I Cracked My Rental Car Windshield – Now What?

While driving, there are a variety of hazards on the road, including ones that can chip or crack your windshield. This is not an ideal situation, and it is even worse when the car you are driving is a rental car. If the windshield of your rental car becomes damaged, you may be wondering what the next steps are.

At Three Rivers Auto Glass, we’ve put together a guide to help you handle a cracked rental car windshield with ease.

Car Rental What Type of Coverage is There for Rental Car Damage?

When you rent a car, you will typically be asked to sign a collision damage waiver. This is an expensive waiver that can almost double the cost of your rental. While it is expensive, it does offer thorough coverage against financial liability in the event of damage like a cracked windshield. If it is within your budget, this can be a great worry-free option for damage coverage.

Keep in mind that the collision damage waiver is not insurance, but rather it is an agreement between you and the rental company that they won’t charge you for things like administrative costs, loss of use, repairs, towing, etc., during your rental period. While this is the highest amount of protection available, it is often heavily overpriced, so it is not an option that works for all budgets. If you’d like to use this option, be sure to budget the extra money when planning your trip to ensure there is no surprise cost.

If you want to avoid this high cost, you can opt to use your personal car insurance to cover the rental car damage. Contact your insurance provider and make sure you have collision and comprehensive coverage to ensure your regular car insurance covers damages like a cracked windshield. It’s important to note that if you have basic liability insurance, your rental car will not be covered.

Check your insurance policy prior to renting a vehicle to determine if you need the collision damage waiver or not. This will help you when budgeting for your trip and planning your rental car costs. You can also check your travel insurance policy which will likely include coverage for your rental car. If you don’t own a vehicle, you can get a non-owner car insurance policy to cover damage to a rental car, such as a cracked windshield.

Steps to Take for a Cracked Rental Car Windshield

Regardless of the insurance coverage you have on your rental car, you will need to follow these steps to deal with the cracked windshield:

Check Your Coverage Options

As mentioned above, determine what type of coverage you have to see what insurance policy you want to use to cover the cracked windshield.

Inform the Rental Company of the Damage

If you choose to sign the collision damage waiver, there should be no additional steps since the agreement has already been made that you will not be charged for damage to the rental vehicle.

If you plan to use your personal insurance coverage, the rental company may offer to call your insurance company and file the claim for the windshield on your behalf, or you may need to file the claim yourself.

Do Not Attempt to Repair the Damage Yourself

No matter the situation, we do not recommend trying to repair the damage yourself. Doing so can not only result in poor results leading to more costly repairs but can also violate your rental agreement, leading to bigger issues.

Cracked Windshield on a leased Car

If you find yourself in a situation where your windshield has been cracked while leasing a vehicle, the first thing to do is contact the leasing company. They should be able to provide you with instructions for getting your windshield repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Depending on the terms of your lease agreement, they may even cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

It’s also important to take photos of the damage so that you have documentation in case you need to make an insurance claim or if there are any disputes over coverage. In some cases, it’s also a good idea to file a police report if you suspect that the windshield was vandalized or damaged intentionally. This can help protect you from any liability associated with the incident. You want to make sure that you have the right car insurance policy that will help protect you in the event of damage or an accident. Comprehensive insurance plans will often have windshield coverage, and your lease agreement should instruct you on what type of car insurance to purchase.

Once you have contacted your leasing company and taken photos of the damage, make sure to find a reputable auto glass repair service to fix or replace your windshield. Waiting to have repairs done can cause the chip or crack to become bigger. As it gets bigger, it causes more extensive damage and may require more expensive repairs.

It’s important to do your research and choose a service that is properly certified and has extensive experience in handling these types of repairs.  Be sure to ask any questions and get a written estimate before having any work done.

Finally, make sure to keep all of your records in case you need to reference them down the road. This includes receipts, invoices, police reports, etc. Being organized can help make the entire process much smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.

The best course of action is to try to avoid windshield damage. This can be done by traveling at a safe distance behind semis, construction equipment, and gravel trucks to help prevent damage. Following these steps can help ensure that your windshield gets fixed quickly and efficiently while also protecting you from any potential legal issues.

Windshield Repair Services in Pittsburgh

At Three Rivers Auto Glass, we specialize in repairing cracked or chipped windshields to get you back out on the road! Contact us today to learn more.

Denny Toth