules and requirements that its residents and local businesses must comply with.

Some of these rules pertain directly to motorists and car insurance companies, and they may impact your ability to file a claim for a glass replacement service if your windshield cracks or shatters.

Windshields may easily break for many reasons, such as:

  • Rocks
  • Hail or ice
  • Debris from another vehicle
  • Birds

Most of the time, these objects are bugs or small, soft objects that the windshield can easily protect you from. However, when larger or harder objects hit the glass, the glass could easily break. Broken window glass is unsafe to drive with because:

  • It is weaker and could shatter
  • It may not protect occupants from harm
  • It may be harder to see out of

Unfortunately, many Washington D.C. drivers are not always financially able to pay for a glass replacement project right away, and some do not even view this as an urgent issue that requires an immediate response.

However, you can see that a broken windshield is truly dangerous to drive with, and you may be able to pay for at least some of the cost of the repair project by filing a window glass replacement insurance claim through your car insurance company.

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Do you have Washington, D.C. zero-deductible auto glass coverage?

Before you file a claim against your Washington, D.C. auto insurance policy for a windshield glass service, you must determine if you have a claim, what your coverage terms are, and how much your deductible is.

It may also be beneficial to request a few glass service quotes so that you can better determine what the financial advantage associated with filing a claim may be.

As is the case with any type of auto insurance claim, you may be required to pay a deductible for your claim.

However, some car insurance policies are set up with no deductible for auto glass replacement claims.

Washington, D.C. does not have a requirement for car insurance providers to offer zero-deductible coverage on all policies, but some providers may still offer this type of coverage on their own.

Other policies, however, may not have glass coverage at all, and some may have a rather high deductible. The deductible amount should be carefully reviewed because the entire cost of glass replacement service may only be a few hundred dollars.

How can I get cheap auto insurance in Washington D.C.?

Keep in mind that your provider may not offer or provide glass coverage benefits on a liability or collision auto insurance policy.

The only type of coverage that pays for your own vehicle repairs for damage not related to an auto collision is comprehensive auto insurance, but not all comprehensive policies include glass replacement coverage.

You may have to specifically request this type of coverage when you set up your policy, and you may also have to choose an advantageous deductible amount and coverage limit.

If you have determined that your current glass replacement coverage is not ideal or if you do not have this type of coverage at all, you can spend a few minutes today updating your coverage.

This effort will not impact your current damage repair issue, but it can help you to avoid paying so much money for repair costs if your windshield breaks in the future. Requesting quotes for new coverage that has glass replacement coverage is most easily done online.

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What are the legal requirements for glass materials in Washington D.C.?

Drivers in Washington, D.C. should not assume that all glass replacement companies use OEM glass.

This district has not issued a law prohibiting the use of aftermarket glass or requiring glass replacement companies to disclose the use of this material up-front, so vendors may be able to use this material at their discretion.

As a consumer, you should take the initiative to inquire about the type of glass that is being used with a glass replacement claim or with a repair that you pay on your own.

Your auto insurance policy may also dictate the use of either OEM or aftermarket glass, so you should read the fine print on your coverage before you buy a new policy.

Who Selects the Glass Replacement Company in Washington, D.C.?

Because there is no legal requirement for the selection of a glass replacement company in Washington, D.C., be aware that your auto insurance policy could require the use of their own preferred vendor if you file a claim.

If you do not file a claim, you may select your own service provider to complete the glass replacement service.

If this is a major concern for you, be sure to read the terms of your coverage and make adjustments to your policy before you file your next glass replacement claim.

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References:

  1. http://jinya99.com/2015/04/07/5-random-things-that-could-crack-your-windshield/
  2. https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/auto-insurance/full-glass-coverage-worth-the-money.htm
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/insurance-deductible-2645763
  4. http://autoglasssecrets.com/auto-glass-window-replacement-oem-vs-aftermarket-glass/
  5. http://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/features/2012/07/02/253290.htm