Your windshield might get cracks when hit by a tree branch, a coconut, or a rock when parked on the road, under a tree or a construction building. Comprehensive car insurance will cover damage to the windshield but not thrid-party liablity insurance. If however, the damage was a result of an accident then the insurance can pay for the repair or replacement of the windshield.
Comprehensive car insurance for broken windshield
If you are in confusion whether your car insurance policy covers the damages caused to the windshield or not, the answer is ‘yes’, but only if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. Any damage caused to your car’s windshield can be fixed without any out-of-pocket expense if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. However, damages caused to the windshield of your car will not be covered by the insurer if you own a basic third-party liability insurance mandatory for every car owner in India.
Even if you don’t have a comprehensive insurance policy, in a situation where your car is accidentally hit by another third-party vehicle causing damages to the windshield, the insurer of the other car involved in the accident is liable to pay for the repairing cost of your car’s windshield. You can file a claim with the third-party vehicle owner in such cases. If your claim is found to be valid, the cost of repair or replacement of your windshield will be borne by the third-party insurer.
Windshield repair costs borne under a comprehensive policy
A comprehensive car insurance policy covers the expenses incurred due to the repair and replacement of a chipped, cracked, or broken windshield. However, in such cases you can file a car insurance claim with your insurer only if the cause of the damage is covered under your policy. While some policies cover only the cost of repair, others cover the cost of both repair and replacement. Based on your policy terms you may get the repair done free of cost from a cashless garage or have to pay a certain amount out of your pocket.
However, if you don’t own a comprehensive car insurance policy and the damage to your windshield is not caused by any third-party vehicle you will have to pay for the repair or replacement on your own. The cost will not be borne by your insurer.
Windshield damages covered under a comprehensive policy
The windshield of your car may break or have a crack as a result of a collision or non-collision. A comprehensive car insurance policy covers all physical damages caused to your car’s windshield due to collision and non-collision. This includes damages caused to the windshield due to man-made calamities such as accident, vandalism, fire, etc. and other natural calamities like storm, flood, hailstorm, etc. You can file a claim with your insurer for windshield repair in the following circumstances:
- Tree branches, rocks etc. falling on the glass
- Pebbles and debris hitting the windshield while driving
- Hails falling on the windshield during storm
- Baseball or football crashing into the windshield
- Animals colliding with the windshield
- Damages caused due to acts of vandalism
Windshield repair claim filing
Repairing or replacing a cracked windshield is an expensive affair. Don't hesitate to make claims with your insurer in such cases. Inform the insurer about the damage and file a claim for windshield repair. You can either write an application or submit a claim online. In case the windshield of your car is destroyed due to an act of vandalism, you should at first call the police, obtain a FIR and then file the claim with your insurer.
Next, take your car to a cashless garage that your company has tie-ups to avail a cashless facility. The experts present in the garage will inspect the damage and suggest you a repair or replacement. If the windshield is cracked or partially damaged, the experts may recommend a repair. However, in case of full damage a replacement might be suggested. In both the cases, if the events leading to the damage are covered under the policy the insurer will bear the cost.
If you don’t want to get the repairing done from a network garage, you can also choose a different repair shop. In case you choose any other garage, submit the bills to the insurance company at the time of claiming for reimbursement. You will also have to submit the documents asked for by the insurer.
Consider the deductibles before making a claim
When you file a claim, you may have to pay compulsory and voluntary deductibles as per the percentage chosen at the time of policy purchase. In case it is required, compare the cost of replacement/repair with your deductible amount. If the estimated cost of your windshield repair is less or slightly more than the deductible then it is not worthwhile to make a claim. However, there are certain car insurance companies which offer windshield repair without the payment of a deductible. Confirm this with your insurer before you proceed.
It not safe to drive with a broken windshield as may impact your driving skills. Your front visions may appear unclear and while driving on bumpy roads the broken pieces may fall off. Hence, as soon as you notice a broken windshield, use your comprehensive car insurance policy to repair or replace it. If you don’t have one apply for it online. It will safeguard you and your car against any damages resulted due to natural and man-made calamities. However, before going for a windshield repair check the policy terms and confirm all the details with your insurer. This will give you a clear idea and you won’t end up paying anything unexpected towards the repair.