Many people who buy auto insurance policies make the assumption that their policy will cover the whole vehicle, but there may be a notable exception to that rule: The windshield. While the standard auto insurance policy does cover the windshield under specific circumstances, there may be situations in which a damaged or destroyed windshield would not be covered. Read on to find out all you need to know about windshield coverage in auto insurance policies. 

Coverage for Other People

Auto insurance covers windshield repair or replacement for other people if you caused the damage. This protection is included under the liability portion of the policy. Liability protection does not extend to you. To get coverage on a windshield break or loss on your own vehicle, you'll need to have either collision coverage or comprehensive coverage (most insurance agents recommend both.)

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage pays for windshield replacement or repair only when the windshield is damaged as the result of a collision. This does not necessarily have to be a wreck involving another vehicle, but can be a situation like running into a building or stationary object. This is a standard part of all collision policies, as the glass damage is a direct result of the insured collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage sometimes - but not always - covers windshield repair. This coverage would apply when the windshield is damaged or destroyed due to non-collision circumstances. For example, comprehensive coverage would typically apply towards the repair of a windshield damaged by a fire, a hail storm or a fallen tree.

However, some auto insurance policies cover only certain types of glass repair, namely the side and back windows. This would leave the windshield completely uncovered. When purchasing a policy, ask the insurance agent if the glass coverage is all-inclusive. If so, the windshield is covered. If not, you may need to purchase a windshield rider.

Windshield Riders

Riders, policy additions for a small extra cost, are designed to flesh out auto insurance policies that would otherwise be lacking. If your policy doesn't have all-inclusive auto glass coverage, a windshield-specific rider may be a good idea. This rider would pay for the repair or replacement of the windshield, regardless of how the damage occurred. A rider will carry its own deductible, usually completely independent of the regular policy deductible. For example, you could potentially have a policy deductible of $1,000 but a windshield rider deductible of only $100.