The windscreen is one of the most essential components of a vehicle. It provides drivers with clear visibility and offers protection from the external environment. However, despite its importance, windscreens are susceptible to damage from flying debris, temperature changes, or accidents. One common question among vehicle owners is, “Is the windscreen covered by insurance?” Let’s delve into this query in more detail.
Types of Windscreen Damage
Before diving into insurance, it’s essential to understand the kinds of windscreen damage that can occur. There are primarily two types:
Chips: These are small dings or marks caused by stones, pebbles, or minor debris hitting the windscreen.
Cracks: A more severe form of damage, cracks can extend over a larger area and compromise the windscreen’s structural integrity.
Insurance Coverage for Windscreens
Many factors determine whether your windscreen is covered by insurance:
Type of Insurance Policy:
Not all car insurance policies automatically cover windscreen repair or replacement. There are primarily three kinds of insurance policies:
Third-Party Only (TPO):
This is the most fundamental kind of insurance protection, and it typically pays for any harm you cause to other people’s cars or property. In general, it does not cover harm to your own car, including windshield damage.
Third-Party, Fire, and Theft (TPFT):
In addition to third-party coverage, TPFT will also cover damages from fire or if your car gets stolen. However, windscreen damages might still be excluded.
This type of insurance offers the widest coverage, including damages to your car from accidents, theft, fire, and more. Most comprehensive insurance policies include windscreen cover, but it’s crucial to check the details of the policy.
Windscreen Cover as an Add-On:
Many insurers offer windscreen damage as an additional protection or add-on if your insurance policy does not already automatically cover it. This implies that adding your windscreen to the coverage might need you to pay an additional price.
Even if windscreen damage is covered, there might be an excess – a predetermined amount you must pay before the insurer covers the rest. Some policies might have a lower excess for windscreen claims compared to other claims.
Some policies may have a limit on the amount you can claim for auto glass repair or replacement. If the cost of the repair exceeds this limit, you’ll be responsible for the additional amount.
Impact on No Claims Bonus:
A significant concern for many drivers is whether claiming for a windscreen repair or replacement will impact their no claims bonus (NCB). Some policies guarantee that windscreen claims won’t affect your NCB, but it’s essential to confirm this with your insurer.
Benefits of Windscreen Coverage
Having windscreen coverage can be beneficial for several reasons:
A damaged windscreen can impair visibility and compromise safety. Being able to repair or replace it without worrying about the cost ensures that drivers can always maintain their vehicle’s safety.
Repairing or replacing a windscreen out-of-pocket can be expensive. Insurance coverage can save you from these unexpected costs.
Many insurers have tie-ups with windscreen repair services, providing easy and hassle-free repairs or replacements.
No Impact on No-Claims Bonus:
Some insurance policies allow for windscreen repair or replacement without it affecting the no-claims bonus or discount of the insured.
Windscreen coverage often comes as a part of comprehensive insurance, ensuring that not only is your windscreen covered, but other damages to the vehicle are too.
Potential for Zero Deductible:
Some policies may offer windscreen repair with zero deductible, which means no out-of-pocket cost for the repair.
Points to Consider
Before deciding on windscreen coverage:
Evaluate the Cost:
Weigh the cost of adding windscreen coverage against the potential repair or replacement costs. If you drive frequently in areas with lots of debris or are prone to windscreen damages, the coverage might be worth it.
Check for Repair First:
Often, minor chips or dings can be repaired rather than replacing the entire windscreen. Many insurers offer free windshield replacement or repairs if you have the appropriate coverage, ensuring the longevity of your windscreen without incurring replacement costs.
Read the Fine Print:
As with all insurance matters, it’s essential to read the policy details carefully. This ensures you know the exact coverage, any excesses, claim limits, and other crucial terms.
Whether your windscreen is covered by insurance largely depends on the type of policy you have and its specific terms. If safety, convenience, and cost-efficiency are priorities, it’s wise to ensure your windscreen is covered. Always make an informed decision by discussing with your insurance provider and understanding your policy’s details.