Virginia Windshield Replacement Law

Virginia law doesn’t require insurers to include glass coverage in comprehensive insurance policies.
Written by Zachary Morgan
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Like most other states,
does not require insurance providers to offer zero-deductible windshield repairs. Furthermore, insurers are not required to offer separate policies for windshield repair and replacement.
It’s an all too familiar story; you’re driving behind a big rig or construction vehicle, and a rock comes flying out of nowhere and cracks your windshield. This can be especially frustrating for Virginia drivers since state law doesn’t require your insurance provider to include glass coverage in your policy.
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Does Virginia law cover windshield replacement?

No, Virginia law does not require insurance providers to offer free windshield repair on
comprehensive insurance
policies. And since insurers are not required to offer separate glass coverage policies, they can decide whether a claim is or isn’t covered. 
An overwhelming majority of states—47 out of 50—do not require insurance companies to offer zero-deductible windshield repair. The three states with laws in place (
, and
South Carolina
) urge insurers to replace windshields for free (under certain circumstances). 

Who pays for windshield replacement in Virginia?

So if there’s no legal requirement for insurers to offer glass coverage, who ends up paying for the windshield replacement? Well, it depends.
Interestingly, Virginia state law
Article 6
states that drivers are not required to file a claim if their windshield is cracked or shattered. Of course, you can file a claim with your insurer—but you could also pay for the replacement out of pocket. 
If you’re wondering why someone would want to foot the bill, it’s a matter of flexibility and choice. You can choose which glass shop you’d like to take your vehicle to for repairs. If your insurer approves your claim, however, you must take your vehicle to the mechanic or glass shop of their choosing.
Without insurance, a windshield replacement typically costs between $150 and $500, depending on the specific car you drive. For individual chips, cracks, and scratches, the price is usually between $50 and $200.

Does Virginia law require auto insurance coverage for windshield repair?

No—Virginia state law neither requires insurers to replace windshields for free nor mandates for drivers to carry glass coverage. 
Virginia only legally requires two types of insurance:
bodily injury liability
, which pays for other drivers’ medical expenses, and
property damage liability
, which covers damages to the other party’s vehicle and other property. Sticking to these minimums will save you some money in the short term, but they won’t offer any significant protection if your windshield is cracked or shattered and needs replacement.

Do I need to replace my cracked windshield in Virginia?

Sure, you’ll need to replace a completely shattered windshield—but what if it just has a small scratch or crack?
You probably won’t need a replacement, but since cracks can spread and get worse, it’s good practice to repair them immediately.
Under Article 6 of the Virginia legal code, you are not allowed to drive if your windshield has a crack that’s either wider than half an inch and more than three inches from your dashboard or if it has a scratch longer than six inches. If any of this damage obstructs your field of view, you could get pulled over and ticketed.
If you notice a new crack, the best thing to do is bring your vehicle to a repair shop and have a mechanic look at it. Try to find someone willing to give you a free consultation and get a written estimate before committing to any repairs.
Alternatively, you could contact a company like SafeLite, provided the crack is six inches long or shorter. Once you make an appointment, a technician will come to your home or place of work to fix your windshield quickly and efficiently—no replacement is necessary!
MORE: How to get a car windshield replacement
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