It happens to the best of us. Your vehicle is parked under a tree, near a construction site, or even sometimes near a major road — somehow the windshield gets hit with debris. Then you're left with a crack in your windshield that seems small at first, but can turn into a bigger problem. To be completely prepared for this, you should understand whether or not your cracked windshield is protected by your auto insurance policy.
Small Problems Turn Big
The first response for most drivers is to be upset about it, but then ignore it. The problem with a crack in the windshield is that it may seem small. In all likelihood, however, it won't stay that way.
If left unrepaired, that small crack, over time, will begin to increase in size. While it may be safe to drive for a short time, it may eventually become dangerous. If another piece of debris hits the windshield, it could spell trouble for the driver.
What to Do
Rather than ignore it, you should inspect the crack to determine whether you need to simply repair the windshield or replace it altogether. If it's a small crack, it's usually fine to just repair the damage and move on. If it's too big and looks like it could cause major problems, then you have to replace the windshield.
Does My Auto Insurance Cover the Crack?
If you have comprehensive coverage and your glass claim is covered, then chances are you are covered for a cracked windshield. However, there is some information you must determine about the crack first to ensure it is in fact a candidate for repair.
Is the damage to the windshield less than 6 inches long (so smaller than a dollar bill)? Measuring the damage is probably a good idea even though some people can eyeball it. Make sure it's less than 6 inches, and if it is, then it is a candidate for repair.
If the damage is quite minimal, like a bullseye or star crack, then a repair is indeed an option. That's because anything larger or longer than 6 inches typically means a window replacement.
You will have to file a claim with your insurance company, either online or over the phone, for the crack. They will let you know what to do next.