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Does window tinting affect my car insurance?

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The lowdown...
  • In general, tinting your windows won’t directly impact your auto insurance premium
  • It’s very important that your window tint complies with all state laws and regulations to protect your insurance coverage
  • If you have the right kind of insurance, you may be able to have coverage for the tint on your windows
  • It’s best to inform and consult your auto insurer when making cosmetic or performance changes to your car, including window tinting
When maximizing the look and appearance of your sports car or other vehicle, you may want to improve its original profile with special rims, custom paint jobs or even tinted windows.

Tinted windows are often part of an overall vehicle customization project designed to create just the aesthetic that you like in your car. However, that’s not the only reason you may choose to tint your car windows.

Other drivers choose to add extra tint to their car windows in order to obtain additional protection from sun glare while driving or from fading of interior fabrics due to exposure to sunlight. Even more drivers may want to increase their level of privacy inside their vehicle.

However, you may be concerned that tinted windows could impact the premiums that you pay for car insurance. In most cases, you will not need to pay more for car insurance because you have tinted windows. There may be concerns about replacement coverage for the tinted windows in the case of an auto accident, however.

You can compare different auto insurance options for coverage types, premium costs and value by shopping online. Use an online comparison tool to examine the available choices in car insurance and determine which is a good fit for your vehicle.

Learn more about window tinting below and make sure you use our free insurance comparison tool above!

Tinted Windows and Your Car Insurance

AdobeStock_52734917-1600x1600In general, tinted windows will not lead to an increase in the rates that you pay for auto insurance. However, it’s important to make sure that your tinted windows meet the requirements of your state laws to ensure that you don’t run into any problems with your insurance coverage, especially in the case of a crash.

It’s best for you to contact your insurer directly to make sure you won’t have coverage issues due to your tinted windows. When you follow state law guidelines, your window tinting should not impact your premiums or insurance cover.

Tinting on car windows is measured by a percentage of tint and a percentage of sun allowed through. Windows darkened by 20 percent would have a 20 percent tint and allow 80 percent of light to pass through the vehicle windows.

Most state laws about tinted windows refer to either a maximum percentage of tint or a minimum amount of light that must be allowed to pass through. Each state has their own regulations and statutes regarding window tinting. If you violate these statutes, you may receive a ticket or other citation for improper window tinting.

When your car is in violation of state laws due to window tinting, you could run into problems with your insurance company. This is why it’s important to make sure your tint level is legal.

There are exceptions available for medical necessity when drivers have a vision or other medical condition that requires limiting your exposure to sunlight. In order to receive a medical exemption, you will need a prescription or detailed letter from a doctor.

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What if my tinted windows need repair or replacement?

While it’s unlikely that legal tinted windows would cause your insurance premiums to spike, your aftermarket tinting may not be covered by your car insurance, depending on the type of insurance you carry on your vehicle.

First, if you just have liability insurance on your vehicle – the basic auto insurance mandatory under state laws across the country – your insurance only covers the injuries and property damage done to other drivers and their vehicles.

If you have collision insurance, your car is covered in a collision, but not for other damages like theft, fire or wind.

Only comprehensive car insurance coverage can protect your vehicle in the case of damage from weather incidents like a falling branch due to high winds or rust due to flooding.

Even your comprehensive insurance may not cover your specialized tint, however, although it would pay to replace your windows to the original manufacturer’s specification in these types of situations.

In some cases, you may have an included amount of coverage for aftermarket customizations to your vehicle, which could include your window tinting. With other insurers or in other states, you may need to purchase a rider to your policy in order for your customizations to be covered.

In either situation, it’s important to keep your receipts for window tinting and other aftermarket customizations if you’re seeking compensation from your insurance company after a collision or other damages.

You can compare the coverage options and premiums available to you for comprehensive car insurance coverage by shopping online. Take advantage of online tools to look at the different choices in your state and choose the one that fits your needs.

What if my window tint is fraying or fading?

person-woman-apple-hotelIn general, fraying or fading window tint due to age is not covered by your car insurance, even under comprehensive policies.

Replacement of window tint film due to normal wear and tear is not the kind of expense covered by auto insurance, which is meant to provide coverage for sudden damages with a specific cause, like a crash, a weather incident or an auto theft. This will be an expense you’ll likely have to cover out of pocket.

Should I report my window tinting to my car insurer?

In general, whenever you’re making a change to your vehicle that affects its overall appearance or performance, it’s best to phone your broker or auto insurer to notify them. You’ll avoid any unnecessary or unwanted surprises and find out the details of your coverage for the customization.

It’s also important to report the change if you’re looking to ensure that the tinting is covered under your insurance plan. If you have the right coverage and need to claim for a replacement window, your tint will also be replaced. Legal window tinting is a cosmetic change to your car like fancy rims or a new paint job.

You should also report more serious changes to your insurer, like adding performance shocks, installing a sunroof or changing the car’s exterior lighting.

You can compare the options that car insurers present to you when you make use of online tools to see the value you can receive from different auto insurance companies in your state. Choose the plan and premium that fits into your life for the best deal.

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