Unfortunately, windshield damage is common and can be caused by a wide variety of things. When damage occurs, it is best to address it right away. Windshield chips and cracks usually get worse over time and a damaged windshield compromises the safety of you and your passengers.
Chips and cracks up to 6 inches long can usually be repaired by a windshield specialist as opposed to having to replace the entire windshield and the cost may be much lower than your insurance deductible. Often times these repairs can be done without having to make a claim.
Keep in mind that some insurance policies may cover replacement of windshields. Some insurers even waive the deductible so that there is no cost to you!
Three things to consider when you are in need of windshield repair or replacement:
1. Is the person doing the work a certified auto glass technician? Don't trust just anyone to do the work properly.
2. Does the work and/or product come with a warranty? One should be available for you.
3. How much time after the repair until the vehicle can be driven again? Repairs are typically safe to drive right away, while replacements may require a wait time and can depend on the current weather conditions and products used.