Car insurance with windscreen cover

If your cover includes windscreen insurance, you’ll be protected if you ever need to repair or replace your windscreen. Here’s the lowdown.

If your cover includes windscreen insurance, you’ll be protected if you ever need to repair or replace your windscreen. Here’s the lowdown.

Alex Hasty
Insurance and finance expert
minute read
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Last Updated 12 OCTOBER 2022

What is windscreen cover insurance?

Windscreen insurance can pay for the cost of repairs or replacement if your car windscreen is chipped, cracked or smashed.

Does my insurance policy include windscreen cover?

If you have comprehensive car insurance, it may already include windscreen cover, but you’ll have to check your policy to be sure. Some insurance providers offer windscreen insurance as standard while others offer it as an add-on you pay extra for. Some insurance providers might not offer windscreen insurance at all.

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

Do I need windscreen cover?

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

It’s important to fix even the smallest crack in your windscreen, otherwise it can spread and you may have to replace the entire windscreen. Even a chip of just 1cm in the driver’s eye line could cause your car to fail its MOT.

Many newer cars come with ADAS (advanced driving assistance systems) cameras incorporated in their windscreens, which make driving safer and parking easier. But if the windscreen is damaged, these cameras may need re-calibrating, which can 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. Other insurance providers will give you an emergency number to call. If you want to choose your own windscreen repairer, there may be a difference in the excess you pay.

What are the most common causes of windscreen damage and cracks?

Common reasons for windscreen damage include:

  • Vandalism - car crime impacts thousands of drivers each year and a smashed window is just one way you might be affected. Windscreen cover means you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re protected.
  • Hailstones and extreme weather - extreme weather can spell bad news for your car windscreen. Storms create lots of debris, such as falling trees and loose ground, which can damage your windscreen.
  • Sudden temperature changes - while it’s tempting to defrost your windscreen with a kettle of boiling water, rapid temperature changes can damage the glass.
  • Road debris - if your windscreen damage is caused by a fault in the road – say, loose tarmac from a pothole – you might be eligible for compensation. To make a claim, 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.

What should I think about when buying windscreen cover?

When you choose a car insurance policy, check to see if windscreen cover is included. It’s also worth seeing if claiming will affect your no claims discount, and whether you’ll need to pay an excess.

What’s the best way to protect my windscreen?

There are a few ways you can protect your windscreen from chips or cracks. These include keeping an eye on: 

  • Speed
    Take it easy on uneven or resurfaced roads, as loose chippings or gravel can easily hit your windscreen.
  • Distance
    Keep a safe distance from the driver in front, particularly if you’re behind a lorry or HGV, as tyre spray can damage your windscreen. 
  • Weather
    If the forecast looks ominous, find a sheltered spot – or, better still, a garage – to park your car.

Where can I compare car insurance with windscreen cover?

When you use our car insurance comparison service, we make it easy 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 replace a windscreen?

If you aren’t insured, replacing your windscreen could cost anywhere between £130 and £600, depending on where you live and what car you drive. The bigger and more luxurious your car, the more you’re likely to pay.

How much does it cost to repair a windscreen chip?

The cost of repairing your windscreen will vary, depending on the car you drive, where you live, and the extent of the damage. Prices for a single chip repair can range from anywhere between £40 and £215, so it pays to shop around.

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

If your windscreen is chipped, you may not need to replace it entirely as some companies, offer a windscreen chip repair service. Repairing a chipped windscreen only takes around 20 minutes and could save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Left untreated, a chip can quickly turn into a crack.

Will I have to pay an excess if I claim for windscreen insurance?

That depends on your policy. If the damage isn’t serious, you may find it’s not worth paying an excess.

Can I drive with a cracked 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. Your car may not pass its MOT with a chipped windscreen, depending on where the chip is located.

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