If your car windscreen or windows are damaged, you should contact your provider to lodge a claim. Many insurance providers have their own network of mechanics and repairers they work with, and your insurer will help organise a repairer to fix the issue.
It’s important that you act quickly when your car windscreen or windows are damaged, even if it’s just a small chip. These little chips and cracks can quickly become bigger if not repaired soon after they appear.
You might have some different options available to you if your windscreen gets chipped and needs repairs.
If multiple areas of your car are damaged by an insured event (e.g. accident or fire), in addition to the windscreen, you can lodge a car insurance claim as normal and pay just the basic excess; excess-free windscreen claims are mostly only available when it’s just the windscreen or windows that are damaged.
If the damage wasn’t caused by an insured event (such as a stone flicked from another car on the road), you have the option to organise and pay for repairs out of pocket instead of lodging an insurance claim. You can still make a claim if you want, but you’ll have to pay the full excess applicable to your policy if you don’t have windscreen excess cover.
It’s important to note that window glass and windscreen cover may not cover all glass parts of your vehicle. While specific policies may differ, excess free windscreen replacement generally applies to:
Those glass components that generally aren’t covered by this kind of insurance (depending on the policy and provider) can include:
It’s important that you always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing a policy, so you know exactly what you’re covered for as well as the policy limits, exclusions, terms and conditions.
Most insurance providers will use their own network of repairers, technicians and glaziers to repair or replace your car’s windscreen and windows. This means you may have no choice of repairer, or a limited choice from the insurance provider’s network.
However, some providers do let you choose your own repairer, whether as standard for your policy or as an option extra when signing up. Contact your provider to check if you can choose your repairer.
Most car insurance policies don’t cover damage to your windscreens unless it was caused by an insured event. In other words, while comprehensive car insurance can cover windscreen damage caused by a variety of scenarios, Third Party Property Damage may not at all.
Third Party Fire and Theft will cover a damaged windscreen if it was caused by a fire, theft or attempted theft event, but excess reduction options generally aren’t available to this level of car insurance.
Your broken windscreen could also be fixed by your provider’s roadside assistance team, subject to the terms of your policy. Just keep in mind that you might not be able to make an excess-free windscreen claim for this. Make sure you read the PDS and contact your provider if you have queries.
Generally speaking, you will lose your NCD if you make any sort of claim, even if you the windscreen excess reduction option. However, some insurance providers may let you keep your NCD after making a claim for damaged windscreens and windows, provided you also have an excess waiver policy.
You can contact your provider to clarify whether this type of claim would remove your NCD or whether you can maintain your NCD after claiming with windscreen excess reduction cover.
Windscreens and window glass repairs can range from $50 to $100, while replacing a standard windscreen can cost $200 to $400.* The more popular your car model, the less you’re likely to pay for replacements as there are more parts readily available in the market.
It’s also worth noting many modern windscreens come with sensors and tech that are connected to other systems in the car, such as lane assist, emergency braking and object detection. Known as Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) windscreens, these can cost up to $1,000 or even more to replace! Reducing or removing the need to pay an excess for windscreen replacement means you may have less of an impact to your hip pocket if you need to make a claim.
Many insurance providers work with technicians that offer a lifetime guarantee on their workmanship when replacing or repairing your windscreen and car window glass. Contact your provider to check whether any repairs on your vehicle (including windscreen repairs) carried out by their technicians come with a lifetime guarantee.
Whether or not windscreen cover is worth it is a question only you can answer. You will need to determine whether you can meet the cost of repairing or replacing your car’s window glass while paying an excess for it, or if it would be a better option to purchase a windscreen reduction option.
Cracks, chips and scratches on your windscreen may render your car unroadworthy, and it’s illegal to drive an unroadworthy car. A damaged windscreen can impede your vision and is a structural weakness, so it’s important to take swift action to ensure your car is legal and safe.