What You Should do if a Rock Hits Your Windshield

09/14/2021

You're driving down the highway and bam! You hear a noise that sounds like a rock hitting your windshield. You look, and sure enough, there's a crack.

There are plenty of ways a crack or chip happens. Maybe a car in front of you on the highway kicks up a rock, or rocks fall from a truck carrying gravel, or debris kicked up from the road hits your windshield, causing damage. Poor driving conditions or even bad weather can damage a windshield or car window with objects like rocks on the road, debris from a passing vehicle, or even hail.

Windshields are one of your vehicle's most important safety features. If your windshield is chipped or cracked, it is a nuisance and can create a distraction from the road. A crack larger than a dollar bill can obstruct the road in front of you, can prevent you from driving safely, and can limit the integrity of the overall stability of your vehicle.

A windshield chip or crack repair is used to prevent further damage and to help restore structural integrity and should be done as soon as possible to help prevent them from getting worse. Unfortunately, it's a pretty common occurrence, so you'll want to know what to do if it happens to you.

What to Do When a Rock Hits Your Windshield

Having something hit your windshield or car window is scary, so it's normal to feel a little unsettled. Here's what to do immediately after a rock hits your windshield or your auto glass is damaged.

Safely Pull Over

If you are shaken up, safely maneuver to the side of the road, away from traffic. Then, if you need to, take a few deep breaths once you've pulled over to stay calm.

Assess the Damage

Once you're safely on the side of the road, you'll want to determine if you need immediate help or if you can get home and repair it later.

While assessing the damage, here's what to look for:

  • The size of the damage: Check to see the size of the chip and any resulting damages.
  • The damage location: Check to see if the chips and cracks will impact your field of vision while driving.
  • It's important to know if your vehicle has Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). These systems are often designed to increase car and road safety and may put you at risk if any of those safety systems, such as sensors and cameras, are tied to the windshield should it need to be replaced.

Your windshield can usually be repaired when:

  • Damage is 6 inches or smaller.
  • There are three chips or less.
  • Damage is not in front of a camera or sensor.

More extensive damage will likely require a full windshield replacement.

Reporting an Auto Glass Claim

Next, give your insurance provider a call for claim service. You'll want to have your policy number, vehicle identification number (VIN) and the date the damage occurred, and how the damage happened handy.

If your windshield can be repaired rather than replaced and you have comprehensive insurance, your comprehensive deductible may not apply. If your windshield needs replaced, depending on your insurance coverage, you may have to pay a deductible.

Your insurer will take your information, verify your coverage and help you get an appointment for service. You do have a choice when it comes to deciding who you want to repair the damage. Talk to your insurance company about your options, whether you want to take your car in for service or have a mobile option where the repair is done at your home, workplace, or another location.

If you need to pay for windshield repair or replacement costs upfront, keep your receipts or invoice and include your name, policy number and date of loss. It will help your insurer know how much to reimburse you for costs when submitting them as part of the claims process.

What if You Don't Have Insurance?

If you don't have coverage for glass or windshield damage with your current policy, you'll have to pay for these costs out-of-pocket. Get a quote from a local mechanic or auto glass repair service. Many of these companies will replace or repair your windshield regardless of insurance.

Windshield damage is common, but knowing what to do and how to start the claims process can save you time. With Westfield, you can report a glass claim for auto glass damage online submit a glass claim for windshield damage online or you can call 800.243.0210 (option 3). Representatives are here to help 24/7. To learn more about Westfield's auto insurance coverage, get in touch with your local independent agent today.