Insurance: Is fixing the windscreen crack really free?

Insurance: Is fixing the windscreen crack really free?

By John Grant Have you seen the TV ad that suggests repairs to your vehicle windscreen could be 'free"? Every time I hear this ad I cringe knowing that, 'nothing in this world is free'. I know it's a play on words and means that you don't actually have to pay them for the repair, and they will bill your insurance company directly - so it's definitely not free.

Damage to your windscreen is normally a claim on your policy and this is provided you have cover in place.



According to Smith and Smith Glass, the cost of repairing a chip on a windscreen will be in the order of $99 to $120 incl. GST.

In most cases, insurers treat car windscreens as 'special cover'. Some provide it with no loss of no-claim-bonuses, some without applying the policy excess, and some charge an additional premium.

When you ask for a quote, AA Insurance and AMI almost always include cover for windscreens in their price, although if you request they will give you a lower price without windscreen cover. In our comparisons we have identified BNZ (via IAG), NZI, Tower and Westpac as the only companies that provide the cover fully built-in to the policy premium - with these four companies, you can't opt-out.

Headlamps and mirrors

In most cases headlights and mirrors are excluded from the windscreen or glass cover, and this means that they are still insured by the policy but are subject to the excess deduction and loss of the no-claim-bonus. BNZ and NZI do include headlight cover in the windscreen cover - and Vero offers it as an option.

Claim frequency

AA Insurance say that one in ten policyholders claim every year on their windscreen extension cover and claims for windscreen repairs are up 26% in the last 2 years. If you want to check which insurance companies provide this cover then have a look at our comparison pages here.

The prices quoted on this page have windscreen cover included, to allow equivalent comparison.

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