In Massachusetts, windshield repair and replacement is treated differently than other types of vehicle damage, so it’s helpful to know how the process works.

Massachusetts windshield replacement law

Under Massachusetts law, car insurance companies are required to offer windshield replacement coverage as part of their policies, with either a zero deductible or a $100 deductible option.

Typically, glass damage is covered by the comprehensive portion of your policy. But the deductible for windshield replacement is handled differently than for other types of comprehensive claims. Comprehensive insurance covers damage from falling or flying objects, fire, flooding, hail, vandalism and animal strikes, and also covers theft. It is optional, and usually comes with a deductible of $300, $500 or $1,000.

For windshield replacement on your comprehensive coverage, you can choose to have a zero glass deductible or a $100 glass deductible. Here is what that means:

  • If you choose the $100 deductible, you pay $100 if you file a claim, but your comprehensive deductible amount does not apply to windshield replacement claims.  
  • If you choose the zero deductible, you pay nothing for glass replacement though you may pay a slightly higher rate for comprehensive coverage.
  • Regardless of the deductible, the most you pay out of pocket for a windshield replacement claim is $100.

You should check your car insurance policy to see if you have a glass breakage deductible and call your auto insurance company if you find that you have a glass deductible but don't want one. If you choose to have a glass deductible it should save you a little on your car insurance rates.

Massachusetts is usually lumped together with “zero deductible” or free windshield replacement states (Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina) because you can choose a zero deductible for your glass coverage. But that’s incorrect.The Massachusetts Division of Insurance told us that there is not an actual regulation or law in their Commonwealth that requires the waiving of the glass deductible if you have chosen to have one with your Massachusetts car insurance policy.

Massachusetts laws on glass materials for windshields

Original equipment manufactured (OEM) glass and parts must be used on:

  • Vehicles that are model year 2004 or newer with fewer than 20,000 miles
  • Vehicles that are model year 2003 or newer but has fewer than 15,000 miles

Your insurance company may opt to pay only for aftermarket glass in older vehicles with more miles. If that’s the case, you can still have them use OEM materials, but you may have to pay the difference in the cost, and the $100 deductible, if you chose that.

If you have a glass deductible, you will have to pay it when you have a glass loss. It just so happens that in Massachusetts, until recently, the average personal car insurance policy did not come with a glass deductible in regards to your comprehensive coverage.

Massachusetts law for when to repair a windshield and when to replace

Under Massachusetts state law on vehicle repairs, windshields are repaired and not replaced if:

  • Damage is outside of the viewing area, or the area your wipers cover when in use
  • Damage results in a crack less than six inches
  • Dings and “star breaks” are less than in inch in diameter
  • The repair will not compromise the safety of the vehicle