Driving around with a damaged windshield is both annoying and dangerous, but fixing windshields can be expensive, so many of us spend way too long cruising around town with a crack running across our windshield.

Is windshield replacement free in Massachusetts? No, it’s not free. But, according to the Massachusetts cracked windshield law, insurers are required to offer full glass replacement coverage with either a $0 deductible or a $100 deductible which makes getting your windshield replaced much more affordable.

Key Highlights
  • Massachusetts requires insurers to offer full glass replacement coverage with either a $0 deductible or a $100 deductible.
  • Drivers are not required to purchase this type of coverage.
  • In Massachusetts, you don’t need to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage to get full glass coverage for windshield replacement.

What is the Massachusetts windshield law?

It’s illegal to drive with a crack or chip larger than a quarter that blocks a driver’s view in Massachusetts. If you are wondering – is windshield replacement covered by insurance in Massachusetts, the answer is that the law requires insurance companies to offer glass replacement policies or a policy endorsement that offer either a $0 deductible or a $100 deductible. While Massachusetts requires insurers to offer low deductible glass replacement, drivers are not required to purchase this coverage.

Typically, glass damage is covered by comprehensive coverage, which is optional.  Comprehensive insurance covers damage from falling or flying objects, fire, flooding, hail, vandalism, theft, and animal strikes. Comprehensive usually comes with a deductible of $300, $500, or $1,000.

In Massachusetts, as well as a few other states, the deductible for windshield replacement is handled differently than for other types of comprehensive claims.

It works like this:

  • 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.

Once you have paid the deductible, your insurance company will cover the remaining cost of a cracked windshield for Massachusetts drivers.

If you are unsure if you are currently covered for a broken windshield, check your car insurance policy to see if you have glass breakage coverage on your policy and your choice for a deductible. Choosing a $100 deductible over a $0 deductible will usually result in a slightly lower premium.

Massachusetts is usually lumped together with “zero deductible” or free windshield replacement states (Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina) because insurers must offer policyholders a zero deductible for glass coverage, but this doesn’t mean you can’t choose a higher deductible if you want one. 

According to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, there is not an actual regulation or law in the Commonwealth that requires the waiving of the glass deductible if you have chosen to have one with your car insurance policy.

How much does it cost to replace a windshield?

According to Glass America, a windshield repair/replacement company, the cost to replace a windshield ranges from $100 to $1,500  with the average cost coming in around $250. The cost can go up dramatically for newer luxury cars that are loaded with advanced safety features. 

If you are not carrying glass replacement or comprehensive coverage, you may have to cover the cost of replacing your windshield out of pocket.

Learn more about will insurance pay for your cracked windshield

Massachusetts laws on glass materials for windshields

According to Massachusetts law, insurance companies must pay for OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) parts if vehicles meet certain requirements.

(OEM) glass and parts must be used on:

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

Your insurance company may opt to pay only for aftermarket glass in older vehicles or newer vehicles with mileage above the limits listed above. If that’s the case, you can still request they use OEM materials, but you may have to pay the difference in the cost as well as whatever deductible you have chosen.

Should I repair or replace my windshield in Massachusetts?

Not sure whether you should repair or replace your windshield? Massachusetts state law lays out some guidelines as to when the windshield should be repaired instead of replaced.

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 that’s smaller than 6 inches.
  • Dings and “star breaks” are less than an inch in diameter.
  • The repair will not compromise the safety of the vehicle.

Resources & Methodology

Sources:

  1. Glass America. “What is the cost for replacing a windshield without insurance?” Accessed October 2022.
  2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Insurance. “Automobile Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions.”  Accessed October 2022.
  3. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Insurance. “Standards for the repair of damaged motor vehicles.”  Accessed October 2022.