Free windshield replacement is mandated under some state car insurance laws. If you live in a free windshield state, your insurance company is required to pay for your windshield repair or replacement, without you paying a deductible. However, free windshield replacement laws apply to the comprehensive portion of your auto policy, not liability. That means free windshield replacement laws typically apply only to policyholders with comprehensive car insurance.

Other states offer separate glass coverage with no deductible or a separate, lower deductible than your comprehensive insurance. In some cases, regardless of where you live, insurance companies will repair windshields without you paying a deductible.

Here we will explain the details.

What states have free windshield replacement?

The three free windshield replacement states are  Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina, which waive the car insurance deductible for windshield repair or replacement and so are referred to as having free windshield replacement or as zero deductible states.

This isn’t totally free windshield replacement, though, since you do have to pay to carry comprehensive insurance coverage as part of your auto insurance policy to make a claim for your windshield.

State laws differ on what glass claims come without a deductible. Florida only waives the deductible for windshields, but Kentucky and South Carolina cover all glass replacement without a deductible.

Free windshield replacement

Even if you don’t live in a free windshield state, you may have the choice to buy glass coverage that doesn’t include a deductible. The following states offer the option of separate glass coverage with no deductible on your glass claim:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New York

In Massachusetts you can choose to purchase glass coverage with either free windshield repair or replacement or with a $100 deductible, which is separate from your comprehensive deductible.

Regardless of where you live, it may be possible to get free windshield replacement under your comprehensive coverage. Insurance companies may offer policies with no deductible, so you should ask specifically about glass coverage.

Free windshield repair

In many cases, insurance companies will repair windshields for free, meaning there is no deductible applied to a comprehensive claim.

Windshield insurance by company

We’ve covered what happens if you live in a free windshield state (Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina) or in a state where there is the option for coverage with a lower deductible or no deductible on your glass claim (Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York). Here we outline how some major carriers cover windshield damage if you live in one of the other 42 states.

USAA windshield replacement and repair: Waives the deductible for repairs, but not for replacement.

Geico windshield replacement and repair: Waives deductible for repairs, but not for replacement.

Progressive windshield replacement and repair: Waives deductible for repairs if the crack is less than six inches long.

No deductible windshield replacement

Even if you do not live in a state with free windshield replacement, you can always ask your insurance carrier if it can waive the deductible for your windshield claim. If you would prefer not to pay a deductible when making a claim for your windshield (but don’t live in a zero deductible state), then when doing your car insurance comparison shopping, look around for companies that offer a $0 deductible for glass coverage. This option may cost you more, but if you live in an area where having your windshield damaged is likely, it could save you money in the long run.

How much does it cost to replace a windshield?

The cost to replace a windshield depends on the make, year and model of your vehicle, the severity and location of the damage and the type of glass used, but on average expect to pay $200 to $400. If you have a luxury or antique car, the cost will be more.

Will my insurance go up if I get my windshield replaced?

Typically, claiming a windshield replacement won’t affect your premium. Your insurance rates won’t increase by much, if at all, if you get your windshield replaced, even if you don’t live in a state with free windshield replacement laws. If you file a comprehensive claim to repair or replace your windshield, generally your rates won’t go up, as most comprehensive claims don’t incur a rate increase. If you do see a bump in your premium, it will be minimal. The average comprehensive claim hikes rates by less than 3%, or just $39 a year, based on a rate analysis.

Does liability insurance cover window repair?

No, your liability insurance won’t cover window repair. Your liability insurance won’t pay for window repair, but if you are hit by another driver, and that driver is at fault for the accident, the other driver’s liability insurance will cover the damage to your windshield or windows. Liability insurance only pays for damage you cause to other vehicles – as well as for injuries you cause to others – but does not cover your own car.That’s why you need to have comprehensive insurance for glass damage.

Does gap insurance cover windshield replacement?

Gap insurance doesn’t cover windshield repair or replacement. Gap insurance pays out the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the outstanding balance on your loan or lease if the car is totaled.

Driving with a cracked wind shield is dangerous

You may be tempted to drive with a cracked windshield if it’s a small ding and isn’t in your line of vision. But it’s dangerous to do so. Considered a primary safety feature in any automobile, today's windshields are designed to:

  • Protect occupants in a rollover: A windshield is akin to a load-bearing wall in a house. If it doesn't remain firmly in place, the roof will collapse under its own weight, injuring or killing those inside.
  • Keep passengers inside the vehicle: In a crash, it's almost always best not to be ejected. An intact and properly installed windshield not only keeps people in, it also keeps road and crash debris out. According to Safelite, damaged glass is 60% to 70% weaker than intact glass.
  • Cushion the passenger air bag: Air bags deploy with extreme force. The passenger's front air bag strikes the windshield first. If the windshield comes unmoored, or the glass is weak, the passenger is left unprotected.
  • Ensure visibility: Cheap or chipped glass can distort optics, shatter under the stress of normal driving vibration or temperature variation, and impair wiper blades.