Tackling Car Window Breakage: Repair and Coverage Tips

Upon stepping out of your home to approach your car, you are met with a disheartening sight: the driver’s side window has been broken, with glass fragments spread across the seats and the floor of the vehicle. To add to the distress, your infotainment screen is broken, and the underfloor storage compartment appears to have been thoroughly searched.

Handling damage to a car window can be an unexpected expense, and it might not be something you can address immediately. However, it is important to remain calm. Let’s examine a multi-step procedure to follow as you wait for your insurance company to process the situation and the subsequent repairs.


broken car window


Start the Cleanup

Before you address the window repair, ensure you wear protective gloves before proceeding to clean up the glass. Using a vacuum might be more efficient, but always be cautious as tiny pieces might still be lodged in the door or buried in the carpet. Modern car windows are designed to shatter into minute fragments rather than large shards, which means cleaning can be a meticulous task. After vacuuming, thoroughly remove any remaining glass fragments with your gloves. Utilizing a flashlight can be useful in finding stray shards, as they will glimmer in the light.

Temporary Shielding

Obtain a clear plastic sheet to cover the broken window. A sturdy, transparent trash bag can serve the purpose, but if needed, you might have to visit a hardware store. Before cutting the plastic, measure the dimensions of the window. The plastic should snugly fit around the door frame and be secured using duct tape. Ensure the plastic is tailored precisely, removing any surplus.

Secure the Covering

To make sure the plastic sheeting remains in place and can withstand weather conditions like rain or snow, reinforce it with a second layer of duct tape over the initial layer that borders the plastic. It is essential for the plastic to remain taut to minimize any noise due to air resistance. A little give is acceptable, but excessive movement might lead to the plastic coming off.

Test the Seal

Concluding your window damage remedy, you should test the security of your temporary repair. Gently press against the plastic; it should have minimal movement. To ensure it is watertight, use a garden hose on a mild setting to spray water on it. Examine for any leaks and, if detected, identify the source of the leak and reinforce the area.

Insurance Matters

Before diving into repairs, it’s a smart move to notify your insurance provider about the damage. Snapping some pictures will give you a visual record of the situation. It might also be worth reporting to the police, especially if it looks like a break-in. Keep in mind that not all insurance policies will cover this type of damage, or the extent of the damage might fall below claim thresholds.

On the other hand, if the damages are substantial, filing a claim could be the right step. Car window issues often fall under comprehensive insurance policies. In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance could come into play. To navigate this, reach out to your insurance representative, especially if potential repair costs exceed your deductible.

A shattered car window is undoubtedly stressful. However, armed with knowledge and a plan, you can navigate the situation more smoothly.


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Photo under license from Adobe Stock Images.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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