Question: Auto glass question for the state of Massachusetts. When a windshield has to be replaced, is there full glass coverage? Do you have a copy of the law?

Answer: According to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, if an object damages your windshield, you are covered for this loss if you have comprehensive coverage (sometimes also referred to as other than collision coverage) on your vehicle.

Formally, your normal $300, $500 or $1,000, or whatever you may have selected as your comprehensive coverage deductible didn’t apply to a glass loss. Drivers would automatically be covered for the full amount of the loss without a deductible, unless the motorist opted for a $100 deductible for glass breakage when the individual first purchased comprehensive coverage.

See back when the Commonwealth’s Division of Insurance was in charge of setting all car insurance rates, pre-2008, the glass breakage deductible was mainly set to zero for policies. 

Since April 1, 2008 Massachusetts has allowed auto insurance companies to set their own rates (though filed and approved by the state) and offer various coverages. So many of the car insurance carriers who have just started doing business in Massachusetts the last few years, such as Geico and Progressive, include a glass deductible, which allows them to give you a cheaper car insurance rate quote.

So contrary to popular belief, 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.

A law that does speak about auto class is the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Standards for The Repair of Damaged Motor Vehicles (211 CMR 133.00). Here it states that damage to motor vehicle glass shall be repaired rather than replaced if:

(a) damage to the windshield is outside the critical viewing area, which is that area covered by the sweep of the wipers originally provided by the vehicle manufacturer, exclusive of the outer two inches within the perimeter of that sweep.

(b) damage to the glass is minor, including, but not limited to, a crack less than six inches in length and stone breaks or bruises, bullseyes and star breaks less than one inch in diameter; and

(c) the repair will not impair the operational safety of the motor vehicle.

Insurers shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that, before any decision is made to replace glass, the damage is inspected to determine whether it is suitable for repair.

If you want to add comprehensive to your policy, so that the windshield and other glass on your vehicle is covered, you can compare car insurance companies here and find which insurer is offering the most affordable premium.