Does window tinting affect auto insurance?

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Important facts to know...

  • The quality of your window tint is an important factor
  • Not all insurance companies offer discounts for window tinting
  • Whether after-market window tinting is permissible is determined on a state-by-state basis

You might make a variety of upgrades to your car or truck. These upgrades can include window tinting as a way to reduce glare and cut down on the amount of sun that enters the vehicle.

When you have window tinting, you need to know how it affects auto insurance premiums and whether your state allows after-market window tinting.

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What are the benefits of window tinting?

There are a lot of different benefits to tinting your car windows. You might like the appearance of the darker windows and many states will allow you to tint your windows to certain percentages, which will be identified by the tint company.

Legitimate, professional companies won’t apply a tint that is illegal within the particular state.

Even beyond aesthetics, the benefits are numerous. These benefits include:

  • Reducing the heat inside the car
  • Limiting the UV rays
  • Preventing interior from fading
  • Privacy and security
  • Shattered glass protection

The last two benefits are where insurance companies could look at the tint as a good thing. If people cannot see into the backseat where valuables are stored, they are less likely to break into your car.

Shattered glass protection is also important because if you get into an accident or you are a victim of vandalism, insurance might have to pay for glass replacement.

While the glass will still break with window tint in place, it will keep the glass in place as opposed to sending glass shards flying towards the passengers.

Insurance companies will see having the tint as a good thing because they lower their likelihood of having to pay for injuries sustained from shards of glass.

Is your window tint professionally installed?

You will find that there are many ways to apply tint to your car windows. In fact, various kits can be purchased online and in stores. However, it’s important to have your window tint professionally installed.

This professional installation will ensure that you get a quality product. It also gives you a warranty to ensure that if something happens to the tint, you have someone to go back to with problems.

Additionally, the paperwork that you get from the professional tinting company should be forwarded to the insurance company. This paperwork will let the insurance company know that it has been professionally installed and identify the type of tint that was used.

If the insurance company you are insured with offers discounts on tint, the paperwork will tell them whether the tint you have installed meets their criterion.

If you don’t already have tint on your car and you are thinking about getting it, it might be a good idea to contact the insurance company ahead of time. Your insurance company will help you learn more about how window tinting will affect your insurance.

They might tell you a specific type of tint that you need to obtain in order to get a discount.

You also need to make sure that your state allows after-market window tinting. This after-market tinting is regulated on a state-by-state basis.

California, Massachusetts, and other states view window tinting as an obstruction, which could impact the level of tinting allowed (based on light transmittance) or whether you are able to have it at all, even if there is a medical reason to have dark tint.

Ensuring Auto Insurance Companies Look at Window Tint When Calculating Premiums

When you get quotes from insurance companies, you have to enter your vehicle’s VIN. The VIN will allow the insurance company to see not only the year, make, and model of your vehicle, but also all of the safety features.

If you choose to add tint after you purchase the vehicle, the professional tinting company will update the feature because of being able to access the VIN number.

Not all insurance companies offer a discount for window tint. However, many do because they know that their financial risk is lower because the car is less likely to be broken into and glass shards are less likely to cut someone if a window breaks during a crash.

It’s important to note that when you spend the money to get tint, insurance companies might not recognize it as something that they will reimburse.

If you spend the money to tint your passenger windows and you get into an accident where the windows break, they will replace the windows but not pay to re-tint.

Window tinting will often affect auto insurance for the better. You should take the time to contact your insurance company before you get your windows tinted.

Additionally, it pays to have the tinting professionally installed to ensure that it is done properly and associated with your VIN number.

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