Have you ever had a chip or a crack in your windshield? If you have, you may know just how expensive it is to get your windshield repaired or replaced. Fortunately, if you have the right type of car insurance, your glass damage is typically covered at 100 percent by your insurance agency, meaning you won’t pay a deductible.
How Glass Damage Occurs
The earliest windshields were made from a single layer basic type of glass that would shatter anytime if anything hit it. Due to the stunning amount of injuries caused by the flying glass, automakers began using tempered glass. In the 1950s, the multi-layer windshield was invented, which uses two pieces of glass with a polyvinyl butyral layer in the middle. Today, the multi-layer windshield is considered the safest version and is typically required by law because when a rock or flying debris strike it, only the outer most layer of the windshield is damaged. It also means that if the damage is light, the windshield can be repaired rather than entirely replaced.
- Road Debris – Flying rocks thrown upward from the car in front of you and flying debris from dump trucks can hit your windshield, causing chips and cracks. To avoid this type of damage, it’s important to not follow other vehicles too closely.
- Weather Damage – High winds can throw branches and small pebbles onto the windshield of your car, which can result in small chips and cracks in the glass. When parking for the night, it’s best to avoid spots under trees, and if possible, always park your car in a garage.
- Hot/Cold Temperature Changes – During the summer, it’s important to pay attention to the temperature of your windshield before washing your car. If your windshield is excessively hot and you throw cold water onto it, it causes rapid thermal shrinking of the glass, which can result in deep crack s that will have to be repaired.
Why Comprehensive Car Insurance Is Important
When your car’s windshield is cracked due to flying road debris, falling objects, wear and tear or heat stress, you typically have two choices. You can pay for the repairs out of your personal finances, or you can file a claim with your insurance company, assuming you have comprehensive insurance coverage.
Comprehensive car insurance covers damage to your vehicle, including the windshield, that is not the result of hitting another vehicle or object with your car. Instead, it covers things like theft, vandalism, certain types of weather damage, and damage from road debris or falling objects. It’s important to understand that comprehensive car insurance is not required by law, which means it may not be included in your current auto insurance policy. This is especially true if you only have state minimum insurance or liability insurance.
To check to see if you have comprehensive car insurance on your current policy or to add comprehensive car insurance, you can call our Rolling Meadows, IL insurance agent. Once your comprehensive policy is in place, you’ll have coverage for damage that is caused to your vehicle from falling and flying objects.
Understanding How Windshield Glass Is Repaired or Replaced
When it comes to making the determination of whether to repair your windshield or replace it, it depends on the damage. If your windshield has a chip with no cracking or minimal cracking, it’s likely it can be repaired by injecting a special resin into the chip and letting it cure. Since chips can crack, it’s important to get the chip repaired as soon as you notice it. If you delay, you could need to have your entire windshield replaced.
If the object that hit your windshield cracked it, and the crack is fairly long, your entire windshield may need to be replaced. In this instance, your old windshield is removed and a new windshield is installed. The good news is that both of these repairs can usually be performed by a mobile glass repair unit, which means you won’t have to travel to the glass repair shop.