The structural integrity of your windshield is vitally important -- your car's windshield is the only thing protecting you from debris, leaves, insects, and small chunks of gravel being hurtled into your face at 65 miles per hour. Most chips and cracks in your windshield can be repaired at a very low cost, although in most cases your auto insurance policy will cover the minimal cost of these repairs. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, and you may find yourself unexpectedly paying for certain expenses with your own funds. Read on to learn more about situations in which you may find yourself paying out of pocket for these windshield repairs.
You don't have a separate auto glass deductible
Most personal auto insurance policies provide separate auto glass coverage at a minimal cost. However, if you don't choose a low (or $0) deductible for this policy, you'll likely wind up paying most of the repair costs out of pocket, as it's unlikely that the cost of these repairs will exceed your deductible. If you'd like to have occasional minor chips or cracks repaired for free, you'll want to invest in an auto glass policy with a $0 deductible to ensure that you'll be willing to repair small problems before they turn into large ones.
Your windshield was damaged during a collision that was your fault
If you were involved in an at-fault accident that damaged your windshield, this damage will be covered by your general collision policy, rather than your auto glass policy. This means that you'll be required to pay your collision deductible (this can range from $0 to $2,500, but is generally in the $500 to $1,000 range) in order to have your windshield repaired along with the other damage to your vehicle. Fortunately, if the windshield is damaged through an accident that is not your fault, you won't be required to pay any costs associated with its replacement.
You damaged your windshield through negligence
Although your auto insurance policy will cover any damage to your windshield caused by factors beyond your control -- such as hitting a pothole or finding yourself driving behind a gravel truck -- this policy may not cover damage that was caused by clear negligence. For instance, if your windshield is smashed after a tree you're cutting falls on it or when you drunkenly jump over the top of your vehicle, you'll likely be paying for these repairs out of pocket.
For more information, speak with experts like All Auto Glass.