It can happen to anyone. Your car was parked next to a construction site, a huge tree, or even the neighbourhood sporting arena and you realise that the choice of that parking space was a bad idea. There is a gaping crack on your windshield converting it into an expensive inconvenience that demands immediate attention. You know that driving a car that way makes you vulnerable to getting slapped with a fine.
The reason for the crack in your windshield and the party that was at fault will determine whether the event is offered coverage under your car insurance policy. A comprehensive car insurance plan usually covers situations like weather-related damages, vandalism, and animal collision. However, you should confirm whether these events are offered coverage under your policy by reading through the policy documentation or by contacting your insurance company.
The Dangers Of A Cracked Windshield
Windshields offer a layer of safety for your vehicle. In addition to protecting the driver and passengers from the wind, it also keeps insects and flying debris out of the vehicle. Windshields also enable you to drive safely through a snowstorm, rainstorm, or any such harsh weather conditions.
Chipped or cracked windshields may shatter in on you while you are driving. So, if you have a cracked windshield, driving the vehicle would become more dangerous. You should avoid doing that at any cost. Correcting cracked windshields early on can save you a lot of effort and money later on.
Cracked Windshield Caused By An Accident
After an accident, the reimbursement for windshield repair is dependent on the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver.
- Scenario 1 - Consider a scenario in which you have only third-party liability insurance cover. If you were at fault for an accident in which a third party suffers a broken windshield, your car insurance company will pay for the same under your third-party liability plan. However, if you has comprehensive car insurance protection, the policy will also pay you for a broken windshield in your car.
- Scenario 2 - Suppose you are involved in an accident in which your windshield was cracked. If the at-fault driver was the other person, his/her third-party liability insurance plan will offer coverage for your broken windshield. If you are unlucky and the other party does not have the mandated third-party liability insurance coverage, then your insurance company will pay for your windshield damage, provided that you have a comprehensive car insurance plan.
Cracked Windshield Caused By Non-Collision
We know that windshields are not only broken by collisions on the road. Your car may have been vandalised by a group of anti-social elements. A wayward stone from a nearby speeding truck can cause a freakish accident, shattering your windshield. As indicated above, a comprehensive car insurance policy will pay for damages that are non-collision related.
So, that is one more reason for you to pick a comprehensive insurance plan for your prized set of wheels!
How To Repair A Cracked Windshield
- The first thing to do when you see the crack on your windshield is to inform your car insurance provider. You can do this either by calling up the insurance company’s official number or by sending them an email. They will inform you of the next steps.
- Generally, you will be required to submit a claim form with all relevant information and get the windshield repaired.
- The repair work can be done at a network garage that is affiliated to your car insurance provider. This way, you need not pay for the repairs upfront. The car insurance company will settle the bills directly with the network garage after the repair work.
- Alternatively, you can get the repair done at a garage of your choice. This way, you will be required to pay for the repair work and then raise a reimbursement claim with your insurance company. However, when taking this route, you should ensure that the service centre you choose is a reputable one and the parts they affix meet the required safety standards.
Consider The Deductibles
Before raising a windshield repair claim, you should understand whether you will be required to pay the compulsory and voluntary deductibles. Compare the cost of replacement/repair with your deductible amount. If your deductible is greater than the estimated cost of repair, then it makes sense to pay for the repair work yourself. Some car insurance companies may offer windshield repair without the payment of a deductible. So, check this with your insurance provider before raising a claim.
Another point to note is the potential impact the claim has on your renewal premium. In most cases, car insurance companies do not increase your renewal premium after glass damage claims. However, this varies from insurer to insurer. So you have to consider all these factors before actually filing the claim.
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