Should I file a windshield claim?

Should I file a claim to replace my cracked windshield? I've heard that filing a windshield claim can raise my car insurance rates higher than what the claim amount would be.

Whether or not you file a car insurance claim to repair a cracked or broken windshield depends on a couple of factors. First, how high is your comprehensive coverage deductible? If you have a $500 deductible or higher, the cost of your windshield will not meet your deductible and you will not receive a payment from your car insurance company. But even filing a claim, even though no amount is paid, will show up on your claims history.

Second, if you have a $200 or $250 deductible, you might call a glass company to see how much it actually costs to repair your windshield before filing a claim. For example, I had a windshield claim on my 2006 Honda Odyssey minivan. I filed a claim thinking the windshield would cost $400-$500 to replace. After my $250 deductible was paid, my car insurance company only paid $19! Had I known prior to filing the claim that I would only be receiving a $19 benefit, I would not have filed the windshield claim. Car insurance companies often receive special pricing on windshield replacements from contracted glass companies such as Safelite, so make sure you find out what the company would pay, rather than you as a consumer.

Third, most car insurance companies do not surcharge for glass claims. So even though my own glass claim was only $19, it will not impact my renewal rates. Both glass chip repair and replacement windshields are considered unavoidable comprehensive claims, so most insurers won't raise your rates for having those repairs made.

If your present insurance company does surcharge for glass repairs, it's time to find a new car insurance company! You can obtain competitive rate quotes from the top insurers in your area simply by entering your zip code below and completing the fast, free quote form.

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