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What to do When You Have a Cracked Windshield

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You’re driving down the road when a large truck passes you going the other direction. You hear a loud thud against your windshield and realize the truck kicked up a large rock. Now your windshield has a crack zig-zagging across it.

Getting a crack or chip in your windshield glass isn’t uncommon, unfortunately. Road hazards like rocks or debris mean most drivers will have to deal with a windshield crack at some point. Be prepared for a crack or chip in your windshield by learning what to do and how to fix it.


Can You Repair a Cracked Windshield?

The good news is smaller chips or cracks in your windshield might be repairable without completely replacing the glass. The general rule is that any crack that’s smaller than a dollar bill can be repaired. Chips, on the other hand, need to be under two inches wide and not more than about an inch deep to repair.

Larger damage, such as a crack spanning the length of the windshield, will likely require you to replace the entire windshield. This process involves a shop removing your old glass and replacing it with a new panel, which is secured with a special adhesive.


Does Car Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield?

Depending on the type of coverage you have, your car insurance may cover the cost to fix a crack in your windshield. Many insurance providers include glass repair or replacement with certain types of coverage. You will likely need to have optional comprehensive coverage for glass damage repair to be covered.

Wawanesa, for example, can help you get your cracked or chipped windshield repaired by a professional if you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive auto coverage is an optional coverage that helps cover damages to your vehicle not caused by collisions. In addition to glass repairs, comprehensive coverage usually helps repair damage from theft, vandalism, or weather-related events like a windstorm.


What to do When Your Windshield Cracks

Windshield damage usually happens while you’re driving.. It’s important to know what to do if your windshield suddenly cracks while you’re on the road so you can keep yourself, passengers, and other drivers safe. If you’re driving and a rock or other object hits your windshield, here’s what to do:

  1. Inspect the Damage

    Auto glass is designed to be tough. There’s a good chance an object hitting your windshield won’t cause any damage at all. Take a quick look across the glass to find any obvious cracks or chips. If you notice damage, find a safe place to pull over and inspect it. Look at the length of any cracks, as well as the depth of chips or cracks — as this could indicate whether the glass is completely compromised or not.

  2. Determine if You Can Still Drive

    The placement of your windshield crack or chip is a key factor in whether you should continue driving your car. A small chip in the glass on the passenger side of the window may not be noticeable when driving. A long crack right across your line of vision, however, may make it difficult to safely drive the vehicle. If the crack in your windshield will make it difficult to drive safely, you may want to consider contacting roadside assistance for help.

  3. Prevent Further Damage

    Even if your windshield’s damage is small, a crack or chip in the glass can quickly become a bigger problem if you don’t get it fixed. While you’re waiting to repair or replace the glass, be sure to prevent further damage by staying out of extreme temperatures. Just as you shouldn’t store certain objects in a hot car, you should keep a cracked windshield out of extreme heat or cold. Extreme temperatures can cause the window glass to expand or contract. As this happens, the already damaged glass is put under more stress, making a small crack expand into a much larger problem.

  4. Contact Your Insurance

    If you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage, you’ll likely want to contact your insurance company to get your glass fixed. Your claims representative can help you file a claim if you need to or help you through the repair and reimbursement process.

  5. Repair or Replace the Windshield

    There are a lot of windshield glass repair companies that provide repair and replacement services right in your driveway. You can also go to a trusted glass repair shop or auto body shop to get your windshield repaired. Depending on the damage, your repair could take a few minutes to over an hour, but even a full glass replacement doesn’t usually mean a full day in a repair shop.


Cracks and chips in your windshield can range from a small annoyance to a big problem that reduces your visibility. Your best option is to get a crack or chip fixed as soon as possible. You can help cut down on the cost of replacing or repairing your windshield by making sure your car insurance includes glass coverage. Speak with a Wawanesa agent today to learn more about Comprehensive auto coverage and make sure your car is covered.



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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.