Windshield Repairs Free Under New Florida Law
Gregg Hollander | March 31, 2021 | Florida Law
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.
Windshield Repairs Under Insurance
Whether insurance covers your windshield repair will depend on two factors.
Cause of Damage
Windshield damage 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.
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.
Free Windshield Repairs
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 repairs 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.