You’re driving through Jefferson when you hear a smash. A crack appears in your windshield, and you feel like your wallet just cracked as well. Continue reading to learn what to do next.
Document the Accident
A broken windshield is just like any other accident. You should document it as soon as it happens.
If a rock or other object flew out of a truck, flag the driver down. Those “not liable for damage” signs often carry little to no legal weight. If the truck driver refuses to stop and exchange information, take down the license plate number and call the police. Also, take a picture if you’re able to do so safely.
If you’re driving through a construction zone or other area with debris and something got kicked up by someone else’s tire, that driver usually won’t be responsible, but whoever is responsible for the debris on the road could be. Pull over in a safe location, take pictures, and ask the police to take a report.
Try to Avoid Driving
No matter the size of the crack in your windshield, your visibility will be reduced, and you won’t have as much protection if you’re struck by something else. Try to avoid any driving beyond getting your car home and to the repair shop.
Keep in mind that driving with a broken windshield is a ticketable offense in some jurisdictions. An officer may be understanding if you’re going home or for repairs, but not if you keep driving around for work and errands.
Since you need your car, you’ll want to get your windshield repaired as soon as possible. Smaller chips can be repaired with a resin filling. While these chips might seem like something you can ignore, temperature changes and high-speed driving can cause them to expand into a larger crack. The filling prevents more damage.
Larger cracks will require a complete windshield replacement. There’s simply no way to repair a sheet of glass in a way that maintains its structural integrity and doesn’t impact your visibility. Depending on what kind of car you drive, this process may only take a few hours, or you may need to wait for a custom-ordered replacement windshield.
File an Insurance Claim
Your insurance will usually cover windshield damage. Even if you’re trying to recover from a third-party you believe is at-fault, it’s a good idea to involve your insurance company to help you, and in case you’re not able to recover from someone else.
At a minimum, your windshield will be covered by your standard comprehensive coverage. If you have a deductible, you’ll be responsible for covering that portion of the costs. If you only have a chip or small crack and the windshield can be repaired, the insurance company will most likely waive your deductible – your deductible will only apply if the windshield needs to be completely replaced.
Many car insurance policies also offer full glass coverage. This special coverage covers windshield damage and replacements. There may be no deductible, or it may be lower than your comprehensive deductible. In addition, glass claims usually won’t affect your insurance rates. Full glass coverage may be included in the standard policy or available as an add-on depending on your insurance company.
Get Help From Your Insurance Agent
To learn more about the glass claims process or what kind of coverage you have, talk to your agent at Stauffer-Klug Insurance. We proudly serve Jefferson, WI, and the surrounding communities.