Windscreen insurance, or glass insurance, does what it says on the tin. It covers you if your windscreen or any of the other glass parts of your car (windows, mirrors) need repairs or to be replaced.
In this guide we’re going to make this cover totally transparent (see what we did there) and explain exactly what it is, why you might need it and share helpful considerations before you hit buy.
Why windscreen and glass insurance is important
Although it’s popularly known as windscreen cover, glass protection is insurance against damage to all of the glass parts of your car, including windows.
Tiny chips in the windscreen can very easily turn into larger cracks that make it harder to see clearly on the road. Not only is it dangerous to drive with significant windscreen damage, but it’s actually a criminal offence which can lead to a fine and points on your licence.
Are windscreens covered by your standard insurance
Windscreen insurance is a type of car insurance cover which will pay for the repair and replacement of your windscreen and windows.
At boom, it’s part of our both our standard boom and boom plus fully comprehensive insurance packages. That means we’ll repair or replace damaged glass windscreens and windows in your vehicle. We’ll also cover the costs of recalibrating your windscreen (more on this below) after the work is complete.
It isn’t always included as part of a fully comprehensive insurance policy, so as usual check the specifics of your cover. Some insurance companies might offer it as an add-on that you buy alongside your main policy.
How much is a windscreen excess?
At boom, if you claim for your windscreen or windows then you don’t usually have to pay your full excess. In general windscreen damage and repair usually has a separate, lower excess than you’d have to pay for a car accident or accidental damage.
Always check exactly what excess you’d need to pay before proceeding with a claim to make sure that it’s worth it. You’ll be able to find this in your policy details or the claims handler will tell you when you speak to them.
Windscreen calibration – what it is and whether your insurance covers it
You’d be forgiven for thinking that changing a windscreen was just swapping out one bit of toughened glass for a new one… but if you have a newer car, it’s more complicated than that.
Like almost everything else, windscreens have become a lot cleverer in the past few years. They might not be reminding you it’s your anniversary or that you need to buy more milk (yet), but they do have cameras and sensors that play an important role for your car’s safety systems.
These cameras help drivers with parking, reversing, and generally to stay safer on the roads. And they also mean that when the windscreen becomes damaged, a simple replacement is not enough.
After the windscreen has been replaced, then it needs to be ‘calibrated’. This includes adjusting these cameras and sensors to make sure that camera feeds are accurate and reliable. Without this extra step, ‘smart windscreens’ could cause even more damage as the driver isn’t being shown the right thing
Check you’re covered
At boom, we offer windscreen calibration as part of the overall add-on for windscreen cover. However, you should check what’s included in the policy you’ve chosen. `some insurers don’t include this and you may have to pay for calibration out-of-pocket. One car testing site found that windscreen re-calibration cost approximately £526, since it couldn’t be fixed at a local dealership.
What damage does windscreen insurance cover?
Glass protection covers you for if your windscreen and windows are damaged. But there are many different ways this can happen, which can cause different levels of damage. Here are some examples:
- Debris from the road
- Sudden temperature changes
It’s super common for small, loose stones to fly up off the road, especially around roadworks. If one hits your windscreen, it could create damage such as a small chip. In bad weather cases, flying branches could do the same.
If the chip is small enough, you could get the windscreen repaired rather than going for a full replacement. Whether a chip can be repaired or you have to get a windscreen replacement depends on the size and position of the chip.
A rarer cause of glass damage in your car is when the glass is exposed to temperature changes suddenly. For example, if it’s a freezing winter morning and you manage to defrost your windscreen quicker than usual, your windscreen could shatter.
In this case, you may need an entire windscreen replacement, and could use your glass insurance to pay for this.
Finally, glass insurance can protect you in criminal cases, too. If vandals smash in your windows, you may be able to claim the cost of replacement on insurance. In this case, you’d need to get a crime report from the police, and present this to your insurer.
The advantage of having glass insurance is that your insurer deals with organising repairs and replacements, as well as paying for it. If you’ve got windscreen damage and glass insurance, you will need to:
- Contact your insurer to let them know the details
- Provide a crime report if the situation demands one
- Sit back while your insurer quickly finds and arranges a callout from a local garage to either repair or replace your windscreen
- Pay your excess, which will probably be much lower than your usual insurance excess
However, if you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to:
- Find and contact a local glass repair garage
- Arrange a callout for them to look at whether you need a repair or a replacement
- Pay on average £215 for a crack repair, and around £420 for a windscreen replacement
Should you get windscreen insurance?
This is up to you. You don’t need to get windscreen insurance – it’s another add-on like breakdown or motor legal protection.
7.6 million drivers report windscreen damage every year, but given repairs are (relatively cheap) you may prefer to cover the costs yourself.
At boom, windscreen cover comes as part of our boom and boom plus packages.
We’ll repair or replace damaged glass windscreens and windows in your vehicle. We’ll also cover the costs of recalibrating your windscreen after the work is complete. You can add it your insurance when you pick your other add-ons, like no-claims bonus protection, car keys insurance, or breakdown cover.
If it sounds like the type of cover you’d want, then head over and start a quote.