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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Here's what you need to know...

  • Auto insurance policies include third-party coverage to pay for someone else’s damages
  • Vehicle owners also have the option to purchase physical damage coverage and other first-party coverage options that pay to repair their vehicle or pay their medical bills
  • When you carry physical damage coverage, it’s your comprehensive coverage that will pay for fire damage, vandalism, damage from falling objects, flood and weather-related damage and glass breakage

A small airborne pebble can easily turn into your windshield’s worst enemy if you’re driving on the highway. All it takes is for a small rock or a piece of debris falling off of a truck to hit your safety glass just right for it to chip or crack it.

That’s why it’s important to protect yourself from the costs associated with windshield repairs. It’s true that windshields can endure a variety of damage and very often they don’t need to be replaced fully. Small cracks can easily be recovered, but it depends on the size and location.

The average cost to replace a windshield with quality glass is around $255, with some luxury models costing significantly more.

Since cracks in your windshield can be deemed a safety hazard, repairing them immediately is a must. Luckily, you might not have to pay hundreds of dollars just to get back on the road.

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Can you get coverage for windows with a basic policy?


A basic auto insurance policy is a plan that includes nothing more than the coverage that’s required by law in your state of residence.

In most cases, you’re required by law to carry Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverage.

While these coverage options do protect your assets, they don’t protect your vehicle.

Liability insurance pays for third-party damages and not for damages to what you own.

Having basic auto insurance will satisfy the law and help you avoid penalties, but it won’t provide you with any type of added protection for your car. In order to do this, you need to purchase physical damage coverage.

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What type of physical damage coverage do you need for glass coverage?

When you’re building a plan, you can choose between comprehensive and collision insurance coverage for your car. You can either carry only comprehensive or both, but having only collision isn’t an option.

If you’re primarily concerned with glass coverage, you’ll need to carry at least comprehensive insurance.

What does comprehensive auto insurance cover?

A comprehensive policy, which is also called Other Than Collision or OTC, is physical damage protection that pays for losses that don’t involve colliding with another object or vehicle.

The coverage will pay up to your vehicle’s actual cash value for repairs to restore the car to its pre-loss condition. Claims that you make are subject to a comprehensive deductible.

How is glass breakage covered?

available auto insurance discounts you should always ask about

Surprisingly enough, glass damage and repairs are two of the most common types of claims made against car insurance policies.

One reason is because chips and cracks are common. Another reason is that filing an insurance claim for glass repair won’t have an impact on your car insurance rates.

A cracked windshield caused by road debris doesn’t make you a risk driver, therefore you won’t see your premiums increase. However, if the cost of repairs exceeds the deductible, you’ll want to file a claim.

That’s because comp claims are almost always deemed nonchargeable.

Glass breakages falls specifically under comprehensive insurance coverage, all types of auto glass, including your windshield, moon roof, and back glass.

The policy will either pay a reasonable cost to replace the glass or the fee to repair it if possible. Just remember, no insurer will pay more than the vehicle’s worth to do any repair.

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What incentives do you get when your chips are repaired early?

Chips and cracks may be able to be repaired before they get large. If you’ve noticed a small chip, you might want to rush to get the chip repaired with a quality resin.

One of the incentives to getting the repairs made while the chip is still smaller than a quarter is that your insurer might waive your deductible.

Considering the fact that a chip repair only costs around $70, it can save the auto glass repair company money and help ensure that you’re safe at all times on the road.

If you’re not familiar with the coverage on your policy, it’s time to take a look at your declaration’s page.

The cost to add comprehensive coverage may be low if you have a safe vehicle and a good claims record.

Use an online quoting tool to compare rates. Once you can look at the costs, you’ll be able to decide whether or not you’re getting a fair deal. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool below to compare car insurance rates now!