1. Can I get my windshield repaired or do I need to replace it?
- Size Matters: The most common answer to this question you will hear from auto insurance companies is that if your crack is bigger than what could be covered by a dollar bill, then it must be replaced.
- Quantity: If you have three or more chips on your windshield a full replacement is recommended. This is because the integrity and safety of your windshield is in too much jeopardy if repaired. It may not properly handle airbag deployment or a rollover in case of n accident.
- In Sight: If the damaged area is in your line of view (directly in front of the driver’s area of the windshield) then a full replacement may be recommended. A repair may distort the area repaired making it dangerous to drive if the distortions are distracting to the driver.
- On the Edge: If the crack runs over the edge of the windshield it makes it impossible to repair, so a replacement is recommended.
Other aspects including safety are covered in more detailed in this extensive article comparing repairs and replacements. In addition to this, there are different types of windshield chips and cracks. Some are easier – and safer – to replace than others and we have covered all of the different types and requirement in this infographic.
Keep in mind that although professional windshield technicians in Tampa can typically do an excellent job at repairing your windshield, there is always a chance that the damage will increase in size while the repair is being attempted. In which case you would be required to cover the costs (if any, based on your auto insurance coverage) of a full windshield replacement.
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2. Who pays for the repair or replacement of my windshield?
There are 3 possible scenarios in Tampa, FL on who pays for your windshield. Either the person/motorist who caused the damage (other than yourself), you, or your auto insurance company may be responsible for paying for windshield repair or replacement costs. Let us break these down for you:
- Person/Motorist Who Caused The Damage: In the instance a rock flies from a construction truck and hits your windshield – which happens quite a bit on highways in Tampa and St. Petersburg – they are legally liable to cover the costs of your windshield repair or replacement. The problem is trying to track down the driver to admit fault and release their insurance information. If something like this has happened to you we recommend you read this article.
- You: If you only carry the bare minimum auto insurance coverage that Florida requires (without any Comprehensive Coverage at all), then you are responsible for all of the costs to repair or replace your windshield.
- Your Auto Insurance Company: In Tampa – and the rest of the state of Florida – your auto insurance company is responsible for covering all of the costs to repair or replace your windshield IF you have any level of Comprehensive Coverage with ANY deductible amount set. Even if your deductible amount is $1,000, you are not responsible for any deductibles when it comes to windshield damage in the state of Florida according to Florida law. However, you may not want to call your insurance company directly to set up a repair and here’s why.
3. Can I get pulled over by the police for having a damaged windshield?
Yes! According to Florida Statute 316.610 the police can stop you if they believe your vehicle is unsafe – this includes driving with a cracked windshield regardless of size, placement, or length of the windshield damage. This is considered a primary offense and it gives enough reason on its own for the police officer to pull you over and potentially write you a ticket.
In Tampa, FL it is estimated that a vehicle will need to have repairs done to its windshield at least once every 7 years. Thankfully this is considered a no-fault accident, even when a glass claim is filed with your auto insurance company, and should not directly affect your auto insurance premiums or risk you losing coverage.