Is Windscreen Damage Automatically Covered By My Car Insurance?
Caeva O'Callaghan | August 14th, 2020
You’re happily driving alone, when out of the corner of your eye you spot a tiny chip in your windscreen. This kind of damage is always a headache you don’t need – but is your windscreen covered by your car insurance?
Yes, it is. Windscreen is automatically covered by your car insurance in Ireland. This means that no matter your policy, your insurance provider will pay out for any damage to your windscreen.
Levels of protection vary from provider to provider. Not only that, but windscreen damage is a relatively common problem. For these reasons, it’s essential to check your policy thoroughly before you buy.
In this article, we’ll cover queries such as:
- WIll my car insurance cover windscreen damage?
- My windscreen is cracked – will my car insurance pay for repairs?
- Does windscreen cover include fire and theft?
Whether you’ll be able to claim back the cost of repairing or replacing your windscreen depends on the type of damage and how it happened. Read on to find out more.
Always check your policy first
Every time you buy or renew your car insurance, you need to check your policy wording thoroughly. This is because the type and extent of cover you can buy will vary massively from insurer to insurer. The type of claim one provider offers may not be supported by the next.
The good news is, all car insurance companies provide some level of windscreen cover when you have a comprehensive policy on your car. This means as long as your cover is comprehensive, you needn’t worry what happens to your windscreen.
But, if you have third party fire and theft only, this will be a problem when it comes to general windscreen damage.
You also need to check with your insurer if they have a preferred windscreen repair service. Some insurance companies won’t mind if you use your local garage or a nationally recognised windscreen specialist. Others have specific companies in mind and you won’t be able to use anyone else.
Types of windscreen damage
Damage to your windscreen can happen anywhere, at any time. Windshield damage falls into two categories: chips and cracks (however, it’s possible to have both at once).
Firstly, chips generally occur after a small rock or piece of debris hits your windshield. You will almost always find chips on the outer layer of your front windshield glass. It will be made of laminate glass, which is made of several panes of glass separated by a layer of plastic. This makes it shatterproof – but it also means that debris hitting your windshield will cause tiny pieces of glass to “flake off.”
A normal chip is a small piece of glass missing from the windshield. The “pit” is the area where the glass is missing. A “bulls-eye” refers to an area of damage that is circular and which includes an impact hole. A partial bulls-eye will refer to an impact hole which isn’t perfectly circular.
A combination break involves multiple types of damage, such as a chip with cracks radiating out from it.
Cracks usually happen on the front windshield, but can occur on any pane of glass in your car. Unlike chips, cracks can form without any impact happening. They can occur from temperature changes to faults in your car’s manufacture.
An edge crack starts within two inches of the edge of the windshield or reaches the edge. Alternatively, a floater crack starts anywhere in the middle of the windshield, not near the edges.
Meanwhile, a star crack is a series of cracks radiating out of a central chip, and a stress crack will occur after a large or sudden variation in temperature. For example, if you use a boiling kettle to melt the ice off your car’s windshield in the winter. Please do not do this!
Making a claim for a chip or crack in your windshield
It’s vital that you fix chips as soon as you notice them. A chip left unfixed can weaken your windshield and cause cracks to form. Don’t let a small, easily repaired chip turn into a large crack, because that will require a full windshield replacement!
If you drive regularly on gravelly roads or worry about your windscreen, look for car insurance from Axa. Their coverage for windscreen repair is excellent: in fact, it’s unlimited if you use an approved repairer. Otherwise, a limit of €400 applies but there is no limit on the number of claims.
Axa charge a small additional premium to include windscreen cover in respect of cars covered for third party fire and theft. Meanwhile, Allianz have a limit of €300 for non approved repairers and cover is an optional paid extra under TPF&T cover. Aviva have a limit of €225 if you use a non approved repairer. And, Zurich have only a €50 limit on non approved repairers and a €150 limit for replacement.
We can help you find the perfect cover for your windscreen. Give us a call today.
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