Should I File a Glass Claim for My Cracked Windshield?

Written by Rebekah Morris

You’re riding down I-20 in Columbia toward Augusta. A gravel truck in front of you hits a pot hole and gravel bounces out and hits your windshield, causing a small crack that you know will eventually spread into a large crack. You need to get it fixed. Possible glass claim!

Should you file a glass claim with your insurance company, and can filing too many glass claims hurt your insurability?  Unfortunately, this will not be a straightforward answer, so let’s start digging. 

In the state of South Carolina, insurance carriers have a $0 deductible for glass claims. So, while you do not have to pay a deductible as you would for a collision or any other type of comprehensive claim, your insurance carrier does. 

Now, a typical glass claim can range from $500-$1,500 depending on the type of vehicle and windshield you have. It is easy to forget that windshields now are more than a simple piece of glass like they used to be. Windshields now have defrosters in them, they come already tinted, and some include cameras. These are just a few features that can be built into your windshield.  With those features come more expensive costs. 

Let me give you an example: Let’s say your windshield costs $1,200 to replace and your annual auto premium is $1,600.  If you have more than one glass claim during a policy period, the company is already losing money on you as an insured.  And as with every business, insurance carriers need to make money to stay in business.

So, while a glass claim every now and again may not affect your rates, filing multiple glass claims per year could affect your insurability, as the insurance carriers are losing money on you as an insured. I do feel it is worth mentioning that, while not all insurance carriers charge harshly or at all for them, glass claims are still listed as claims.  We tend to forget that since we don’t have to pay a deductible. 

As my economics teacher in high school taught me, there is no free lunch.  The same can be said for windshields: There is no free windshield. Someone has to pay for it.

Of course, the best defense is good offense. Check out these tips from Glass America to avoid a cracked windshield in the first place.

But if you do face a damaged windshield and you cannot decide whether you should file a glass claim, call your local agent for advice for your specific situation.