OAI Discusses Auto Insurance Implications of Window Breakage

Online Auto Insurance explains that the type of coverage, the type of accident and state law will determine whether and how much a consumer will have to pay to repair a broken window.

Online PR News – 14-January-2011 – – Windshield damage is a problem many auto owners may encounter at some point in the life of a car. In a new FAQ, the writers at OnlineAutoInsurance.com explain that the insurance implication of such damage largely depend on state laws and the nature of the incident.

If a windshield breaks or gets cracked as a result of an accident caused by another driver, the costs will likely be covered by the at-fault motorist’s property damage liability. If the breakage comes from an accident caused by the owner of the vehicle, it may be covered under collision insurance. And if the damage was the result of a foreign object falling onto and breaking the windshield, the repair costs may be covered by comprehensive insurance. It is important to note that neither comprehensive nor collision are required by state law, which means they most likely will not be included in a barebones coverage plan.

Even though the comprehensive portion of a new car owner’s automobile insurance coverage is likely to cover windshield breakage due to foreign objects, whether or not he or she will have to pay a deductible could be affected by state law and certain agreements made at the time of purchase of the policy.

If the incident happens in Massachusetts, for example, there may be no deductible payment required. Comprehensive coverage in that state is legally required to cover the full amount of the loss if a driver is unable to determine where the object that caused the damage came from, and the law says that a deductible “does not apply to a glass loss.” There is at least exception, though. In order to get slightly lower premiums, some insurers allow consumers to opt for a $100 deductible for glass breakage when they purchase a policy. In this case, a deductible would apply.

Source: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocaterminal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Consumer&L2=Insurance&L3=Automobile+Insurance&sid=Eoca&b=terminalcontent&f=doi_Consumer_css_auto_qa&csid=Eoca#q6

This is significant because the cost of repairing a windshield fluctuates greatly depending on the type of car and the type of damage; repairing or replacing a windshield can be as cheap as $150 or as expensive as $1,000. So if a driver with $500 in windshield damages has a comprehensive plan that includes a $500 deductible, whether he or she will have to pay for the repairs depends on state law.

To access the full FAQ that includes more scenarios and details, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/coverage/ and click on the “Questions” link in the upper right corner.

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