Should I have my car windshield replaced or repaired?
Generally this is a choice only if you act quickly upon getting a stone chip or small crack in your
windshield. Over time and with temperature changes, small stone chips and cracks in your
windshield often spread into a larger crack. Turning on your warm defroster on a very cold day
is one of the most common ways to cause a crack or chip to spread.
Glass companies are quite good at filling many cracks and stone chips in your windshield and it
can even save you money. Most often, insurance companies will waive your deductible for a
class claim if you simply have it repaired (filled) in lieu of replacing the entire windshield. For
most people this can be a $100 to $250 savings. The rationale here is that you are saving the
insurance company money, even when they waive the deductible, so it only makes sense that
you have a financial incentive to do this. I've been told that when filling a stone chip that the
best results occur when you tend to this repair quickly - before contaminants enter the crack or
chip. Some glass shops report successfully repairing cracks up to the size of a dollar bill.
Ultimately you should seek the counsel of the automotive glass company that you select to
determine if a repair is possible. Generally a good glass shop will employ well trained and
certified individuals who can help you with this decision. One more note...if having your entire
windshield replaced, be sure to ask how long before you can safely operate your car. In today's
car designs, windshields play an important safety role in protecting the occupants of your vehicle
and the adhesives used need ample time to cure, which varies with the temperature that they are
Lastly, remember that your windshield is a safety item. It is important that it provide you with
good visibility, without the distraction of damage, and that it is properly adhered to your vehicle
per the manufacturers specifications.
These explanations are intended to provide a simple understanding of some of the basic provisions
found in most insurance policies. Sometimes simple explanations do not address all of the
particular circumstances of a claim, nor may they take into consideration case law or other
provisions within a policy. This FAQ section of the website does not replace, alter or amend any
language in your policy, its terms, conditions or exclusions.
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