Massachusetts Windshield Insurance: What are the full glass coverage laws in Massachusetts?

Per Massachusetts windshield replacement laws, insurers must offer low or no-deductible glass replacement coverage. Read on to learn about the specifics of replacing a windshield in MA.

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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: Jun 6, 2022

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Things to remember

  • To make windshield repair and replacement affordable, MA requires insurers to offer full glass replacement coverage with either a $0 deductible or a $100 deductible
  • The law does not require you to purchase this type of coverage after an insurer offers it
  • You don’t need to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage to get full glass coverage

In Massachusetts, it is illegal to drive around with a crack or chip in your windshield that is larger than a quarter in width and/or that obstructs the view of the driver. 

To make compliance with MA windshield replacement laws easy, the state requires insurance companies to offer glass replacement policies that come with either a $0 deductible or a $100 deductible. Massachusetts auto insurance can make fixing a crack easier, but you have no legal obligation to accept and purchase this type of coverage.

Massachusetts Windshield Replacement Insurance Requirements

For many drivers, replacing or repairing a broken windshield is out of the question for financial reasons. To make glass replacement affordable, Massachusetts requires insurance companies to offer full glass replacement coverage with either a $0 deductible or a $100 deductible.

Massachusetts’s no- or low-deductible glass replacement coverage requirements prevent companies from overcharging policyholders for the repair or replacement of their windshields. When charged with high deductibles, many vehicle owners may decide it is disadvantageous to file a claim for the replacement of broken glass.

If you purchase glass replacement coverage, you will pay either $0 for repairs or $100, depending on the type of coverage you chose. Your insurance company will then pay the remaining cost, up to the limits of your policy.

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Do you have to purchase glass replacement coverage in Massachusetts?

Though state laws require insurance companies to offer low- to no-deductible glass replacement insurance, you have no legal obligation to accept the offer. It is not part of the state minimums for auto insurance in Massachusetts. However, before you deny this type of coverage — which is typically very affordable — consider the costs of glass replacement.

The average cost to replace a windshield is $264. However, you can pay as much as $1,125. Most replacements cost close to the average, with the average range being between $153 to $337 per replacement.

Glass coverage does not just cover windshield replacement. It also covers replacement of the vehicle’s other windows. Window replacement costs anywhere from $135 to $1,050, depending on the type of window in question.

Finally, glass coverage covers chips and cracks. The average cost to repair chips and cracks is between $50 to $200 per imperfection.

In Massachusetts, it’s particularly handy to have auto glass coverage, as state law makes it illegal to drive around with a crack in the windshield that is larger than a quarter and/or that obstructs the view of the driver. Because chips and cracks can develop easily, it may make the most financial sense to accept your insurance company’s offer of full glass coverage.

Do you need to purchase a comprehensive policy to get glass coverage in Massachusetts?

Comprehensive auto insurance is a type of coverage that pays for damage that arises from a range of events, including collisions with animals, vehicle crimes, and severe weather. In many states, full replacement glass coverage is part of what fully comprehensive auto insurance covers.

However, because of the unique windshield replacement laws in MA, you may obtain glass coverage regardless of whether you purchase comprehensive coverage, which is not legally required as part of the state minimums for auto insurance. You can purchase full glass coverage with a collision policy, a liability auto insurance policy (which the state does require), or as a standalone policy.

Legal Glass Material Options

Massachusetts dictates the types of materials shops may use for windshield replacement. The type of glass shops must use depends on the model of your vehicle, the number of miles it’s been driven, and your insurance company’s preferences:

  • If your vehicle is a 2003 model or newer and has less than 15,000 miles, you may only replace the windshield with OEM glass.
  • Likewise, if your vehicle is a 2004 or newer model with less than 20,000 miles, you may only replace the windshield with OEM glass.
  • Your insurance company may choose to pay only for aftermarket or used glass if your vehicle does not meet either of the above criteria.

If you drive an older vehicle and want the glass repair shop to replace your windshield with OEM glass, you may make this request. However, note that you may have to pay the difference between the cost of an OEM glass replacement and an aftermarket or used windshield.

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Can you choose your own glass repair shop?

Whether you can seek windshield replacement through a shop of your choice depends on the terms of your policy. Some insurance companies allow policyholders to choose their own auto service providers for windshield and glass replacement needs. Others, however, require policyholders to use a provider of the company’s choosing or to give policyholders a list of in-network providers and let them choose from the list.

If you want to be able to choose your own glass repair or replacement specialist, read the fine print of any insurance contract before you purchase the policy. Otherwise, you may be stuck using the providers your insurance company selects.

Though the freedom to select your own provider is nice, going with an insurance-preferred provider can make the whole repair or replacement process easier for you. Working with a preferred body shop eliminates the need for a middleman (you) to coordinate repairs and payment. The body shop and insurer communicate directly with one another to discuss costs, schedule repairs, and manage payment. 

This type of arrangement helps to minimize delays in repair and replacement times, as neither party is relying on you for communication purposes.

How can you find cheap glass repair or replacement services in Massachusetts?

Thanks to the laws for windshield replacement in MA, finding a body shop to repair or replace your auto glass for cheap is a moot point. When you pay for auto glass coverage, you can get your windshield replaced for $0 or $100, depending on the type of policy you purchase.

Both options make it affordable for drivers to seek windshield repair and replacement for all cracks and chips their windshields develop. They also make it easy for all MA drivers to comply with the state’s windshield laws.

The Bottom Line on Massachusetts Windshield Replacement Insurance Laws

Replacing or repairing a cracked or chipped windshield may seem like the least pressing item on your to-do list, but it’s necessary. Massachusetts law gives you motivation to schedule repairs sooner rather than later by ensuring all state residents can access auto glass services for cheap.

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