Tennessee Windshield Replacement Law

Tennessee laws do not mention windshield cracks or damage, but they do state drivers must have an unobstructed view of the road.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
does not have any specific laws governing windshield repairs or replacements. However, state law does require drivers to have an unobstructed view of the road.
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Does Tennessee law cover windshield replacement?

No. Tennessee law doesn’t even cover windshield requirements.
Tennessee Code 55-9-203
states that any vehicle with a windshield must also be equipped with windshield wipers. Beyond this requirement, Tennessee defers to federal regulations where windshields are concerned.

Who pays for windshield replacement in Tennessee?

Like most other states, who pays for windshield replacement in Tennessee will depend on what caused the damage.
If your windshield was damaged in a collision caused by another driver, that driver’s
property damage liability insurance
should pay for the windshield replacement.
If you were in an accident where you were at fault, you will be responsible for the full cost of repairs or replacement, unless you carry
collision coverage
. If you’ve opted to include collision coverage in your insurance policy, then you’ll only be responsible for your deductible when it comes to windshield repairs.
If your windshield is damaged by something other than a collision, the answer to this question depends on whether you have
comprehensive coverage
included in your insurance policy. Comprehensive policy will cover the cost of windshield repairs after an event listed on your policy once your deductible has been paid. after the deductible. However, you’ll be responsible for the full cost of repairs or replacement if the damaged windshield resulted from an event not covered under your comprehensive policy.
Depending on the make and model of your car, a full windshield replacement could run you from $150 up to $500. Minor chips and cracks, on the other hand, can usually be repaired for $50 to $200.
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Does Tennessee law require auto insurance coverage for windshield repair?

No. Tennessee does not require residents to carry insurance that includes windshield repair coverage. In fact, Tennessee’s minimum insurance requirements only include
bodily injury liability
and property damage liability coverage.

Do I need to replace my cracked windshield in Tennessee?

While driving with a cracked windshield is certainly possible, it’s never a good idea. All it takes is one big pothole or a chilly morning coupled with a windshield defroster to take a crack or chip from small to large in mere moments. Then, what could have been an affordable repair has likely become a costly replacement.
Plus, just because Tennessee hasn’t written its own laws surrounding windshield damage doesn’t mean there aren’t any such laws in the state. Rather, drivers are required to follow federal regulations that state:
  • Cracks in the driver's direct line of sight (from the top of the steering wheel to within two inches of the top edge of the windshield) cannot have other cracks intersecting them.
  • Chips and cracks cannot be larger than 3/4 of an inch, and cannot be within three inches of another cracked or chipped area.
So, if your windshield has significant cracks, especially if they’re in the driver’s line of sight, you could find yourself slapped with a non-moving violation if you don’t get it repaired.
If you’re not sure whether your windshield damage is severe enough to warrant replacement, bring your car to your local garage or glass repair shop to get an expert opinion.

How to save on windshield insurance in Tennessee

Unless you’re
in an accident where another driver is at fault
, you’ll likely be on the hook for the cost of windshield repairs or replacement in Tennessee. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage.
While a
full coverage policy
will cost you more than minimum liability insurance, it could save you thousands in repair expenses over time. Plus, when you shop for your full-coverage policy with
, you can get all the coverage you need and still keep your premiums affordable.
A licensed insurance broker
, Jerry partners with over 55 major insurance companies to offer customers optimized coverage at the best prices. Plus shopping with Jerry saves the average customer over $800 a year, which helps offset the added expense of full coverage!
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