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Windscreen Replacement Insurance

Windscreen Replacement Insurance takes your excess back down to zero so you're not out of pocket if you need your windscreen repaired.

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Replacing your windscreen can cost anywhere between $250 and $1,000 - even if it's a tiny chip! That's why windscreen replacement insurance just makes sense.

You can cover yourself for windscreen replacement by taking out a comprehensive car insurance policy but standard excesses mean that it's sometimes not cost effective to claim. To combat this, insurers offer excess-free windscreen glass replacement. This means that you pay a little extra and in return don't have to pay a huge $600 excess come claim time.

Consider adding excess-free windscreen replacement to one of these policies

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Windscreen Replacement Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Optional
Market
Finder's summary: Bingle consistently come up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. They only cover the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps their premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low cost option that covers them for the basics.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in their policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also have a live chat feature on their site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths catch our eye due to some unique perks like a price beat guarantee, where they'll beat any current comparable Comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You'll also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month, and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of their Price Beat.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. You'll get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you buy online and get access to their hail hero service. Plus, get a $100 e-Gift card when you purchase a new policy by 30 November 2020 (T&Cs apply).

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy that's affordable.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be thanks to optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer, and the option of agreed or market value. Plus, you'll earn Qantas Points when you join and get access to the Qantas Wellness App.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription - you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at anytime. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month-to-month.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. They'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. They offer higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (they'll cover men too!).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include but you'll also be entitled to some benefits on their online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online. Plus, Kogan offer a pay as you drive option, which could be good if you're not on the road that much.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those that don't drive much.
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Does car insurance cover broken windscreens?

Most policies will treat your windscreen, sunroof and other windows like they do any other part of your car. Your policy will cover them if they're damaged from an event listed in your policy like fire, theft or storm.

That means a third party fire and theft policy will cover your glass if it's damaged by fire or theft. A comprehensive policy has your back for those two scenarios plus a range of others like hailstorms, accidents, vandalism and more.

How do insurers replace broken glass?

Typically, insurers are able to choose whether they want to pay to repair or replace the glass as appropriate. Generally, this will simply be done based on the mechanic's recommendation.

Car insurers will typically offer a lifetime guarantee on all repairs carried out by their approved providers, including glass repair and replacement, so it's in everyone's interests to make sure it's fixed properly, whether that means repair or replacement.

Depending on the policy, you can claim these costs under car insurance but:

  • You will need to pay your car insurance excess
  • Your premiums might increase or you might lose a no claims bonus

This is where the excess-free glass replacement car insurance extra comes in.

How does the windscreen replacement extra work?

This extra-cost option raises your premiums but lets you make claims for broken glass only without needing to pay the excess. Where applicable, it may also let you keep your no claims bonus.

This typically covers broken sunroofs, windows and windscreens, but not mirrors, dashboard screens or similar.

It's generally not unlimited though. In many cases you will only be able to exercise this option once every 12 months.

Typically it will not affect your cover in any way except in that it lets you make broken glass claims without paying an excess or losing applicable bonuses.

What to do if you get a crack in your windscreen?

No matter where the crack is, you should get it attended to immediately. Cracks have a tendency to spread and multiply once formed, especially those near the edge of your windscreen, and could easily threaten the integrity of the entire glass if not treated at once.

Each state has its own laws regarding how much windscreen damage you can legally drive with but it's generally illegal to drive with major cracks or cracks that impair your vision.

Examples include:

  • Any crack that penetrates more than a single layer of glass.
  • Cracks of a certain size and shape within the area wiped by the windscreen wipers. For example, a bullseye crack larger than 16mm in diameter or a hairline crack longer than 150mm.
  • Any other damage that can impair a driver's vision including discolouring and scratches.

You can expect your comprehensive car insurance to cover the costs of damage to your windscreen, as well as glass on other parts of your car. As usual, though, you will have to pay an excess for the claim. Often, this excess will be greater than the cost of repairs, making a claim pointless. Once again, this is why a special excess-free windscreen claim option is worth adding to your policy.

Are you covered if a rock flies up and cracks your windscreen?

When people ask about windscreen cover, they usually want to know about those infuriating little rocks that fly out of nowhere, crack your windscreen then fly off leaving the rest of your car untouched.

The good news is most comprehensive car insurance policies will take care of you. You won't be able to get away with anything less than that, as comprehensive is the only level of protection that covers you for accidental damage.

To make sure your claim is honoured, report the damage to your windscreen immediately to your insurer and use a licensed repairer, preferably one recommended by your insurer. Send in a photograph of the damage and your car's surroundings, as well as a measurement of the crack. This will serve as evidence in case your insurer refuses to pay.

Why get excess-free windscreen replacement?

If you travel a lot, the risk of getting a chipped or broken windscreen is much higher. Plus, if you think you'd struggle to pay the cost of fixing or repairing a broken window or windscreen, then windscreen replacement may be worth that little extra.

This is because driving around with a broken or chipped window is unsafe, and can end up causing further damage to your car that won't necessarily be covered by insurance.

  • Windows and the windscreen contribute to a car's structural integrity, so accident damage might be more severe.
  • If the accident could be said to result from the broken glass, for example if you were distracted by something fly in through the window, then an insurer might deny a claim and say that you shouldn't have been driving the car.
  • Water damage, electronics failures, rust and other deterioration generally isn't covered by car insurance. You probably wouldn't want to drive in the rain with a broken window.

Generally, you might want to make sure you're in a position to get broken glass repaired as soon as possible, whether it's out of pocket or through insurance.

The added cost of this extra will depend on your situation, and on how much it will typically cost to replace the windscreens in your vehicle.

How much does a windscreen cost to replace?

The cost of a replacement windscreen can vary widely. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $400 for common cars like a Holden Commodore or Toyota Corolla. There are plenty of aftermarket windscreens for those models on the market and the labour is pretty straightforward.

However, windscreens for some models are harder to come by or are equipped with specialised sensors. This means you'll end up paying up to $1,000 or more. For example, some newer cars have automatic rain sensors that activate your wipers when they sense rain.

Can you choose your own repairer?

Some policies allow you to choose your own repairer but it varies. Insurers may handle it one of a few ways:

  • Your policy automatically requires you to use the repairer it chooses
  • Your policy automatically gives you the option to choose your own repairer
  • You can purchase an optional upgrade that gives you the option to choose your own repairer
  • Your insurer will consider a quote from your repairer, but it gets to choose whether you use its repairer or yours

If you're using insurance to make a windscreen-related claim, there's not much downside to using a repairer in the insurer's network. Repairing or replacing a windscreen is a relatively straightforward process and insurers usually offer a lifetime guarantee for in-network repairs.

The option to use your own repairer is handy for complicated repairs, but windscreen repairs are usually simple.

Is it worth it?

There are a few different ways to handle damaged glass, with or without car insurance.

  • Paying out of pocket: You might decide to pay for it out of pocket, in order to avoid paying a car insurance excess, and so as not to risk affecting your insurance premiums. If it's just minor repairs, this might be the way to go.
  • Claiming it on car insurance without the excess-free glass option: You might decide to claim it on car insurance anyway. It might cost less to pay the excess. This might affect your car insurance premiums going forwards.
  • Claiming it on car insurance with the excess-free glass option: It might be worth claiming. That's why you have this extra after all. You will not need to pay the excess, but your premiums might still be affected going forward.

Windscreen crack repair

Windscreen repairs: What you need to know

The windscreen of your car is your precious transparent portal to the outside world. As such, it's vital that it's kept in top condition. Not only is it really dangerous to drive around with a chipped or cracked windscreen that you can't see out of clearly, but a damaged windscreen can even threaten the structural integrity of your car. This article will help you decide when your windscreen might need fixing and the best and cheapest way to go about it.

Learn more about what insurance can do for you when it comes to windscreen repairs and replacement, as well as what kind of policies will cover you.

When will a windscreen need to be replaced?

While glass repairers can work near-miracles, in some cases it may not be smart or possible to repair your windscreen. If you have a crack that's longer than 15cm, the glass will probably have to be fully replaced. While the Australian Windscreen Repair Standard for repairable crack length is 350mm, many glass repair companies recommend replacing at between 10 and 15cm. Even if there's only a small crack, this may be needed if that crack is right in the centre of your field of view, since a repair may leave the glass distorted, affecting visibility.

The full replacement of your windscreen will usually cost you about $250 to $450 but may run up to $1,000, according to Autoguru. The price depends on the make and model of your car as well as where you're getting the repairs. Remember, failing to repair a severely damaged windscreen is a really bad idea: you're not only endangering your car's structural integrity and your own life, but the safety of others as well. A cracked windscreen may even lower your car's durability in the event of an accident.

Will car insurance cover you for the costs of repairing or replacing your windscreen?

To make sure your claim is honoured, report the damage to your windscreen immediately to your insurer and use a licensed repairer, preferably one recommended by your insurer. Send in a photograph of the damage and your car's surroundings, as well as a measurement of the crack. This will serve as evidence in case your insurer refuses to pay.

Picture: GettyImages

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