Connecticut Windshield Insurance: What are the Full Glass coverage laws in Connecticut?

Understanding the laws and best practices of windshield repair in Connecticut can streamline replacing broken glass.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 24, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • For vehicle glass repairs, Connecticut requires that every auto insurer offer a zero-deductible coverage option
  • State law also requires that windshield servicers disclose in writing any use of aftermarket or used glass
  • If Connecticut drivers choose a repair service other than their insurer-selected vendor, they must pay the difference out of pocket

Whether your car is your pride and joy or merely a means of transportation, windshield damage is infuriating. While state law allows you to drive with the damage if your view remains unobstructed, prompt windshield replacement in Connecticut is your wisest move. A structurally compromised windshield is inherently less safe.

It is wise to inspect your auto policy and see what coverage you have for glass repair on your car. When looking for windshield replacement, CT replacement shops and repairs can be great options. Understanding Connecticut law and your coverage options will empower you to select the appropriate insurance for your car’s age, condition, and market value. Better still, you will know what to do if auto glass damage happens.

How does zero-deductible windshield replacement in CT work?

Connecticut requires that all auto insurers must offer a policy option to cover the total cost of a windshield replacement. This policy option takes the names zero-deductible or full glass coverage. Insurance customers are not required to buy zero-deductible policies.

Drivers remain free to purchase policies with a deductible for glass repair, a choice that may offer substantially lower rates. You may find policies that require a deductible for a windshield replacement but cover the entire repair cost for the vehicle’s windows.

Connecticut auto insurers only offer full glass coverage with comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive policies go above and beyond state-mandated insurance and offer coverage for events such as break-ins, fires, or storms. Lenders frequently require comprehensive coverage to qualify for an auto loan.

There is a compelling case for comprehensive coverage with a late model car, with or without a glass repair deductible. Comprehensive insurance may offer little benefit if you own an older car with a low resale value.

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What glass types do repair vendors use?

Many motorists assume that every replacement windshield or window is a new part that exactly matches their vehicle’s current glass. In reality, there are three options for auto glass, with each type offering advantages for cars of different ages.

OEM

Original equipment manufacturer glass is an unused windshield or window manufactured by the automaker’s designated subcontractor. These pieces match the specifications of your vehicle’s glass in all respects and usually carry the automaker’s branding.

Aftermarket

Aftermarket glass may or may not hail from your car’s OEM glassmaker. Aftermarket glass will not carry your vehicle’s branding and may have other subtle differences in material selection. This glass type is nearly always less expensive than an OEM part.

Used

Used glass is an undamaged windshield or window harvested from a totaled low-mileage vehicle. These parts are OEM-spec glass at a substantial discount to new or aftermarket alternatives.

What replacement glass type should I select for my car?

With many late-model vehicles, your only option for a windshield repair is OEM glass. Modern safety aids, known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, often rely on sensors positioned behind the windshield.

Adaptive cruise control, a popular ADAS feature, adjusts your car’s speed in relation to the traffic in front of you. The windshield-mounted camera that monitors this traffic requires OEM glass to function correctly.

With older cars, aftermarket or used glass may be a better choice. Your insurance company will likely recommend a vendor who will install less expensive glass to repair these vehicles.

In all cases, Connecticut state law requires your repair vendor to spell out in writing the glass type before performing the replacement.

Is filing an insurance claim for a damaged windshield my best move?

Your auto policy will determine your options when you must cope with glass damage. All repair costs come out of your pocket with liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance — the minimum coverage required under state law.

If your vehicle has full glass coverage as part of a comprehensive policy, then filing a claim makes sense. When total repair costs are less than your policy deductible, there is no reason to file a claim.

If repair costs exceed your deductible by a small amount, you may want to consult your insurance agent before filing a claim. Drivers who file claims often see higher rates at renewal time, meaning that you would come out ahead by covering the repair cost by yourself.

If you choose to file a claim, your insurer may offer a smartphone app to streamline the process. Many apps permit you to document the damage with photos and begin the claims process within the app.

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Can I choose my own service vendor for windshield replacement in CT?

If your car features ADAS safety aids, your insurance company will likely require service from a dealer who sells your make of car. This step becomes necessary because many ADAS systems require recalibration after a windshield replacement. Vehicles with ADAS safety aids qualify for lower rates, and insurers have a stake in keeping these systems functional.

You will likely have more elbow room for a service shop with older cars. There are viable reasons to select an alternative to your insurer’s recommendation, including:

  • A previous good experience with another service station
  • A poor experience with your insurer’s chosen vender
  • A preference for OEM parts

If the cost of your repair shop exceeds the estimate of your insurer’s recommended vendor, state law requires you to cover the difference out of pocket.

Full Glass Coverage in Connecticut

Understanding Connecticut law, replacement glass types, and deductible options empower you to right-size your insurance coverage. Moreover, if you need to seek a windshield replacement in CT, your action plan is already in place. Make sure to tackle broken glass quickly to ensure safe driving.

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