Sean Lopez | January 4, 2023 | Florida Law
Are Windshield Repairs Free Under Florida Law?
Windshield repairs can be costly. However, failing to repair a broken windshield could lead to a traffic ticket and contribute to the cause of a traffic accident. Fortunately, windshield repairs are free for many Florida drivers.
Florida’s Law Regarding Motor Vehicle Glass Repair
Florida Statute §627.7288 prohibits insurance companies from charging a deductible for windshield glass repair for policies containing comprehensive and combined additional coverage. However, if you do not have this type of automobile coverage, you must pay out of pocket to repair or replace a broken windshield.
Required Automobile Insurance Coverage In Florida
Florida is one of just a few states that do not require liability insurance for cars. Instead, it only requires no-fault insurance coverage for automobiles.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage pays a portion of the medical bills and lost wages for the driver and passengers of the covered vehicle in an accident. It does not matter who caused the crash. The required coverage is $10,000.
However, PIP does not compensate accident victims unless the victim is a pedestrian or bicyclist. Furthermore, PIP insurance does not pay the full value of economic damages, nor does it compensate individuals for non-economic damages.
Generally, you file a claim with your insurance provider under your PIP policy when you are injured in a car crash. You can only sue an at-fault driver for damages if you sustain a serious injury as defined by Florida law. You would have the burden of proving causation to establish liability for damages.
Purchasing Optional Insurance Coverage in Florida
Florida does not require drivers to purchase additional insurance coverage. However, many drivers choose to do so to protect themselves.
For example, many drivers carry liability insurance. It pays accident victims for damages when you cause a car accident. Liability insurance could protect you from a wage garnishment order and/or property seizure to pay a personal injury judgment.
Likewise, purchasing collision, comprehensive, and combined additional coverage (CAC) protects your investment in your vehicle. These coverages pay for damage to your vehicle.
Collision insurance covers the cost of repair if you cause an accident or collide with another object. It also pays you the fair market value if your car is totaled in the accident. Comprehensive insurance covers the cost of repair or replacement if your vehicle is damaged by fire, theft, natural disasters, vandalism, and other situations.
Florida law does not allow the insurance company to charge you a deductible for windshield repairs when you have CAC or comprehensive coverage. Therefore, your windshield repair could be free if you have the required insurance coverage.
What Causes Windshield Damage in St. Petersburg, FL?
Vehicle windshields are strong, but they are not unbreakable. Examples of situations and circumstances that can damage car windshields include, but are not limited to:
- Car accidents, including rollover accidents, rear-end crashes, sideswipe accidents, and head-on collisions
- Incorrect installation of windshields and car glass
- Rapid pressure changes causing stress fractures
- Chips and cracks from road debris and rocks being thrown against the glass
- Low-quality and cheap glass used to construct some windshields
- High winds and storms cause rocks, tree limbs, power poles, and other storm debris to slam into the windshield
It is important to have small cracks and chips in windshields repaired immediately. Cracks and chips can weaken windshield strength, causing the windshield to shatter while driving or during an accident.
What Are the Risks of Driving With a Broken or Damaged Windshield?
The most serious risk of driving with a broken windshield is the increased chance of sustaining a traumatic injury while driving your vehicle or during a collision. The risks of driving with a broken or damaged windshield include the following:
- An increased risk of being ejected during a car accident
- Compromised structural stability, which could lead to the vehicle frame being crushed during an accident
- Decreased visibility, leading to an increased risk of being involved in a traffic ancient
- Incorrect airbag deployment during a collision
- Decreased protection from road debris, weather, insects, and other hazards while driving
- Increased risk of the windshield shattering while driving or during a collision, causing severe injuries and disfigurement from flying glass
- Driver distraction because the driver is focused on the crack or chip instead of the traffic
Additionally, you might receive a traffic ticket for driving with a cracked or damaged windshield. The longer the windshield is damaged, the more costly it could be to repair the damage. If you have car insurance, call your insurance agent to ask about free windshield repairs in Florida. Just one phone call could save you time and money, as well as protect you and your family from injuries caused by a damaged windshield.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
Contact a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701