SeanCarlo Lopez | July 2, 2023 | Florida Law
Florida Statute Makes Windshield Repairs Free
Road warriors know that it is only a matter of time before common hazards like hail, birds, or errant pebbles cause your windshield to chip or crack. That said, while this sort of damage is unsightly, you may not think much of fixing it.
But it is a good idea to take the cracks or chips in your windshield seriously. Under the right conditions, they can grow and spread to affect more of your windshield’s surface area.
A severe crack can even cause the windshield to fail entirely. And numerous large chips or extensive cracks can obscure your vision and lead to motor vehicle crashes.
Florida Laws on Obstructing a Driver’s View
In general, drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle with a front windshield that is obstructed enough to limit the driver’s view. The specific statute that mentions this, Florida Statutes Section 316.2004, prohibits placing any sort of sticker, decal, or other material over the front windshield.
Florida has no specific law prohibiting driving a vehicle with a cracked or chipped windshield. But it stands to reason that since Section 316.2004 prohibits materials that obstruct a driver’s clear view, any cracks and chips that interfere with a clear view will be problematic for officers and courts alike.
There is No Reason Not to Fix Your Windshield
Two common objections you might have to fixing your windshield are the inconvenience of taking your car to a shop and the cost involved in doing so. However, a little investigation will show you that both reasons are outdated and do not carry much weight.
In larger cities especially, authorized repair shops can come to your work or home. They’ll fix the windshield where it’s convenient for you, which means you don’t have to go to a physical shop for a windshield repair or replacement.
But what about the cost? If you are insured, your insurance company will repair or replace your windshield for free. Florida Statutes Section 627.7288 stipulates that the deductible provisions of any motor vehicle insurance policy do not apply to damage to the windshield covered under such policy.
Thus, this law says that your auto insurance carrier cannot require you to first pay a deductible before covering a windshield repair or replacement. If you have chips or cracks that need to be fixed, your insurance company must pay the bill in its entirety.
You should be aware, though, that this law does not apply if you do not have auto insurance. In that case, you are responsible for covering the entire cost of the repair or replacement of your windshield.
Benefits of Fixing Your Windshield
Keeping your windshield in good repair ensures that you have a clear view of the road, which is a great benefit on its own. However, it may also help prevent a car accident where you are on the hook for damages.
Driving a vehicle when you cannot clearly see out of the windshield is a careless choice. And you could be responsible for paying for the injuries you cause as a result.
Get Your Windshield Fixed for Free in Florida
No matter who your carrier is or the other terms of your policy, your insurance company must cover repairs to your windshield for free. In light of this, there’s no reason to neglect fixing the chips and cracks that develop. Doing so not only makes it easier to see out of your windshield, but it can also help you avoid any unnecessary accidents on the road.
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
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St. Petersburg, FL 33701