Washington Windshield Insurance: What Are the Full Glass Coverage Laws in Washington?

Washington state windshield replacement laws are similar to many states’ codes on glass coverage. Discover how to properly repair and replace your windshield in Washington.

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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 10, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Under Washington state windshield replacement law, car owners can pick their repair providers if they assume responsibility for any difference in cost
  • Washington does not require insurance companies to offer zero-deductible full glass coverage
  • Auto insurance companies in Washington may offer aftermarket or used windshields, but clients can choose to provide their own glass

Every state sets its own regulations surrounding when windshields need to be repaired and how insurance companies must respond to full glass coverage claims. Washington state windshield replacement laws are similar to many states’ codes on glass coverage.

Most window cracks come from debris that flies out of passing trucks or pebbles that other cars stir up. Regardless of why your windshield is cracked or when it happened, Washington state police can pull you over and give you a ticket for it, so you should address even the smallest crack right away.

Taking care of a cracked windshield isn’t just a smart legal move; it’s also an important way to stay safe. We’ll walk you through the top laws surrounding full glass coverage in Washington, pointing out your rights as well as financial points to consider. That way, you know what to do the next time your windshield shatters or cracks.

Washington State Windshield Replacement Laws for Repair Service Choice

Like most states, Washington allows its insurance companies to choose their clients’ repair providers. As a result, if you file a car insurance claim for your windshield, your agent has the right to name the company that will repair or replace your glass.

If you don’t like this repair company or you think you can find a cheaper option, Washington’s auto insurance laws give you the right to find a different repair service. Washington does not operate a state-run windshield repair service, so you must find a private company. Furthermore, when you choose this option, you have to cover any expenses beyond your insurance company’s original quote.

For example, suppose your insurance company chose a business that can replace your windshield for $400 and you want to use one that costs $500. To use your preferred repair service, you must pay the $100 difference in cost as well as your normal deductible.

Under Washington’s state laws, insurance companies must tell their clients that they have the right to pick their own glass repair provider or manufacturer. If you call your insurance company and ask about making a claim, your representative must tell you about this right. If you conduct all of your business remotely, you must receive this reminder in writing. Otherwise, your insurance company is in violation of your contract and state law.

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Washington State Windshield Replacement Laws for Deductibles

If you live in Kentucky, Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida, or South Carolina and you file a comprehensive claim for auto insurance, your insurance company must replace or repair your windshield free of charge. In other words, these five states all mandate zero-deductible full glass coverage.

Washington’s auto insurance laws do not include a zero-deductible clause, although your insurance company may institute a free full glass coverage program if it wants to. If you have comprehensive coverage, this policy may include glass repairs, provided you pay your deductible.

Some insurance companies require you to purchase a glass coverage rider in addition to your comprehensive policy, and some do not offer glass coverage at all. Under Washington’s state regulations, these methods for handling windshield repairs are all legal. If you’re not sure what kind of windshield policy you have, read through your contract carefully or ask your insurance agent.

Washington State Windshield Replacement Laws for Used or Aftermarket Glass

Washington state windshield replacement laws permit insurance companies to supply their clients with used or aftermarket glass. Used windshields must be in comparable condition to new ones, and they cannot compromise your safety. Aftermarket windshields can either be new or used, and they can come from any company besides your original equipment manufacturer.

Aftermarket windshields still have to match your OEM’s windshield specifications:

  • Durability. How much pressure or force can your windshield withstand?
  • Size. Does this windshield fit into your frame without adjustments?
  • Age. Was the windshield manufactured recently enough that it is safe to use?
  • Price. Does the part cost the same or less than an OEM windshield?
  • Visibility. Does the windshield have the same tint and range of vision as the OEM part?

These regulations ensure that your insurance company provides a windshield that saves both parties money without compromising your security.

As with repair companies, Washington state law entitles you to refuse your insurance company’s windshield choice, including if it is used or non-OEM. If you want to supply your own windshield, you must pay for any increase in cost.

You can decide to choose both a different windshield and a different repair company than your insurance company picks. If you do so, it may be more expensive to file a full glass insurance claim than to handle repairs on your own.

For example, suppose your chosen windshield costs $75 more than your insurance company’s recommendation and your repair provider charges an extra $95. You’ll have to pay $170 in addition to your standard deductible. Furthermore, your insurance company has the right to raise your deductibles after you file a claim, especially if your actions caused the damage. Depending on how severe the crack is and how lenient your insurance company is, it may be financially easier to handle repairs out of pocket.

The Bottom Line on Washington State Windshield Replacement Laws

Washington does not require insurance companies that operate in the state to sell zero-deductible policies, so you can expect to pay a deductible whenever you file a full glass coverage claim. The state does let you choose your own repair company and windshield. If your insurance company finds cheaper options, though, expect to pay the difference, your deductible, and your monthly rates.

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