A cracked windshield can result from many things and range from a tiny chip to a full-window crack. No matter the size, it is annoying—but it can also be unsafe. A damaged windshield may be unlikely to shatter, but it is possible. You do not want to be driving down the road and have it shatter onto you in a million pieces. It is important to get it fixed as soon as possible and that means you may have to file an insurance claim, but will a windshield claim increase your insurance premium?
Does a windshield claim lead to increased rates?
Damaged auto glass may generate more insurance claims than any other vehicle repair. Weather events like hail, other cars kicking up debris on the road, accidentally striking an animal, or even a small pebble can cause major damage to your windshield. But is your windshield covered by insurance? If you have comprehensive auto coverage, then you may be covered for glass repair or replacement. But will filing a claim result in an auto insurance rate increase? The answer depends. Review your policy online or contact your local insurance agent to make sure you understand your auto insurance coverage.
Should I file a claim? You can always file a claim or contact your insurance company for assistance. Several factors, including the extent of damage, the cost of windshield repair or replacement and how much your deductible is should be taken into consideration. If the damage is minor and would cost less than your insurance deductible, it may not be worth filing a claim if the out-of-pocket windshield repair cost is minimal. But if the damage is substantial and windshield repair or replacement costs are more than your deductible, it may save you money to file a claim.
What does it cost to repair or replace a windshield? According to Glass.net, a subsidiary of Safelite Auto Glass, repairing a windshield can cost between $80-150. The average cost for a windshield replacement ranges from $274.69 to $278.15 in Indiana, but fully replacing a windshield could run up to $1,158.70. At Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, our average repair cost is $77.45 and the average replacement cost is $586.83.
Tips to minimize the impact of premium increases in Indiana
Occasionally, insurance premiums do increase. It isn’t desirable, but if it does happen know that there are ways to proactively minimize the impact of an increase.
Purchase glass coverage
Many automobile policies provide coverage for glass damage under Comprehensive, or Other Than Collision. Be sure to review your auto insurance policy to know for sure. Some companies offer waiver of deductible or separate glass-only deductibles, while some companies offer additional glass coverage that you can purchase.
At Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, a glass claim is covered by Other Than Collision Coverage. Our lowest auto policy deductible available is $100. However, if a windshield is repairable, we will waive the deductible (certain limitations apply). If the windshield needs to be replaced, the deductible is applied, and your insurance policy will provide coverage for the difference.
Review your auto insurance policy windshield coverage
As we said, most automobile policies cover a damaged or broken windshield under Other Than Collision Coverage, but not every policy does. The only way to know for sure is to review your auto insurance policy. If you have policy questions, reach out to a local agent.
Consider paying small windshield repair costs out-of-pocket
Even though Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance will waive your deductible to repair a windshield (subject to certain limitations), not every company will. But whether they do or not, you should consider the cost and the amount of risk you are willing to accept. If the amount of the repair is minimal, or less than your deductible, consider paying the out-of-pocket windshield replacement cost. By doing this, you can avoid filing an insurance claim. Luckily, many minor chips or cracks can be fixed at a glass repair shop for little to no cost, making filing a claim unnecessary in certain situations.
File glass claims sparingly
Ultimately, filing a claim is an individual choice, but you have insurance to protect you when you need it. Though filing a claim does not mean that your insurance premium will go up, it may impact your insurance record. When the insurance company re-evaluates your premium (which they do periodically), they will consider claims history among many other factors. That is why it can be best to pay small claims out of pocket if you can afford to. However, if you aren’t able to cover the repair or replacement cost on your own, don’t fear filing an auto glass insurance claim.
Maintain a good driving record
Being a safe and responsible driver may impact your auto insurance rates. Having a history of poor driving habits could negatively affect your insurance premiums (and even your ability to get insurance). When periodically re-evaluating your coverage, or when you apply for new insurance coverage, underwriters examine many things, including your driving record, to determine what type of risk you are and what the appropriate insurance premium is. It is important for your safety and your wallet to practice safe driving habits while on the road.
So, does a windshield claim increase the cost of your insurance? There is no exact answer. Whether it does or not, there are a lot of options that can help keep your premiums stable or offset an increase. As they say, the best offense is a good defense, so one of the best things you can do is be a safe and responsible driver.
If you’re looking to purchase a new auto insurance policy or add additional coverage to your current policy, request a free quote online and one of our local Indiana insurance agents will reach out to you.
If you want to talk to someone now, contact one of our local insurance agents today.
Does my insurance cover windshield replacement?
Depending on what auto insurance coverage you have, windshield replacement may be covered. If it is damaged by falling objects (like a rock), theft or severe weather you would need to have Comprehensive, or Other Than Collision Coverage on your policy. If the windshield is damaged resulting from an automobile accident, it may be covered under Collision Coverage.
Is windshield damage covered under Other Than Collision Coverage?
At Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, windshield damage is covered under Other Than Collision Coverage after the applicable deductible. If the damage to the windshield can be repaired rather than having to be replaced, we will waive the deductible (subject to some limitations).
Can I file a windshield claim without increasing my rates?
Insurance companies periodically re-evaluate your risk. If you have many claims, a poor driving record or other indications that you are a high risk, then your insurance premiums may increase. If the amount to repair or replace the windshield is minimal, you may consider paying for it yourself, even if you have already filed a claim.
How much is my windshield deductible in Indiana?
Your windshield deductible depends on your insurance company. Some companies offer a $0 deductible or have a separate glass-only deductible. At Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the lowest deductible available on Other-Than-Collision Coverage is $100. There are various levels of deductibles available; usually, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
Will my insurer drop me if I file a windshield claim?
When you file any claim, it does not necessarily mean your insurance premiums will go up or that your insurance company will drop you. Many factors go into these decisions.
Overall, if you find yourself with a damaged windshield, the best thing to do is to take it in for an estimate. Many companies will do an inspection at no cost. After getting a quote you can decide how to proceed.
If you have questions, you may reach out to a local Indiana agent today.