Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • Various windows can break across the car
  • The reason for the broken window will determine if insurance provides coverage
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage should be added to a basic policy

Car windows can break at any time. Broken glass can occur in the following situations:

  • accidents
  • road debris
  • vandalism

The coverage you have on your auto insurance policy will determine if you are covered.

Compare car insurance quotes and find the coverage you desire at the best price.

Types of Windows in Your Car


When you deal with broken windows, insurance companies will want to know what window or windows have broken. Since they are all made of glass, they all have an equal chance of breaking. Much of the damage will depend on the type of accident.

The different windows that could break include:

  • Windshield
  • Driver’s side windows
  • Passenger’s side windows
  • Rear window

Depending on the make and model of your car, you might have other windows as well. These might include a sunroof window, a window attached to the hatch, as well as smaller windows that don’t open but are part of the overall design of the car.

With so many different types of windows, there are varied replacement costs.

Some windows are also harder to install, making them more costly for the labor.

When you file a claim with the insurance company, they will have you get quotes on repairs.

If the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, you then have to decide whether you want to continue with the claims process for the insurance company to pay for the repairs.

If the cost to replace a window is $600 and you have a $1,000 deductible, the car insurance company will not pay for the repair.

In other instances, the window is just one part of the total amount of damage and therefore the window repair would be covered along with all of the other repairs.

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How Windows Break

Windows break in a variety of ways. Most car manufacturers today use tempered glass. Tempered glass is stronger than the glass you might have at your home. It’s capable of withstanding a lot before it cracks or shatters.

The most common reasons for glass breaking are:

  • Car crash
  • Road debris (such as rocks)
  • Flying debris (something flew out of another car and struck your window)
  • Vandalism (baseball bat, bullets, etc.)

Insurance companies need to know how the window broke when you call to file a claim. Only certain reasons will be covered by your policy.

Some of your coverage should be based on how windows break. If you live in a high crime area or an area where there is a lot of road debris or car accidents, you may want to pay a little more to have a higher level of coverage.

Forms of Insurance to Have


Auto insurance is mandatory. However, you are only required to have a basic insurance policy, which is the liability insurance that the state requires you to have.

You have the option to add-on more coverage to your policy.

Adding on various types of coverage and at higher amounts is recommended so you’re covered against more “what if” scenarios, including broken windows.

The different types of coverage below will show you how you could be covered by broken windows.

  • Property damage – If you’re at fault in a crash, the property damage liability will replace all of the windows of the other vehicle that are cracked or shattered in the accident.
  • Comprehensive – If you experience a broken window because of a non-driving related incident, such as hail, road debris, or something else, this coverage will cover the window replacement.
  • Collision – If you have an accident where you are at fault and your window breaks, this coverage will provide the window replacement.

Insurance will only cover the cost of the damage up to the level you have on your policy.

You can often increase coverage by $10,000 or more without spending much more per month on your premiums.

The more coverage you have, the better protected you are from all of the various things that could happen to you and your vehicle, on and off the road.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

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