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Car insurance with windscreen cover

Windscreen cracks and chips are an unfortunate reality of driving, but if your car insurance includes windscreen cover, you could be protected if you ever need to repair or replace your windscreen.

Here’s the lowdown on windscreen insurance.

Windscreen cracks and chips are an unfortunate reality of driving, but if your car insurance includes windscreen cover, you could be protected if you ever need to repair or replace your windscreen.

Here’s the lowdown on windscreen insurance.

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
5 SEPTEMBER 2023
5 min read
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What is windscreen cover insurance?

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

By having windscreen cover in place as part of your car insurance policy, you could avoid paying for the repairs out of your own pocket. You might have to pay an excess towards the cost of any claim you make, though.

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 cover at all.

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

What does windscreen insurance cover you for?

Windscreen cover varies between providers, but it could pay out for:

  • Repairing or replacing a broken windscreen
  • Repairing or replacing side and rear windows – some policies also include the sunroof
  • Damage to the windscreen that would cause your car to fail its MOT
  • Scratches to your car’s paintwork caused by broken glass from the windscreen or windows
  • Recalibration of your advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) after the windscreen is repaired.

What’s not included with windscreen cover?

Again, each policy is different, but windscreen insurance usually won’t cover:

  • Lights and reflectors
  • Deliberate damage to the windscreen caused by anyone named on the policy
  • Damage caused by careless driving, such as breaking the speed limit on a road with loose chippings
  • Damage caused by using the car on a race circuit
  • General wear and tear of the windscreen and other glass.

Is windscreen cover worth it?

It’s important to fix even the smallest crack in your windscreen, otherwise it could 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.

Having windscreen cover means the cost of any repairs or replacements will likely be covered. That includes recalibration of ADAS cameras or sensors, which are fitted to many newer cars to make driving safer and parking easier.

You’ll still have to pay the excess for each claim, but this will probably be a lot less than paying the full cost of getting your windscreen repaired or replaced.

Does claiming for a windscreen affect insurance?

In most cases, making a claim on a windscreen policy won’t affect your no-claims discount. But this doesn’t apply to all policies, so do check the details carefully.

Making a windscreen claim won’t necessarily increase your next premium either, but again, there are exceptions to the rule.

How do I claim on my insurance for windscreen replacement?

If your windscreen becomes damaged and you want your car insurance provider to pay for a replacement, you’ll need to make a claim.

Some providers will ask you to use one of their approved repairers – check what your policy says. Others 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.

How much does it cost to replace or repair a windscreen?

If you aren’t insured, a chipped windscreen could cost between £40 and £120 to repair, while the cost of completely replacing a windscreen can range from £180 for a small hatchback to more than £1,600 for a hi-tech Range Rover windscreen. The bigger and more luxurious your car, the more you’re likely to pay.

Your windscreen can usually be repaired instead of replaced if:

  • The chip or crack is no wider than 28mm (about the size of a £2 coin)
  • The damage isn’t within 6-7cm of the edge of the windscreen
  • The chip or crack is no bigger than 10mm in diameter within the driver’s field of view.

If you have car insurance with windscreen cover, you’ll only have to pay the excess to get your windscreen repaired or replaced. Some policies even offer free repair, with no excess. 

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.
  • Hailstones and extreme weather – 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.

Windscreens can become damaged or cracked at any time, which makes windscreen cover an important consideration to include in your car insurance policy.

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 might be part of the policy or you could add it on for an additional cost. If you’re already partway through a policy, you could look for windscreen cover only, without this being linked to your current policy.

It’s also worth seeing if claiming will affect your no-claims discount, and whether you’ll need to pay an excess.

How much is windscreen excess?

The excess for repairing a windscreen or other glass is usually between £10 and £25. It’s usually more for a total windscreen replacement, generally between £75 and £115.

The exact amount you’ll have to pay will depend on your policy, so always check your policy documents carefully.

What’s the best way to protect my windscreen?

While windscreen cover could offer financial protection, prevention is still better than cure. There are a few ways you can help 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

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 could quickly turn into a crack.

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 £120, so it pays to shop around.

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

Your policy wording will detail whether you need to pay an excess for your windscreen claim. If the damage isn’t serious, you may find it’s not worth paying an excess or going through your windscreen insurance, especially if it will affect your no-claims bonus.

Do you have to declare windscreen claims?

When you’re renewing your car insurance policy, you’ll need to disclose any claims you’ve made within the past five years. This includes claims for windscreen repairs or replacements. If you don’t tell your provider about this, you risk invalidating your policy.

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 but it can be considered a driving offence, which could lead to points on your licence or a fine. According to the Highway Code, ‘Windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision’.

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

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Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie

Kate Hughes - Insurance and finance expert

As an award-winning journalist, author and broadcast commentator, Kate has been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She’s the former Money Editor for The Independent. Her work has appeared across the UK broadsheets as well as a number of international titles. Kate brings her financial expertise to inform her readers on ways to save money. She’s also written a book. ‘Going Zero: One Family’s Journey to Zero Waste and a Greener Lifestyle’ is available now.

Learn more about Kate

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