Repairing or replacing auto glass is more expensive than you might think. Plus, it’s often something you can’t ignore due to state vehicle safety inspection requirements.
For example, Rhode Island drivers can’t ignore cracks that allow the glass to move or that damage the safety seal inside the glass layers. They must also attend to major damage directly in the driver’s field of vision. Otherwise, their registration can be suspended until they bring their vehicle into compliance.
Even if your vehicle has a damaged windshield and passes inspection, it’s unwise to ignore this essential safety feature. Small problems can turn into major hazards when ignored which increases risk significantly.
Auto Insurance Policies Don’t Automatically Offer Glass Coverage
Don’t assume your Rhode Island auto insurance policy includes glass coverage. Generally, you need either comprehensive or collision coverages. Each coverage offers glass protection, but when depends on the cause of the damage.
Comprehensive would apply if your vehicle’s glass is damaged due to a covered peril. Policies vary, but they usually cover incidents such as hitting an animal, vandalism, hail, or damage caused by debris.
Collision coverage would apply if you’re involved in an accident. Broken, cracked, or chipped glass caused by a car crash when the other driver is at-fault could be paid by their insurance. Nonetheless, you would need to file a claim and pay your deductible.
Should You File a Claim?
If the cost of repairing your vehicle’s glass exceeds your deductible by a significant amount, you may want to file a claim. However, you may find it is cheaper and easier to pay for the work yourself.
It’s simple to get multiple estimates online by inputting your zip code and your car’s make and model. Glass for rare vehicles may also cost considerably more to repair or replace than common models.
Quotes will give you a good ballpark figure, but remember if you file a claim your insurer may decide who does the work. Hopefully, the amount would be relatively close to the estimates you obtained.
Regardless, you should also consider whether a claim will increase your premiums. It may not make sense to claim for a windshield and then pay higher premiums for years. Talk to your insurance agent before you make a decision.
What If You Don’t Have Glass Coverage?
Most times, you can add full glass coverage onto your personal auto policy easily by adding a rider to your comprehensive coverage. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase this coverage on its own.
However, adding this protection to your primary car insurance policy increases coverage to include glass up to the policy limit, without paying a deductible. This includes any chipped, cracked, or broken glass such as the windshield or other windows in your car.
Coverage can be added or removed at any time for each individual vehicle. It is also affordable and more convenient. Your insurer deals directly with the glass shop and you typically don’t pay a dime.
If you do not have comprehensive coverage, you will pay out-of-pocket for repairs or replacement. While repairs are less expensive, they aren’t always possible if glass is badly damaged.
If you’re unsure if your current auto insurance policy included glass coverage, give us a call!