If your automobile’s windshield gets damaged from a loose rock or piece of debris, report it to your insurance company as soon as possible – no matter how small. If you have comprehensive coverage, it may offer windshield replacement. You can find out quickly by calling your insurance agent and asking if your policy includes repairing a crack or installing a new windshield altogether. The insurance agent will likely ask you:
- The size of the crack
- The type of crack
- How it occurred
- When it occurred
- Where the damage is (driver’s line of sight, etc.)
Can It Be Fixed?
Rock chips are the most common type of windshield damage, as well as the easiest to repair when addressed quickly. These chips occur when a small pit is formed on the outer layer of glass. The half-moon and star crack, which has points extending from its center, can be ground down and filled with a resin compound to prevent it from spreading. The bull’s eye is circular and looks self-contained, with the change in temperature during the day, the crack will likely spread over time due to the expansion and contractions of the glass.
If the windshield chip is about the size of a quarter, you can probably have it repaired. If it is larger or crosses the driver’s line of sight, an entire windshield replacement may be necessary. Regardless of the type, cracks can spread due to temperature changes. Debris entering the notch can limit the ability for repair.
Will a Claim Increase My Premiums?
While an accident may increase your premium, contrary to popular belief, many insurance companies are not likely to raise your premiums for a windshield claim. Often you may not even be required to pay the deductible if you are getting the window repaired instead of replacement. If you find that your deductible is more than the repair itself, you don’t need to use your insurance, but can instead pay it entirely out of pocket. While a chip may seem small today, it can quickly grow into a larger issue.