South Carolina Windshield Replacement Law

Windshield replacements are completely free under South Carolina law when you file a claim through your comprehensive insurance.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Edited by Pat Roache
South Carolina state law requires
car insurance
companies to provide zero-deductible windshield replacements when drivers use
comprehensive auto insurance coverage
to cover the costs.
  • Collision insurance or another driver’s liability insurance can also cover windshield replacement, but it likely won’t be free in these circumstances.
  • South Carolina drivers are not required to purchase any type of “glass coverage” by law, making comprehensive coverage a worthwhile investment.
  • You must replace your damaged windshield in South Carolina if the cracks intersect or obstruct your field of vision.

Free windshield replacement laws in South Carolina

South Carolina law allows drivers to get broken windshields replaced for free when using
comprehensive coverage
to pay for it.
The law specifically stipulates the following:
  • A comprehensive insurance claim for a cracked windshield must be covered free of charge. 
  • Your insurance provider may not charge you a
    comprehensive deductible
    for this service.
  • Your insurance rates may not go up as a result of making an auto glass repair claim under comprehensive insurance.
Keep in mind: The damage needs to be eligible for coverage under comprehensive car insurance to qualify for a no-cost replacement. Insurance agencies may still charge your deductible if you get into a car accident and need to use
collision coverage

Who pays for South Carolina windshield replacements

Comprehensive insurance claims: Your insurance company must pay the entire cost to cover a windshield glass claim if the damages are covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Liability insurance claims: You may be able to file a car accident claim through another driver’s liability insurance if they are at fault for your damaged windshield. However, there’s no guarantee that this will fully cover your windshield replacement without additional coverage.
You may be responsible for paying some
repair costs
for your car’s windshield damage  if you can’t use comprehensive or another driver’s liability coverage. Here’s how much you can expect a windshield replacement or repair to cost out of pocket:
  • Full replacement: $150 to $500
  • Chip or crack repair: $50 to $200
Your exact cost will depend on:
  • Your make/model
  • Where you take your car for repair services
  • Whether or not you opt for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass service
Expert tip: Most insurance deductibles are $500 to $1,000. You’ll likely be better off
skipping a collision insurance claim
if your deductible is higher than the repair quote for your windshield.

South Carolina windshield replacement requirements

Section 56-5-5000 of the South Carolina Code of Laws states that your sight cannot be obstructed by cracks or damage in your windshield. There are some general federal regulations that stipulate how much damage makes a windshield unsafe for use:
  • Cracks and chips cannot be bigger than three quarters of an inch.
  • You can’t have any damage that hinders your windshield wipers from working.
  • Cracks cannot connect or intersect.
  • You cannot have any damage in the center of the windshield that obstruct your vision.
You’re better off safe than sorry: It’s always a good idea to consult your mechanic or auto glass repair shop to determine whether or not your due for a windshield repair or a full glass replacement.

South Carolina law does not require auto insurance coverage for windshield repair

Drivers are only required to purchase a car insurance policy that meets
South Carolina’s minimum liability requirements
The bottom line: You need to pay extra for comprehensive insurance or a
full-coverage insurance policy
to ensure that you have the proper “windshield insurance” for free-of-charge replacement services.
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