A free windshield replacement? That’s right, you might qualify. It pays to find out whether or not you are eligible for a zero deductible windshield replacement. After all, it could save you hundreds of dollars or even more. So what exactly is a zero deductible windshield replacement? And what criteria do you have to meet? We’ll explore these topics, and more, in this article.
Keep in mind that this is meant as a general guide. Each state’s insurance regulations and each insurer’s policy will each have its own unique guidelines, requirements, and rules. Consult your insurance company to determine what coverage options are available to you based on your policy.
A deductible is a term that refers to your insurance policy. It’s the amount of money you pay every time you file an insurance claim. For example, if your insurance agency determines that a repair will cost $1,500 and your deductible is $500, then your insurance policy will deduct the $500 deductible from the total, and pay $1,000 towards the repair. Deductibles can be set and changed within your insurance policy. They typically range between $0 to $1,000 and will affect the cost of your premium. A lower deductible usually means a higher premium and vice versa.
Why are deductibles a big deal when it comes to windshield replacement? Windshields are among the most commonly damaged structural parts of your vehicle during events other than a collision. On average, windshields need replacing once every eight years. They’re not inexpensive to replace, either. Costs typically start around $200 and can cost as much as $1,200+. The average cost is around $300, which is lower than a lot of people’s $500 insurance deductible. This means that the owner is better off to pay out of pocket than filing an insurance claim.
This is where the zero deductible windshield replacement policy comes into play. Insurance laws vary from state to state. Some states have mandated that insurance companies waive deductibles for windshield replacements. If you live in one of these states, that means that you might not pay anything out-of-pocket to have your windshield replaced. For example, in a zero deductible state, if your insurance deductible is $500 and you file a claim for a windshield replacement that will only cost $300, you might not have to pay anything. Even if your deductible was $500 and your windshield replacement cost $1,000, you still might not have to pay anything.
There are only a small handful of states that offer zero deductible windshield replacement. Each has its own caveats too. They are:
As you can see, just because you live in a zero deductible state doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re eligible to receive a free glass replacement. Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York require that you opt-in for a zero-deductible glass policy through your insurance provider. Florida doesn’t require additional coverage, but the zero deductible only applies to windshields, and not other types of auto glass, such as side windows. Kentucky and South Carolina are the most liberal when it comes to zero deductible auto glass coverage—they don’t require additional insurance policy coverage, and they cover all types of auto glass from the windshield to sidelites, backlites, sunroofs, quarter glass, and vent glass.
OEM vs. aftermarket glass is a big debate. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This means that an OEM part is practically identical to the part that came on your vehicle when it rolled out of the factory. Aftermarket parts can be made by a myriad of different manufacturers and may or may not be made to the same specs as the OEM part. Some people prefer to pay a premium to have the peace of mind and branding that OEM parts provide. Others opt for the cost savings that come with aftermarket parts.
What your insurance company will pay for depends on what your policy says. Each state has its own laws or sometimes lack thereof, which determine what is required. Some states don’t have any requirements. Other states require written disclosure to the customer stating that aftermarket parts will be sued. Yet others will allow the customer to pay the difference in cost if the customer prefers that more expensive OEM parts be used. Many states require that equal parts be used. If no aftermarket parts are available, that means the insurance company is forced to pay for OEM parts. In other situations, OEM parts might only be required for vehicles under a certain age and/or mileage.
If receiving OEM glass is important to you, be sure toread and understand your insurance policy documents, so you know what to expect ahead of time.
Many insurance agencies recognize that repairing auto glass is cheaper than replacing auto glass. Not only though, but it saves time and materials too. Therefore, some policies will waive the deductible for repair costs as well. Some states allow the insurance provider to choose which company will handle the repair, while many states allow the customer to choose.
We’ve put together a quick cheat sheet that summarizes what states require the use of OEM glass, and what states require zero deductible auto glass repairs and replacements. Keep in mind that this information may change over time and that your eligibility will be affected by the details of your individual insurance policy.
|State||Aftermarket parts allowed?||Repairs covered?||ZERO DEDUCTIBLE WITH COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE?|
|AZ||Yes, with written discolsure||Yes||Optional|
|AR||Yes, with written discolsure||Yes||No|
|CA||Yes, with written discolsure||Yes||No|
|CT||Yes, with written discolsure||Yes||Optional|
|DE||Yes, with written discolsure||Yes||No|
|GA||Yes, with written discolsure||Yes||No|
|ID||Yes, with written discolsure||No||No|
|IL||Yes, with written discolsure||No||No|
|IN||Yes, for vehicles older than five years||No||No|
|KS||Yes||Yes – Insurance provider may choose vendor||No|
|LA||Yes, with written discolsure||Max comprehensive deductible is $250||No|
|ME||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
|MD||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
|MA||OEM parts for 2004 and newer vehicles with less than 20,000 miles and 15,000 miles for 2003 and older vehicles||No||Optional|
|MI||Yes, with written discolsure||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
|MN||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||Optional|
|MS||Yes, with written discolsure||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
|MO||Yes, with written discolsure||Insurer may choose repair vendor||No|
|MT||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|NE||Yes||Insurer may choose repair vendor||No|
|NV||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
|NH||Yes, unless vehicle is less than two years old with under 30,000 miles and customer requests OEM parts||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|NJ||Yes||Standard comprehensive deductible is $750||No|
|NY||Yes, with written discolsure||No||Optional|
|NC||Yes, with written discolsure||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|OH||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|OK||Yes||Insurer may choose repair vendor||No|
|OR||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|PA||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|RI||Yes. Written disclosure required for vehicles less than 30 months old.||No||No|
|SD||Yes, with written discolsure||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|TX||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|UT||Yes, with written discolsure||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
|VT||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|VA||Yes, with written discolsure||No||No|
|WA||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor||No|
|WV||Yes, for vehicles older than three years||No||No|
|WI||Yes||Consumer has right to choose repair vendor but may have to pay difference in quote||No|
Free windshield replacements with cashback is a popular offer from some windshield replacement companies in states with zero deductible laws. Sometimes instead of offering cash, they’ll offer a gift card. The auto glass company charges the insurance company for the replacement and simply passes some of the proceeds along to the customer. Many companies offer $100-$200 in cashback as an incentive to use them over the competition. The use of this type of promotion is highly controversial within the auto glass industry.
Windshield replacement scams are all too prevalent in states with zero deductible windshield replacement laws. Vehicle owners typically are less worried about having a replacement completed since there is no cost out of their pocket. This means that windshield replacement companies are able to get work more easily. You should beware of technicians that claim have found windshield damage that you’re not able to see, or barely able to see with your naked eye. Sometimes these salespeople go door to door and rush you through the process or attempt to be pushy.
Whenever possible, try to find reviews of a business before working with them. Or you can use Glass.com to find reputable glass replacement companies in your area. If you live in a zero deductible state such as Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, or South Carolina, we can quickly and easily connect you with a local glass shop in your area and help you get back on the road.
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