If your car window breaks due to various conditions such as theft, accidents, vandalism, or weather, you may be able to submit an insurance claim. Depending on your rates, deductible, and coverage, your insurance can help you find and pay for repairs and replacements. Learning about the process and coverage for a broken car window insurance claim can help you determine the best way to handle the situation.
What To Do If Your Window Breaks
Depending on the reasons and situations surrounding your broken window, you may follow different steps and processes to document the issue and file your claim. Here are some methods and steps to take:
1. Document the Damage
Before carefully cleaning or removing any broken pieces and shards of glass, ensure that you take photos of the damage and the location of your vehicle. You can use your phone or other devices to document the issue and provide proof of the damages if it becomes disputed by the insurance provider or others involved. Having physical evidence with the time, location, and extent of damages can help support your police report and insurance claims when necessary.
2. File a Police Report
If the damage to your vehicle seems like theft or vandalism, you can file a police report including the time, location, and state of your vehicle and any missing items or belongings. Your car insurance policy won’t cover the cost of your personal items, but the police report and list of belongings can help with other renters or homeowner insurance claims. This step also provides further evidence to support your insurance claim.
3. Get a Repair Estimate
After documenting and reporting your damage, you may begin comparing and reviewing your options for a repair or replacement. In some cases, such as when your insurance policy has a high deductible or penalty for submitting claims, it can be cheaper to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket without submitting a claim. This can ensure that the insurance company doesn’t raise your future rates based on your claim history and may save you money in the long run. Research different repair options to get a general idea of the cost of repairs with and without insurance to determine your next steps.
4. File a Claim
If you decide to file a claim with your insurance company, use the photos and police documents to submit your proof of damages and support the timing, location, and extent of your issue. Submit your documents and claim in a timely manner so you can schedule repairs soon and maintain the safety of your vehicle. Your insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to assess and quote the costs and situation of the damage before releasing funds for a repair.
Factors That Affect Your Claim
Once you file a claim with your insurance provider, the exact payments, terms, and repairs can vary based on other factors. Here are some common terms and elements that can affect your insurance claim:
Your car insurance policy most likely includes a standard annual deductible. A car insurance deductible requires you to pay the set amount without assistance from the insurance provider before your claims become covered by your policy. The amount of your deductible and any other claims or costs that contribute to your policy from the year can determine whether your insurance provider pays for the repairs associated with your broken window.
The type of insurance policy that you hold determines the extent of your coverage. Before submitting your claim, read over your policy for the exact terms. Most providers and plans require comprehensive or collision coverage, but some policies and providers may also include a special glass coverage section. Use the policy terms and resources from your provider to analyze the best course of action and estimate the assistance provided by your plan.
Types of Coverage
The exact coverage, assistance, and funds provided by your insurance company depend on the type of insurance and coverage you select and pay for. Here are the three most common coverage options:
Comprehensive coverage refers to an insurance policy that covers a large range of accidents, damages, and situations for your vehicle. In the case of a broken window caused by suspected theft, a comprehensive coverage policy likely covers the cost of replacing or repairing the glass. This kind of assistance and claim typically requires you to hold a full coverage policy.
A liability coverage policy focuses on covering the expenses of other drivers and vehicles in the case of a collision. This type of coverage offers no aid and claims for the driver who holds the policy. Drivers who only hold liability coverage cannot file a report or receive coverage for a broken car window. However, if your window breaks as a result of a collision where the other driver assumes the fault, the liability policy of the other driver will cover the repair costs for your vehicle.
An insurance policy that includes a collision coverage plan provides you with protection and funds for repairs related to an auto accident or issue with outside factors such as fallen trees and weather conditions. If your car window breaks as a result of a collision or external object, your collision coverage may accept your claim and provide you with reimbursement for your repairs. If you submit a claim for your collision coverage, ensure that you include documented proof of the damages and conditions to support your case and provide evidence.
Handling a broken car window can be stressful, but knowing your insurance and coverage terms can help you determine the best course of action. Having a comprehensive or collision insurance policy can cover the cost of a new window or related repairs, but you may also want to consider your deductible and insurance rates before filing your claim.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.