Windscreen Repair & Replacement & Your Insurance Company
Car windscreen damage is inevitable. Stone chips, bird collisions and criminals all play their part in this problem and insurance companies understand that windscreen damage is rarely the fault of the car’s driver.
At the same time, driving around with chipped or cracked glass is not ideal – it weakens the glass and is likely to cause your car to fail its next MOT.
That’s why most UK car insurance companies have an approved glass replacement company – usually either Autoglass or Auto Windscreens. Both of these companies have branches all over the UK and both offer mobile fitting services at no extra charge.
I don’t mind admitting that the first time I had a cracked windscreen, I thought that I would have to pay for the replacement myself in order to protect my insurance no-claims discount. I was wrong!
Insurance companies do not take away any of your no-claims discount for windscreen claims.
If your windscreen is chipped and can be repaired, you won’t usually have to pay anything – it will be FREE. This is simply because a repair is so much cheaper than a replacement windscreen. This means that your insurance company (which pays the bills) wants to encourage you to have a repair, rather than waiting until you need a replacement.
If you need a replacement windscreen, then you will normally have a small excess payment to make – £50-£70 in my experience. You will not lose any of your no-claims discount.
In both cases, all you need to do is use your insurance company’s approved glass repairer, who will ask you for your insurance details to confirm that they can claim for the cost of the work.
I’ve done this several times over the years and it has always gone like clockwork.
It’s Only A Small Chip, Why Bother Getting It Repaired?
Damage to car windscreens is a common reason for MOT failure. The permitted level of damage to your windscreen in the MOT test is very low (see the Autoglass website for an illustrated guide to MOTs and windscreens – click here).
Damaged glass is also weaker than undamaged glass. This is not ideal – here’s why.
I once had a pheasant fly into my windscreen. It happened on a busy single carriageway A-road and traffic was moving at 50-60mph. The pheasant made a huge thump and the glass shattered but the windscreen stayed in one piece and my wife and I were completely safe.
If the windscreen had already been cracked, it would have been more likely to break completely – meaning a combination of pheasant and flying glass would have hit me in the face at 60mph, possibly causing an accident and some injuries.
Replacing Side Windows & Rear Windscreens
Broken side windows and rear windscreens are much more likely to be the result of criminal activity. Recognising that you and I can’t do much about this, most insurance companies apply the same rules as for windscreens:
- You won’t lose any of your no-claims discount
- You will only have to make a small excess payment
It’s worth noting that not all car insurance companies apply this policy to side windows and rear windscreens, so check your policy if you are not sure what cover you have.
Even if you have to pay the full cost yourself, a company like Autoglass or Auto Windscreens can help and will provide a complete service, replacing the glass with a correct, matching replacement, made to the same standards as the manufacturer’s original glass.