Car insurance with windscreen cover

If you have windscreen cover included in your car insurance, you’ll be protected should you ever need to repair or replace your windscreen. Here’s the lowdown.

If you have windscreen cover included in your car insurance, you’ll be protected should you ever need to repair or replace your windscreen. Here’s the lowdown.

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 5 JANUARY 2022

What is windscreen cover?  

Windscreen cover is what protects you if your car windscreen ends up cracked, chipped or smashed.

Is windscreen cover included as standard in my insurance policy?

Not necessarily. When you take out a car insurance policy, don’t automatically assume that you’re covered for windscreen damage. Even with comprehensive policies, different insurance providers will offer different levels of cover.

While some insurance providers offer windscreen cover as standard, others offer it as an add-on you’ll have to pay extra for. And some might not offer windscreen cover at all.

When you’re choosing a policy, don’t just check if windscreen cover is included. You should also check whether claiming for it affects your no claims discount and whether you’ll need to pay an excess.

Why is windscreen cover important? 

Windscreen insurance can cover the cost of repairing any chips and cracks in the glass, as well as a replacement windscreen if yours is smashed. Most policies will stretch to repairing or replacing your side and rear windows too.

If you don’t fix it, even a small crack in your windscreen can spread - meaning that you end up having to replace the windscreen entirely. And a chip of just 1cm in the driver’s eye line could mean your car fails its MOT.

Many newer cars come with ADAS (advanced driving assistance systems) cameras incorporated in their windscreens. These make driving safer and parking easier. However, if the windscreen is damaged, these cameras may need to be re-calibrated, which can significantly bump up repair costs.

Without windscreen cover, you might have to pay the full cost of the windscreen (including re-calibration, if it’s fitted with ADAS) or the full excess if you make a claim. You could also lose your no-claims bonus.

Some insurance providers will ask you to use one of their approved repairers – check what your policy says. And some will give you a specific emergency number to call. If you want to use the windscreen repairer of your choice, there may be a difference in the excess you pay.

What are the most common causes of windscreen damage?

Common reasons for windscreen damage include:

  • Vandalism Unfortunately, car crime affects thousands of drivers each year and a smashed window is just one way you might find you’re affected. At least with windscreen cover, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re protected.
  • Hailstones and other extreme weather Extreme weather can spell bad news for your car windscreen. Storms in particular create lots of debris, such as falling trees and loose ground.
  • Sudden temperature changes On icy days, it can be tempting to clear a frosty windscreen with a kettle of boiling water. But rapid changes in temperature like this can damage the glass.
  • Road debris If the damage to your windscreen is caused by the road – say, a piece of loose tarmac from a pothole – and not another car, you may be able to claim compensation. To do this, you’ll need to contact the organisation responsible for the road. This could be the local council, Highways England or Transport for London, depending on where you are.
  • Accidents Perhaps the most obvious cause of windscreen damage is an accident. This could mean anything from a crash to a ball hitting the glass.

Where can I compare car insurance with windscreen cover? 

When you use our car insurance comparison service, we make it easy for you to see which policies include windscreen cover. When you reach our quotes page, click ‘more details’ on each policy and you’ll see if windscreen cover is included as standard. If it is, you’ll see a tick. If not, you’ll see how much it costs to include it in your cover. 

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to fix a windscreen?

Windscreen repair costs vary, depending on where you live, what kind of car you drive and whether or not the windscreen needs to be replaced. If you’re not insured, replacing the windscreen could cost anywhere between £200 and £600.

If my windscreen is chipped, do I need to replace it?

If your windscreen is chipped, you may not need to replace it. Some companies offer a windscreen chip repair service. If you’re not claiming through an insurance policy, it costs between £40-£200 depending on the repairer and only takes around half an hour.

Will I have to pay an excess if I make a claim?

That depends on your policy. If the damage to your windscreen isn’t serious, it may not be worth paying an excess or your insurance provider might not charge you one. Either way, it’s worth calling them to check.

Can I drive with a damaged windscreen?

It’s never a good idea to drive with a chipped or damaged windscreen. Not only will it obstruct your view, it may even be considered a driving offence, leading to points on your licence or a fine. It’s also unlikely your car will pass its MOT with a chipped windscreen, depending on where the chip is located.

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