Windscreen Cover & Insurance

Woman driver sitting in yellow car, smiling as she looks through windscreen that's covered by insurance.

A car’s windscreen is the first line of defense against bugs, gravel and other airborne road hazards you may encounter while driving. So you want to make sure it’s adequately covered by your car insurance.

When it comes to protecting your own wheels in case of an accident, a lower tier of car insurance like third party property damage unfortunately won’t cut it. These policies generally only cover costs for a certain amount of damage you might cause to other people’s vehicles and property, not your own.

While it usually comes with a higher price tag, comprehensive car insurance is there to protect your car, and most policies do provide some cover for your windscreen. However, every insurance provider and policy can offer different levels of coverage with various limits at variable prices. So, let’s explore the details of windscreen cover and insurance. 

How to insure my car windscreen

As mentioned, if you hold a comprehensive car insurance policy it is likely that the windscreen and the window glass on your car is covered. You won’t necessarily have to specify you’d like this type of cover when you take out a policy, but it’s worth checking with the provider that it is included before signing on – you can double check the details in the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

There may be limits on the amount your insurance provider will pay-out for windscreen claims, and cover could vary between repairs and total replacements. And remember: you’ll only be covered for ‘insurable events’. 

This means if the windscreen was damaged in circumstances not included in the terms and conditions of your policy (like if you were driving with an overloaded car or under the influence of alcohol) you may not be covered. Be sure to check what’s not covered by your car insurance to avoid these situations.

What type of damage can happen to my windscreen?

When considering how a car, or more specifically a windscreen, might get damaged, the world is your risky oyster. While many car windscreens are made of toughened glass that’s been tempered to be more durable than a standard pane, they can still be chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged by a range of unforeseeable events.

With a comprehensive car insurance policy, you’ll likely be covered for windscreen damage caused by:

  • Natural weather events like storms and hail (including things like tree branches falling on your windshield)
  • Road accidents, whether you caused them or were not at fault (although these different kinds of claims could affect the cost of your premium)
  • Fire and theft 
  • Malicious damage by others (but nothing you purposefully do to the windscreen)

Again, there may be limits to each of these depending on your insurance provider, and some circumstances where you won’t be covered. For example, if you knew it was hailing and drove into the storm anyway, your claim may be denied as this could be considered reckless driving which could void your insurance.

How can I protect my windscreen?

While you won’t be able to predict all of the events that might damage or weaken your windscreen, there are some ways you can proactively protect your windscreen from damage. 

Take care while driving, especially while on unsealed roads. Slowing your speed and keeping a safe distance from cars in front can help stop gravel bouncing up to scratch your windshield. Similarly, don’t drive erratically or slam doors, as this can send shockwaves through your windshield.

Be aware of temperature changes, as extreme temperatures can cause glass to expand and contract. To avoid this, park your car in the shade when possible in the summer months and avoid blasting the aircon when you jump into a hot vehicle – let it cool gradually. In winter, park inside a garage if possible and don’t try to remove windscreen frost with hot water.

Replace windscreen wipers when they start to leave marks or steaks, as they may have become warped. This could put uneven pressure on the glass which could weaken it, or be a trap for stones and leaves that may chip the glass. 

Don’t use harsh cleaning products that may strip away protective coatings on your window glass and windscreens. Using manufacturer-approved products is the safest bet, or otherwise sticking to glass-specific cleaning items.

And most importantly, repair chips or cracks ASAP. Even a tiny nick could grow into a web of cracks if a bump or sharp turn triggers it.

Which car insurance providers cover windscreen damage?

When it comes to comprehensive car insurance policies, most insurance providers cover windscreen damage. As mentioned, there could be limits and exclusions to this cover, and it may come at different price points.

However, those same insurance providers will likely not insure your windscreen if you hold a third party policy which only covers damage to other people’s cars and property. A third party fire and theft policy – which includes insurance for car damage or loss resulting from a fire or having your car stolen – may include windscreen cover in the specific circumstances of fire or theft.

If you’re looking for a good place to start researching comprehensive policies, check out these top options recently crowned in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Car Insurance.

Excess and windscreen cover 

Now we get to the tricky part: windscreen excess. When you make any kind of car insurance claim, you’ll usually be required to pay a predetermined amount of money – your policy’s excess – before the cover kicks in. 

You normally agree to the excess level when you first take out a policy, and many providers give the option to set this at a lower or higher amount. Setting a high excess can help reduce your premium and vice versa, but whatever amount you choose, you’ll need to be able to budget for premium payments as well as the claim-time excess.

However, if you are only claiming for damages to your windscreen you may find the excess you agreed to originally is close to or even greater than the repair bill. 

Say you have set an $800 excess. A major windscreen repair or replacement could cost upwards of $1,000, so you’d at least get a few hundred dollars back by claiming on your insurance. But a minor repair may only cost $200, so claiming on insurance and paying the standard excess would leave you in the hole.

This is why some insurance policies offer $0 or significantly reduced excess for claims on windscreen and window glass. Depending on the provider, variations on this feature may be included as standard in your policy or offered as an optional extra at an additional cost. The excess may also differ if you’re getting a repair versus a full windscreen replacement, so be sure to read your PDS carefully.

Out of the 69 comprehensive car insurance policies Mozo tracks, our research team recorded 12 policies offering free or reduced excess on windscreen repairs and replacements as standard. Another 53 policies offer it as an optional extra for a premium bump-up, with only 4 not offering any $0 or reduced excess options.

Ready to start investigating car insurance options for windscreen details? Start with a few of the policies below.

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Search promoted car insurance below. Advertiser disclosure. Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Monthly premiums
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    Yes Costs Extra
    Choice of repairer
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    Optional Extra
    Choice of excess
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    $500 - $1,850
    Agreed or market value
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    Agreed Or Market

    Available discounts

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    Details
  • Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Monthly premiums
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Choice of repairer
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    No
    Choice of excess
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    $500 - $5,000
    Agreed or market value
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    Agreed Or Market

    Available discounts

    • Pay As You Drive Cover With Pricing Tiers Available For Limited Kms.
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  • Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Monthly premiums
    Calendar icon
    Yes Costs Extra
    Choice of repairer
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    No
    Choice of excess
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    $800 - $2,000
    Agreed or market value
    Car coin icon
    Agreed

    Available discounts

    • No Claim Discount
    Go to site
    Details
  • Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Monthly premiums
    Calendar icon
    Yes
    Choice of repairer
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    No
    Choice of excess
    coins icon
    $800 Flat Excess Fee
    Agreed or market value
    Car coin icon
    Agreed

    Available discounts

      Go to site
      Details
    • Comprehensive Car Insurance

      Monthly premiums
      Calendar icon
      Yes Costs Extra
      Choice of repairer
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      Optional Extra
      Choice of excess
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      $400 - $2,200
      Agreed or market value
      Car coin icon
      Agreed Or Market

      Available discounts

      • Online Discount $75
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      Details

    *Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

    ^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Car Insurance Awards