Car Windscreen Insurance Cover Explained
An optional add-on policy worth having?
A cracked windscreen is a common issue for both old and new cars, where something as minor as a small stone flicking up on the motorway could cause a costly crack in your windshield or windscreen.
A little chip in your windscreen can quickly turn into a serious crack if it isn’t repaired, and getting a whole new replacement – which you will need to do if the damage is significant enough – is not cheap.
Having windscreen cover as part of your car insurance package can be a highly useful policy to help protect you against any unexpected costs associated with the vehicle’s glass components, which can be expensive if you don’t already have cover in place.
Here, we explain what windscreen cover is, how much it costs and whether or not it’s worth getting as part of your basic car insurance or as a standalone policy.
What is windscreen cover?
Windscreen cover is a type of insurance policy that provides a pay-out to cover the cost of windscreen repairs or replacements.
It is sometimes included within fully comprehensive car insurance policies, but it’s always worth checking the terms of your cover, as some providers will exclude it; in which case, you will need to add it as an optional extra or a standalone policy.
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If you have third-party, fire and theft insurance, or a third-party only policy, it’s unlikely that windscreen cover will be included as standard and you will probably need to add it as an optional extra or purchase it as a separate policy through a specialist provider.
How much does windscreen cover cost? It typically costs around £30 to add windscreen cover to an existing car insurance policy, according to Confused.com, and standalone policies are usually the same price.
What does windscreen insurance cover?
As you might expect, windscreen insurance protects policyholders against the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged windscreen, but that’s not always all it covers.
Some windscreen cover policies also provide cover against the costs associated with damaged windows and sunroofs, so be sure to check this with your provider if you are unsure.
Windscreen repairs and replacement costs
Windscreen repairs cost between £75 and £125 on average, with full replacements being more expensive of course, but the price you will pay depends on your car, the extent of the damage and the company who does the maintenance.
Here are some examples of how much a full windscreen replacement could cost for certain vehicles with UK Car Glass:
BMW 1 Series: £167 to £314
Fiat 500: £223 to £380
Ford Fiesta: £210 to £420
Kia Sportage: £214 to £390
Mercedes A Class: £198 to £416
Vauxhall Corsa: £192 to £370
Volkswagen Golf: £223 to £380
With windscreen cover premiums costing around £30 per year on average, it could be well worth the price if you ever need to repair or replace your vehicle’s windscreen, but there is also the issue of excess to consider.
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Does windscreen repair or replacement count as a claim?
As mentioned, windscreen cover can be bought as a standalone policy or included within your basic car insurance cover.
Getting a pay-out for a windscreen replacement or repairs to your windscreen will count as a claim, but whether or not you lose your no-claims discount depends on whether or not it is a separate policy or is included within your standard car insurance.
Many experts argue that you should get windscreen cover as a standalone policy, as you won’t be required to pay as much in excess and you shouldn't lose your no-claims bonus (NCB) if you make a claim.
Does a windscreen repair affect your no-claims bonus? If you have a separate windscreen cover policy, you shouldn’t lose your no-claims bonus if you make a claim, but if it’s part of your standard car insurance, you might lose some of your NCB.
Do you have to declare windscreen claims? Yes, you are required to declare windscreen insurance claims that have occurred within the last five years to your insurer.
Does claiming for windscreen damage affect your insurance premium?
There are many factors that impact the cost of your car insurance, but it’s worth noting that windscreen cover claims shouldn’t have a significant effect on your premiums, if any.
Read more: Why Has My Car Insurance Gone Up?
If you are quoted a price that you think may be excessive, you may want to consider getting car insurance with us here at Compare UK Quotes using our unique car insurance comparison tool.
See our full guide to how car insurance is calculated for more information on the factors that could affect your premiums.
Can you drive with a cracked windscreen?
Driving with a cracked windscreen is dangerous, and it’s important to remember that small chips can quickly turn into more significant cracks if they aren’t repaired, so you should always get damage fixed as soon as possible.
Legally, you could also be breaking Section 40 of the Road Traffic Act if you drive with a cracked windscreen, which is a regulation that rules against the use of a vehicle that’s in a dangerous condition.
Will my windscreen be repaired or replaced completely?
Windscreen damage is usually divided into different categories, ranging from Zone A to Zone D, depending on the damage and where it is on the glass. It is these factors that determine whether your windscreen will need to be repaired or replaced.
For example, a Zone D crack is situated at the very edge of the windscreen, so damage spanning up to 45mm can be repaired – anything larger than this amount will need a full replacement.
Zone A damage, on the other hand, is located directly in front of the driver, so chips 10mm or smaller can be repaired, but cracks above 10mm require a full replacement.
Excess on windscreen cover
If you make a claim for a broken windscreen through your standard car insurance, the amount of excess you will need to pay varies considerably between policies, but it is generally more than what you’d pay if you made a claim through standalone windscreen cover.
If you try to make a claim through your usual car insurance policy, you may even find that the excess amount is actually greater than the overall cost of the repair, meaning that there are some circumstances under which it isn’t worth trying to claim and you’d be better off paying for it yourself.
Those with a standalone policy will find that excess on a windscreen repair claim is usually cheap, being no more than £50 or even excess-free occasionally. If, however, you make a claim for a full windscreen replacement, the excess can be as much as £150.
Each policy varies, so it’s important that you work out whether or not the cost of your premiums plus the excess charge would be worth it in the long-run.
Before making your decision, do some research and compare deals for both separate windscreen cover policies and add-ons to your standard insurance. There are many options out there and the premiums and excess charges vary considerably between providers, so remember to shop around to find the best and most affordable deal for you.
For more information on car insurance, be sure to browse our website and read the related guides below, or tap the button to get your quote today.