Windshield Repairs Free Under New Florida Law
Gregg Hollander | March 31, 2021 | Florida Law
NOTE: Our law firm does not handle Windshield Repairs cases. This article is for informational purposes only. Information found in the article does not constitute as formal legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Florida has a law that prohibits insurance companies from charging a deductible for windshield glass repair. Whether the windshield was damaged in a hurricane, vandalism, or while driving, some Floridians can receive free windshield repair.
But this only applies to policies with comprehensive and combined additional coverage. Drivers in Florida who do not have these coverages will not receive this benefit.
Here are some facts about different coverage options and how you can get free windshield repairs under Florida law.
Auto Insurance in Florida
Florida uses a no-fault insurance system. Every owner of a registered vehicle in Florida must purchase a policy with personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL).
When you get in an accident, your insurer pays for your injuries using your PIP coverage — regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If someone else caused the accident and damaged your car, the at-fault driver’s insurer will pay for your repairs using their PDL coverage.
But Florida only requires drivers to have $10,000 in PDL insurance. This would not cover most car repairs. To increase the coverage for your vehicle, your insurer offers comprehensive, collision, and combined additional coverages (CAC). These coverages pay for damage to your vehicle. They do not cover the damage you cause to other vehicles.
If you have a policy with CAC, your insurer will pay for any repairs to your vehicle from damage caused by anything other than fire, theft, or collision. For example, if a hurricane damages your vehicle, CAC will pay for repairs to your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage repairs or replaces your vehicle for damage caused by anything except a collision. This includes theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire, or any other damage.
Collision coverage pays for everything that comprehensive coverage does not. Collision coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle caused by a car accident. It will also pay for the damage in a single-car accident in which you hit a guardrail, streetlight, or another fixed object. Some insurers require you to buy comprehensive coverage if you want collision coverage.
How to Get Free Windshield Replacement in Florida Under Insurance
Whether insurance covers your windshield repair will depend on two factors.
Cause of Damage
A cracked windshield can result from criminal acts, like theft. For example, a thief may break your window to steal something from your vehicle.
A natural disaster, like a tropical storm or hurricane, could knock debris into your windshield. Alternatively, a wildfire can weaken a tree that drops a branch onto your windshield.
Does insurance cover windshield replacement in Florida? Suppose your windshield was damaged when you hit an electric pole. If you only had comprehensive coverage, the insurer would not be obligated to pay for windshield repairs caused by a collision.
Florida Windshield Replacement Law
Under Florida’s law, insurers cannot charge a deductible for windshield repairs under comprehensive coverage or CAC policies. This means that you can probably receive free windshield replacement for damage caused by anything except a collision.
Who Pays for Broken Windshields in Accidents?
If you have collision coverage, the insurer will pay for windshield repairs after a car accident. However, you still will need to pay your deductible.
If you don’t have collision coverage, you will need to pay the entire cost of your windshield repair unless someone else caused the accident. In that situation, you may be able to file a claim under the at-fault driver’s PDL coverage.
How Many Windshields are Covered by Insurance in Florida?
In Florida, you can get any windshield that’s cracked or shattered replaced for free as long as you have comprehensive coverage insurance. Even if you haven’t met your deductible for the year, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket as long as you have that coverage.
It is important to note that comprehensive coverage doesn’t pay for damage that happens in a collision with another vehicle. If your windshield gets cracked in a car accident, you may not be able to get that replacement done for free.
How Do I Know If My Insurance Covers Windshield Replacement?
If you only carry the minimum insurance required by law in Florida, you won’t be able to get your windshield replaced free of charge. This law only requires that insurance companies cover windshield replacements for policyholders with comprehensive policies. Liability coverage and other lower-tier plans won’t give you these same benefits.
The best way to make certain your insurance policy will cover windshield replacements is to call your insurance agent and ask them directly.
What Is the Process of Getting My Windshield Replaced?
The first thing you need to do after you discover a crack in your windshield is to call your insurer. You’ll likely need to file a claim with them before you have the crack repaired in order to get it covered. Your agent will be able to walk you through the claims process for their company and your specific policy.
Once you’ve talked to your insurer, you can start finding a windshield replacement company. Depending on your insurance company and your policy, you may need to work through a specific approved list of repair companies. Call your selected company and arrange a time to either drop your vehicle off to them or have them come to you to conduct the repair.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401