Despite the cause, experts say car owners responsible for cracked windshields
By Jessica Stevenson | Wednesday March 11, 2020 https://nebraska.tv/features/good-morning-nebraska/despite-the-cause-experts-say-car-owners-responsible-for-cracked-windshields
KEARNEY, Neb. — Driving down the road and the vehicle in front of you throws up a rock or debris, cracking your windshield. Who will foot the bill?
Experts said despite where the debris came from, you’re the one responsible. “That [other] car isn’t intentionally trying to shoot the rock at your windshield,” said Kearney Farmers Insurance agent and owner, Brandi Simonson. “Nobody else is liable. It’s something that your coverage would kick in and pay for. A lot of times even those bigger commercial vehicles that do have rocks will say, ‘Stay this many feet behind’ because they do know that there is going to be rocks thrown as they’re driving with that gravel.”
Repair shops warn fluctuating temperatures, like Nebraska is seeing this week, causes these chips and cracks to spread quickly. “The glass just fluctuates and that’s what causes the cracks,” said Kearney Safelite store manager, Kelly Fairchild. “If you wait, there’s contaminants that get in it so if you get water in it and it freezes and it warms up when it freezes it can make your windshield crack.” She said, if your vehicle does get hit, timing is critical. “The sooner you get them the better you’ll have the repair turn out,” said Fairchild. “Anything that is smaller than a quarter or less than 6 inches, we can normally fix.”
The Safelite store manager said anything larger will most likely require a windshield replacement.
“If there was a commercial tint that was put on the vehicle when it was made or there was a camera put in and those need to be replaced, it will all be put back to the standard that it was,” said Simonson. “Now, if you chose to have your windows tinted on your own tint, then that’s something that wouldn’t be covered.”
In order to avoid paying, you’ll want to make sure your insurance policy includes window repairs and replacements, now. “If you do get a rock chip or you need a windshield replaced and say it just happened that morning, if you don’t have the coverage its not going to cover that specific one,” said Simonson.
She said all insurance policies and providers are different, but at Farmers Insurance glass coverage is about two to five dollars, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.