It can happen to the best of drivers. It can be an unavoidable occurrence. You’re driving down a road in Lowell, Ma community, or an interstate and a rock is kicked up by the tires of the car in front of you. That rock impacts your windshield and cracks it. What now? You need to have your automobile’s glass repaired.

Your first question might be whether or not insurance will cover the repair or replacement of automobile glass. Depending on your policy, you might not even have to pay a deductible to have it repaired or replaced. Laws vary from state to state on just what kind of cracks need to be fixed. You’ll want to fix it regardless of the laws, however, because your windshield is an important safety feature and a crack, however small, can weaken it.

In the state of Massachusetts, if you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, the damage is covered by the policy. Before 2008, the Commonwealth’s Department of Insurance was responsible for setting insurance rates. If your policy was created before this date, your normal deductible did not apply to glass damage. However, after 2008, the Commonwealth began to allow auto insurance companies to set their own rates, though they must be approved through the state. Some policies have a $100 glass breakage deductible.

Depending on the location and scope of the damage, the insurance company may elect to repair, rather than replace the glass. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act makes it illegal for a car to be returned to service before it can operate safely. Since the windshield is considered a safety device, a car undergoing a windshield replacement or repair cannot be returned until it is safe to do so.

Now that we have discussed the insurance part of repairing automobile glass, where do you go to get it repaired? How do you choose a place to repair or replace the glass?

When choosing a repair shop, it is important to know that the place you choose should have trained and certified technicians. Whichever shop or company you use, they should use only products that meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The company should provide you with a written warranty and record for the work completed. They should also carry adequate insurance.

In addition to the above, you should discuss expectations with the shop you employ to replace the glass. Part of this discussion should include how the work will be completed. Also, since your car will be out of commission while the adhesive sets, you should discuss how long this process will take. You will also want to discuss the type of auto glass adhesive that is used. Some cars, such as those with passenger side airbags, require stronger adhesive to be used in the installation of new glass. This can lead to a longer curing time before the automobile can be returned to the owner and put back into service.

Bottom line, if you have a crack in your windshield, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the windshield or create an unsafe situation. Don’t wait until it’s too dangerous to drive.