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It’s surprisingly easy to get a crack in your windscreen. A stray bit of gravel kicked up by another car can do it, and so can simple wear and tear. But whatever the cause, driving with a damaged windscreen can make your car a lot less safe. Indeed, it’s illegal to drive a car if the damage is so bad that you can’t properly see the road.1
Even a small crack in your windscreen can turn into a big one as the weather changes, and the glass expands and contracts. So getting it repaired early on can save you a lot more cash down the line. Plus, from our personal experience, we can tell you that the crack will get bigger at the absolute worst possible time!
Let’s start with the most important fact: the price can vary based on the model of your car. Different models use different sizes and designs in their windscreens. Some use soundproof or laminated glass that costs more than what’s standard.
It can generally cost around $100 to fix a small crack or chip in your windscreen.2 More extensive repairs can cost even more, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand.3
But even a costly repair usually costs less than replacing the windscreen.4 It can easily cost over $1,000 to have a high-tech windscreen replaced and correctly calibrated to work with the car’s technology.5 This hefty price tag may be a good reason to consider a Car Insurance policy that can help cover the costs of windscreen replacement.
Yes! But it honestly depends on the level of cover you have and the terms set down by your specific insurer.
Typically, Comprehensive Cover is the only type of Car Insurance that offers some kind of protection for windscreen damage. Some insurers include windscreen replacement as a standard inclusion for these policies.6 Others offer comprehensive policies that cover windscreen repairs, but offer windscreen replacements as separate policies.7
Furthermore, you will often be charged a standard excess when you make a claim for windscreen repairs or replacement. This excess is an out-of-pocket expense you’re required to pay whenever you make a claim. However, in exchange for an increase on your premium, some insurers will offer an optional extra where they’ll waive (or reduce) the excess once a year when you make a claim for windscreen repairs.8
Again, this all depends on how your particular policy works. For this reason, you’ll always want to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which is usually available on the insurer’s website. This document will break down all the things you’re covered for and all the limits and exclusions which might apply.9
Let’s say you’ve had a run of bad luck: there was a sudden downpour during your last drive and your car was pelted with hail. One particularly hard chunk of ice shattered against your windscreen and now you’ve got a nasty crack in the glass.
After the initial shock wears off, you might be left wondering about the costs. Is this something that can be buffed out with a small repair, or is it going to need costly replacement? Well, this will usually come down to a few factors:
Of course, you’ll need to take each crack and chip on a case-by-case basis. There’s no substitute for getting a licensed professional to look at the damage. Ultimately, they’ll be the ones to tell you whether you’re looking at a 30-minute resin job or a total replacement.
1 Vicroads - Vehicles Standards Information 26 (Page 6)
2 Drive - How much does it cost to replace a windscreen?
3 Budget Direct - Windscreen and Window Glass Insurance
4 Drive - How much does it cost to replace a windscreen?
5 As above.
6 Budget Direct - What car insurance covers
7 pd.com.au - Comprehensive Car Insurance
8 As above
9 Moneysmart - Product Disclosure Statement