Is a Leaking Windscreen Covered by Insurance?

A leaking windscreen can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue for drivers. Water ingress into a vehicle can cause electrical issues, mold, and interior damage over time. Understanding whether a leaking windscreen is covered by your auto insurance policy is important to know in case you experience this problem.

What Causes a Leaking Windscreen?

There are a few common causes of a leaking windscreen:

  • The windscreen seal is worn out. Windscreen seals are made of rubber and deteriorate over time. After several years, small gaps or cracks can form, allowing water to seep through.

  • The windscreen is chipped or cracked. Any damage to the windscreen glass can allow water to leak through. Even small chips can get worse over time and lead to leaks.

  • Improper windscreen installation. If the windscreen was not installed correctly by a technician, gaps can form where water can enter the vehicle.

  • Rusted or corroded body panels under the windscreen. If the metal body panels under the windscreen have rust damage, water may be entering around the edges.

  • Clogged sunroof or door drains. Water that enters sunroof or door openings is typically drained outside the vehicle through small tubes. If they get clogged, water can back up and leak into the cabin.

Is a Leaking Windscreen Covered by Car Insurance?

Whether a leaking windscreen is covered by your car insurance depends on a few factors:

  • The type of coverage you have: Most standard auto policies include comprehensive and collision coverage. A leaking windscreen would fall under your comprehensive coverage.

  • The cause of the leak: If the leak is due to normal wear and tear of the seals or damage from an uncovered peril like hail, it may not be covered. But if the leak is due to an accident, vandalism, or falling debris, it is more likely to be covered.

  • Your deductible amount: Even if covered, you will need to pay your comprehensive deductible, which is commonly $500-$1000. It may not make financial sense to file a claim for a minor leak repair.

  • Your claims history: Too many claims on your policy, even for comprehensive coverage, may cause increased premiums at renewal time.

Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover a Leaking Windscreen?

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle from non-collision incidents, excluding wear and tear. This includes:

  • Damage from weather events like hail, floods, or falling tree branches
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Collisions with animals on the road

A windscreen leak caused by one of these comprehensive perils, like hail damage or vandalism, would likely be covered after paying your deductible. Leaks due to deterioration of windscreen seals or body rust would generally fall under maintenance and not be covered.

When Might Collision Insurance Cover a Leaking Windscreen?

Your collision insurance covers vehicle damage caused by accidents with other cars or objects. If your windscreen was damaged in a collision and then leaked water into your car, it would be covered under collision insurance, again subject to your deductible amount.

For example, if a rock kicked up on the highway chips your windscreen and the chip leads to cracks and a leak over time, your collision insurance will pay for a replacement windscreen. Make sure you file the claim and get the windscreen repaired soon after the incident, before additional interior damage is caused by the leak.

Tips for Getting Windscreen Leak Damage Covered by Insurance

If you have a leaking windscreen, here are some tips to improve your chances of getting it covered by insurance:

  • Review your auto policy to confirm you have comprehensive and collision coverage with reasonable deductibles.

  • Try to identify the cause of the leak – was it due to an insured incident like a collision or vandalism versus wear and tear?

  • Document the leak with photos showing where water is entering the vehicle.

  • Mitigate interior damage by vacuuming water out of carpet and upholstery immediately. Mold can develop within 48 hours.

  • Be prepared to show the insurer any police reports that relate to when the windscreen was damaged.

  • Get a detailed estimate for the windscreen replacement cost to submit to your insurer.

  • If the leak is due to wear and tear, consider paying for the windscreen replacement yourself rather than filing a claim.

What is Covered Beyond Just the Windscreen Replacement?

If your insurance claim for a leaking windscreen is approved, in addition to the windscreen replacement cost, they may cover:

  • Damage to interior components like carpeting, upholstery, or electronics if water from the leak caused mold or electrical shorts.

  • Any rust damage to metal body panels under the windscreen if the leak was there for an extended period.

  • Labor costs for windscreen removal and installation by a qualified auto glass technician.

  • Programming and calibration of advanced driver assistance systems like cameras or sensors built into the windscreen.

  • Rental car reimbursement if your vehicle is undriveable for more than a day or two during the windscreen replacement process.

Always save your receipts for any related repair costs to submit for reimbursement.

Reasons an Insurance Claim May Be Denied

In some cases, a claim for a leaking windscreen might be denied by your insurer:

  • You only carry liability coverage on your policy, which would not apply.

  • The damage is due to wear and tear or gradual deterioration of seals.

  • Previous windscreen claims show a pattern of improper maintenance.

  • The leak is caused by non-covered events like hail storms or floods.

  • Significant modifications have been made to your vehicle not declared on the policy.

  • Fraud is suspected, such as staged damage or false statements relating to the loss.

If your claim is denied, carefully review the reason given by the insurer. You may be able to provide additional evidence to get the decision reversed.

Other Options if Your Leaking Windscreen is Not Covered

If your insurance will not pay for a leaking windscreen replacement, here are some options to consider:

  • Pay out of pocket for a replacement. This may be the cheapest option depending on your deductible amount. Shop around for quotes.

  • Check your credit card – some provide complementary coverage for rental cars or damage waivers.

  • See if your auto manufacturer provides any applicable warranties.

  • Consider an extended third-party warranty that may help cover the replacement cost.

  • Try using a windscreen repair resin kit to fill chips or cracks and prevent further leaking.

  • Sell or trade in the vehicle rather than paying for an expensive windscreen replacement.

  • Park the vehicle outdoors until you can budget for the replacement cost. Limit driving in rainy weather to prevent water damage.

Preventing and Detecting Windscreen Leaks

Here are some tips to help avoid windscreen leaks in the first place:

  • Replace windscreen wiper blades annually or when cracked or worn.

  • Clean the windscreen regularly with proper cleaning products to avoid damage to seals.

  • Apply a windscreen protectant sealant every six months to preserve and waterproof seals.

  • Fill small chips immediately to prevent spreading cracks.

  • Avoid exposing your vehicle to debris that could cause glass chips or cracks.

  • Check seals around the windscreen for gaps, cracks, or deterioration every six months.

  • Clear door, sunroof, and AC drains regularly to prevent water from backing up.

  • Listen for wind noise which may indicate seal failure.

  • Look for water droplets on interior carpets and upholstery after rain or washing.

With proper preventative maintenance and care, you can help extend the life of your windscreen seals and avoid frustrating leaks into the vehicle. Understanding if and when insurance will cover a leaking windscreen replacement is also key knowledge for all drivers. Review your auto policy today so you know what to expect if you ever encounter this issue.

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Does insurance cover windscreen damage?

If you have fully comprehensive cover in place, it’s likely that any damage sustained to your windscreen will be covered. Other types of insurance will not cover windscreen repairs. However, it’s always worth checking the specifics of your policy even if you have fully comprehensive cover in place.

Are leaking windows covered by home insurance?

Storms are sudden and accidental, and wind is a covered event on most home insurance policies unless you live in a high-risk coastal area. However, if your 18-year-old roof starts leaking due to wear and tear over the years, your homeowners policy is unlikely to help. The same goes for leaky windows or pipes.

Can a leaking windshield be resealed?

Do-it-yourself (DIY) windshield seal repair is possible. Before you get started, it’s crucial to pinpoint the exact location of the leak, so that you can put the sealant in the correct place. You would do well to use a sealant designed explicitly for windshield repair. “Do not use household-based silicone.

How much does it cost to replace the seal around a windshield?

On average, the cost for replacing a car window seal can range from $100 to $500 or more. Basic rubber weatherstripping seals around the windows might be less expensive to replace, ranging from $100 to $300.

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