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

Virginia's full glass coverage laws don't require zero-deductible policies or repair service choices. Read on to learn more about replacing your windshield in Virginia.

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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 9, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Virginia is one of 47 states that do not mandate zero-deductible windshield repairs
  • Insurance companies do not have to include full glass coverage in comprehensive coverage policies but may offer separate glass repair options
  • Virginia residents have the right to choose their repair services if they do not file insurance claims

Partially due to its proximity to the nation’s capital, Virginia is famous for its traffic, and accidents such as collisions and sideswipes are fairly common. As a result, Virginia auto insurance, including full glass coverage, is especially important.

Virginia doesn’t mandate that its insurance companies offer free windshield repair, and there is no state-run windshield replacement service. It does have some laws that protect car owners, though. Here’s what you need to know about Virginia’s full glass coverage laws.

Virginia’s Full Glass Coverage Laws

Virginia does not require insurance companies to include glass coverage in comprehensive insurance policies. Furthermore, Virginia does not require its residents to file a comprehensive claim for car insurance. Those who follow the state minimums for auto insurance in Virginia probably do not have full glass coverage.

The state also does not require companies to offer separate policies (often called riders) for windshield repair or replacement. Instead, auto insurance companies have the right to design plans and decide what types of glass coverage to offer.

If you’re driving without full glass coverage, you’re not breaking any state or federal laws. Still, you’re putting yourself at risk of having to pay for any windshield damages out of pocket, should an accident or vandalism occur.

Regardless of what your insurance company’s policies are, you can face penalties if you don’t take care of cracked or shattered windshields. Under Article 6 of the Code of Virginia, you can’t be on the road in this state when your windshield has a crack that’s wider than half an inch and more than three inches from your dashboard. You also can’t drive with scratches that are longer than six inches.

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Zero-Deductible Laws for Full Glass Coverage

Three states have laws that provide residents with windshield replacements free of charge:

  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • South Carolina

Even more states run windshield repair services as an alternative to private companies’ policies. Utah, Minnesota, and Maine are among these states, most of which only charge for repairs if the repairs cost more than drivers’ insurance deductibles.

Unlike these states, Virginia does not assist with windshield repairs as an alternative to insurance. As a result, if you do not want to repair or replace your windshield out of pocket, you must take out a policy with a private insurance company.

Laws for Windshield Replacement Service Choice

Under Article 6 of the Code of Virginia, you do not have to file claims if your windshield cracks or shatters. As long as you can afford the legally-mandated repairs, you do not have to report the incident to your insurance company. This option is often more expensive than paying a deductible for windshield repairs, but it means that you get to choose your repair services.

On the other hand, if you do file a car insurance claim for full glass coverage, your insurance company has the right to select a repair provider. Most insurance companies take the following considerations into account when choosing a windshield repair service:

  • Cost. How much will the company pay beyond your deductible?
  • Location. How long will it take the repair service to get to your house or garage?
  • Schedule. How full is the repair service’s current client schedule?
  • Reputation. What level of quality has the service offered in the past?

If you do not like the repair service that your insurance company chooses, Virginia does not give you the right to insist on a different provider.

Full Glass Coverage Laws for Aftermarket or Used Parts

Like most states, Virginia allows insurance companies to pick used or aftermarket windshields. This law allows both insurance companies like USAA and consumers to save money and encourages people to generate less waste. This way, USAA glass coverage insurance can spend less on windshield replacement.

Under the Code of Virginia, an insurance company must notify you if it provides windshields from any businesses besides original equipment manufacturers. For example, suppose you own a Honda Civic. If your insurance company wants to use a windshield from AP Tech, Carlite, or Mopar, the company must send you the windshield’s specifications in writing before beginning the installation process.

Furthermore, Virginia mandates that all used or aftermarket windshields meet the same quality requirements as new ones. This includes the thickness of the glass, its tint, and the point to which it is shatterproof.

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How Car Owners Can Navigate Virginia’s Laws for Full Glass Coverage

At first, it may seem like all of Virginia’s glass coverage laws favor insurance companies, rather than consumers. If you choose your car insurance carefully, though, you can make these laws work for you.

Because state laws allow insurance companies to pick repair providers and offer used parts, new insurance customers should read their contracts carefully. Is glass coverage included, and if so, what is the deductible and monthly rate? What service providers does the insurance company use? Is their reputation good enough that the deductible and rates are worth the expense?

Virginia does not have any laws requiring car owners to stay with their auto insurance companies for a certain amount of time. As a result, if you are unhappy with your company’s glass coverage policies, you can try to renegotiate your contract or look for a different company.

The Big Picture of Virginia’s Full Glass Coverage Laws

Virginia has far fewer full glass coverage laws than states like Florida and South Carolina. Insurance companies have a lot of freedom in choosing repair providers and windshield models. Still, you must be informed of your insurance company’s decisions before repairs take place.

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