Side mirrors are among the most vulnerable parts of your vehicle. A passing car in a tight space, an absentminded pedestrian, or even a strong storm can easily break off or shatter these extended pieces of glass and plastic. Since replacing a side mirror runs $200 to $500 on average, you may wonder if you’ll be stuck footing the entire repair bill or if insurance helps cover side mirrors.
The good news is that in many cases, yes, auto insurance will cover the cost to repair or replace broken side mirrors. But the specifics depend on your policy, coverage, and the damage circumstances.
This article will look at:
- What insurance covers side mirrors
- Typical costs to repair or replace side mirrors
- Steps to file an insurance claim
- Factors that affect side mirror coverage
- Tips to minimize damage risk
Let’s dive into what drivers need to know about getting insurance benefits for busted side mirrors.
What Insurance Covers Side Mirrors
The type of auto insurance coverage that applies to side mirror damage depends on how the mirrors got broken in the first place. Here are some common scenarios:
Collision – If a crash with another car broke your side mirrors, collision insurance will cover the repair costs. Collision pays for damage to your vehicle from an accident, regardless of fault.
Comprehensive – If something other than a collision caused the damage, like vandalism, falling objects, or hail, comprehensive insurance will cover your mirrors.
Uninsured motorist – This pays for hit-and-run damage from an uninsured driver. If a hit-and-run wreck damaged your side mirrors, uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for replacement.
Liability coverage – This covers damage you cause to others. If you break off someone else’s mirror, your liability insurance pays for the repair costs.
Collision and comprehensive have deductibles, meaning you pay out-of-pocket for damage below that amount before insurance kicks in. Liability coverage, which protects others from you, has no deductible.
Typical Costs to Replace a Side Mirror
Replacing a broken side mirror is not cheap. Here are some typical costs:
- Side mirror glass – $100 to $300
- Side mirror housing – $200 to $700
- Labor – $100 to $150 per hour
Total cost to replace a broken side mirror: $200 to $500 on average.
The side mirror housing costs more than the glass to replace. Prices also vary based on your vehicle make and model. Luxury, vintage, and imported cars tend to have pricier mirror replacements.
Steps to File an Insurance Claim for Side Mirror Damage
If your side mirrors get damaged, here are the steps to file an insurance claim:
Document the damage with photos and get a police report if applicable.
Call your insurance company to report the incident and start the claims process.
Take the vehicle to an auto shop for a repair estimate if required by your insurer.
Submit any other requested documentation like receipts or statements.
Pay your deductible once the claim gets approved and the work is complete.
Your insurer will reimburse the auto shop directly for the balance beyond the deductible.
The full side mirror replacement cost gets covered minus your deductible amount.
What Factors Affect Side Mirror Insurance Claims?
Several things can determine whether insurance will pay for a broken side mirror and how much they’ll cover:
Deductible amount – If your deductible is $500 and a mirror replacement costs $300, your insurer won’t pay anything. The damage must exceed the deductible first.
Cause of damage – Collision insurance only covers accident-related damage. Comprehensive pays for non-crash damage like vandalism.
Policy limits – Check your policy to see if side mirrors have special limits or caps on coverage.
Policy exclusions – Damage from racing, activity driving, or criminal acts may not be covered.
Fault for the accident – Your insurer may deny a collision claim if you caused the accident.
Working with an agent helps make sure you have adequate coverage limits and the right deductible amount to cover side mirror replacements.
Tips to Prevent Side Mirror Damage
While insurance can pay for busted side mirrors, avoiding damage in the first place is ideal to prevent claims. Here are some tips:
Fold in mirrors when parking in tight spaces.
Consider mirror protectors or guards to prevent scratches.
Park strategically to avoid other vehicles brushing your side mirrors.
Move mirrors in when driving through narrow passages.
Install cameras to catch hit-and-run drivers who damage mirrors.
Park in garages rather than on the street to avoid vandalism.
Ask passengers to watch out for objects that could hit mirrors.
Taking preventative measures goes a long way in keeping your mirrors intact. But comprehensive and collision insurance provide backup coverage when damage does occur.
Does Insurance Cover Side Mirrors: The Bottom Line
Side mirrors are prone to damage, and replacing them gets expensive. The good news is that in many cases insurance will foot the repair bill.
Collision insurance covers accident-related side mirror damage.
Comprehensive pays for non-crash damage like vandalism or storms.
Costs run $200 to $500+ to replace a broken side mirror.
Take photos, call your insurer, and file a claim to get coverage benefits.
Avoiding damage in the first place is always the best approach!
With the right insurance coverage, you can get side mirror damage repaired without breaking the bank. Contact an agent to make sure your policy covers these important safety features. Driving with intact side mirrors keeps you and others on the road protected.
Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance and Side Mirrors
Does insurance cover side mirrors broken in a hit-and-run accident?
If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will likely cover side mirrors damaged in a hit-and-run accident. Comprehensive policies cover damages from vandalism, theft, and uninsured motorists. You’ll need to file a police report about the hit-and-run and provide details to your insurance company.
If someone breaks my side mirror, will their insurance pay?
Yes, if another driver damages your side mirror, their liability insurance should pay for the cost of repairs or replacement, even if it was accidental. Liability insurance covers damage that policyholders cause to other people’s vehicles. You would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Can I get cheap replacement side mirrors?
To save money on side mirror replacement, you can find affordable aftermarket mirrors online or in auto parts stores. Make sure to get replacement mirrors specifically designed for your vehicle’s make, model, and year. Installing the wrong type of mirror glass or housing can impede visibility.
What is the average cost to replace a side mirror?
The average cost to replace a broken side mirror ranges from $200 to $500, including parts and labor. The mirror glass costs around $100 to $300, while the entire side mirror housing averages $200 to $700 to replace. Add $100 to $150 per hour for labor costs.
Will insurance total a vehicle just for side mirror damage?
Extremely unlikely. Insurance companies do not total vehicles due to side mirror damage alone. Even replacing an entire mirror assembly costs far less than the value of most cars. Only extensive damage well beyond mirror replacement would potentially total a vehicle.
Can I drive without a side mirror temporarily?
It depends on your state’s laws. Many states require at least a driver’s side mirror to be operable. You may be able to drive temporarily without the passenger side mirror. Check your state regulations. But it’s safest to replace or repair damaged side mirrors promptly.
Does full coverage insurance cover side mirrors?
Yes, full coverage auto insurance includes both collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision covers side mirrors damaged in an accident. Comprehensive covers non-collision damage from causes like vandalism. Together, they provide full protection.
Does liability cover damage to my own car’s side mirror?
No, liability insurance only pays for damage you cause to others – it does not cover your own vehicle. Collision or comprehensive insurance cover your own car’s side mirror damage. Liability covers the repair costs if you break off someone else’s side mirror.
Replacing a broken side mirror costs money. But having the right insurance makes it affordable to repair this important safety equipment. Talk to an agent to make sure you have adequate coverage.
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