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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Here's what you need to know...

  • A basic auto insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage for any physical damage to your vehicle
  • While third-party coverage is required by law, you have the option to add first-party coverage that will pay for various types of damage to your vehicle. This coverage is referred to as comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by incidents like fire, theft, vandalism, explosion, flood, and collision with a live animal
  • Comprehensive also provides coverage for broken windshields and auto glass unless the broken glass is the result of an accident
  • If you need to file a glass claim, some companies will waive your deductible if the windshield can be repaired instead of replaced

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about filing an insurance claim is having an accident. While many people use their insurance to help pay for damages sustained in an accident, there are other scenarios where your auto insurance can help you protect your finances.

If you have a broken windshield, your insurance may cover it.

Cracked and broken windshields are only covered when you carry physical damage coverage on your policy.

Since physical damage coverage is optional, not all policies provide coverage for cracked auto glass claims. If you want to build a policy that provides you with glass coverage, here’s what you need to know.

Start exploring different insurance companies by entering your zip code in our FREE comparison tool. It’s never too late to go comparison shopping.

Which states offer free windshield replacement?

The states that replace windshields for free can certainly make your life easier. Its important to remember that windshield replacement laws differ from one state to another.

STATEREPLACEMENTREPAIRZERO DEDUCTIBLE WITH COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE
AlabamaParts must be like kind and quality and restore vehicle to value before lossNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
AlaskaNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
ArizonaAftermarket parts allowed with written notice and at least equal in terms of fit, quality, performance, and warrantyConsumer has right to choose repair vendorYes - optional
ArkansasAftermarket parts allowed with written notice and at least equal in terms of fit, quality, performance, and warrantyConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
CaliforniaAftermarket parts allowed with written notice and at least equal in terms of fit, quality, performance, and warrantyConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
ColoradoNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
ConnecticutAftermarket and used parts allowed with written noticeConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteYes - optional
DelawareAftermarket and used parts allowed with written notice; consumer may refuse but pays the difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
District of ColumbiaNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
FloridaParts must be of same quality, fit and performanceNo specifications in law found.Yes - state law waives deductible for windshields only
GeorgiaAftermarket and used parts allowed with written notice and guarantee; consumer may refuse but pays the difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
HawaiiNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
IdahoAftermarket crash and used parts allowed with written notice; consumer may refuse but pays the difference in quoteNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
IllinoisAftermarket and used parts allowed with written notice in estimate; consumer may refuse but pays the difference in quoteNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
IndianaConsumer choice of OEM, aftermarket or used if vehicle less than 5 years oldNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
IowaAftermarket crash parts (specifically excluding windshields) may be used if they are “at least equal in kind and quality … in terms of fit, quality and performance, or that the part complies with federal safety standards”, if mentioned in the policy; consumer may refuse but pays difference in quoteNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
KansasInsurance company chooses if using aftermarket parts that are of like kind and qualityInsurance company may choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
KentuckyAftermarket and used parts allowed, consumer may refuse but pays difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteYes - state law waives deductible for auto glass
LouisianaNon-OEM aftermarket crash parts allowed with written noticeMax comprehensive deductible is $250Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
MaineAftermarket and used parts allowed, consumer may refuse but pays difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
MarylandAftermarket parts of like kind and quality and used parts allowed unless insurer had waiver purchased for OEM parts prior to lossConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
MassachusettsOEM parts for 2004 and newer vehicles with less than 20,000 miles and 15,000 miles for 2003 and older vehiclesNo specifications in law found.Yes - optional with no deductible or $100 deductible
MichiganAftermarket parts may be requested by insurance company, but must be identified on written estimateConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
MinnesotaInsurers may choose aftermarket parts for windshields and used OEM parts for all other repairsConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteYes - optional; insurance companies required to offer policy
MississippiInsurers may choose aftermarket parts, and aftermarket crash parts may be used if noted on estimateConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
MissouriAftermarket parts may be used, if stated on the estimate, and the parts are “at least equal in like, kind and quality in terms of fit, quality and performance”Insurer may choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
MontanaNo specifications in law found.Consumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
NebraskaNo specifications in law found.Insurer may choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
NevadaNo specifications in law found.Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
New HampshireAftermarket parts of like kind and quality and used parts allowed unless consumer has two year old or newer vehicle with less than 30,000 miles and requests OEM partsConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
New JerseyNo specifications in law found.Standard comprehensive deductible is $750Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
New MexicoInsurers may choose aftermarket parts if like kind and qualityNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
New YorkAftermarket parts allowed with written notice and at least equal in terms of fit, form, finish, quality, and performanceNo specifications in law found.Yes - optional
North CarolinaAftermarket parts allowed with written notice and at least equal in terms of fit, quality, performance, and warrantyConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
North DakotaInsurers may choose aftermarket parts if comparable to OEMNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
OhioAftermarket parts allowed, consumer may refuse but pays difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
OklahomaAftermarket parts allowedInsurer may choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
OregonInsurers may use aftermarket crash parts if it is at least the same quality with respect to fit, finish, function and corrosion resistanceConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
PennsylvaniaNo specifications in law found.Consumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
Rhode IslandAftermarket parts at least equal in kind and quality may be used unless car is 30 months old or less; then consumer must be notified in writing and gives consentNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
South CarolinaNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Yes - state law waives deductible for auto glass
South DakotaAftermarket crash parts allowed with written notice in estimateConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
TennesseeNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
TexasAftermarket and used parts of like kind and quality allowedConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
UtahAftermarket crash parts allowed with disclosureConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
VermontAftermarket and used parts of like kind and quality allowedConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
VirginiaAftermarket parts allowed if they are at least equal in like kind and quality in terms of fit, quality and performance and a statement appears on the estimateNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
WashingtonAftermarket and used parts of like kind and quality allowed; consumer may refuse but pays the difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendorNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
West VirginiaFor cars younger than 3 years, insurers must use OEM parts unless consumer waives in writingNo specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
WisconsinAftermarket and used parts allowed; consumer may refuse but pays the difference in quoteConsumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quoteNot a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
WyomingNo specifications in law found.No specifications in law found.Not a law - Individual insurance companies may offer with comprehensive coverage.
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What does a basic auto insurance policy cover?

Does State Farm cover windshield damage? Does Progressive cover windshield chip repair? Does Geico cover windshield replacement? All of those questions are natural, but it comes down to the type of auto insurance policy you have, more so than the company you choose. Buying a basic auto insurance policy may save you money when you don’t file a claim.

However, selecting minimum coverage requirements puts you at risk of having to pay for your own repair bills.

Under state law, you’re only required to buy third-party coverage that pays for damages that you cause when you’re in an accident. Common state requirements include:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – pays for third-party medical bills and funeral expenses
  • Property Damage Liability – pays to repair property that you don’t own in an at-fault accident

What is physical damage coverage?

Physical damage coverage is an optional form of coverage that you can add to your insurance policy for an added premium.

The coverage will pay to either repair or replace your covered auto if you have a covered loss. Physical damage coverage consists of the following:

  • Comprehensive – pays for damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, explosion, flood and other non-collision perils
  • Collision – pays to repair damages sustained in a collision with one or more objects

How much does full coverage cost?

The average premium for a full coverage policy in the United States is around $841.00 per year. It costs around $297 per year for collision coverage and $138 per year for comprehensive coverage.

The actual cost for full coverage is based on the vehicle type, your region, your driving record, and other rating factors.

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Which coverage pays for windshield damage?

If you’re specifically worried about buying coverage for your auto glass, you need to be sure to add comprehensive coverage to your policy.

Not only does comprehensive pay when your car is stolen or vandalized, but it also pays for glass breakage that’s sustained in different scenarios.

If a rock flies into your windshield while you’re driving or your car is parked or something falls from a tree, your comprehensive coverage will help cover the cost to get your windshield repaired.

It will even help cover the cost to repair other auto glass if it is damaged in a covered loss.

Is there a deductible to file a glass claim?

Glass claims are unique. Some companies will cover the entire cost to repair a windshield and others will charge you your comprehensive deductible before they will pay. How much does a new windshield cost to replace? The average cost to replace a windshield is around $200. Better to have your insurance company pay rather than you!

It is important to check with your insurer to see if your comprehensive deductible applies to glass claims before you select a high deductible.

Most companies do charge a deductible when you need a full windshield replacement. You may be able to get your deductible waived if you have a chip that can be repaired using resin. This kind of repair is an exception because it saves the company money in the end.

See if there is an endorsement that you can add to your policy to coverage glass claims in full.

If you’re not happy with your current insurer, you should shop for car insurance that will cover all of your needs.

You can easily compare the cost of insurance with different deductibles by using an auto insurance comparison tool. Enter your personal information, select your coverage, and compare quotes instantly.

Start comparing insurance quote today. Just enter your zip code into your free tool below.

References:

  1. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/steering_through_your_auto_policy/Auto_Insurance_Basics.asp
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-comprehensive-coverage-527110
  3. http://www.iii.org/article/auto-insurance-basics-understanding-your-coverage
  4. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-and-Auto-Insurance/State-by-State-Minimum-Coverage-Requirements
  5. http://guides.wsj.com/personal-finance/insurance/how-much-car-insurance-do-you-need/
  6. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/collision-insurance.asp
  7. https://www.thebalance.com/understanding-full-coverage-auto-insurance-527412
  8. http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/auto-insurance
  9. http://money.cnn.com/pf/money-essentials-car-insurance/
  10. http://doi.sc.gov/588/Automobile-Insurance