All about windscreens

DRIVING | March 2019

When was the last time your drove along a gravel road or motorway and ended up with a chip in your windscreen? What may seem like a humble piece of glass, actually has a number of important features.

The windscreen is a safety device – it doesn’t just keep the wind off our faces and bugs out of our mouths. In a car accident, the windscreen acts as both a structural element of the car (keeping the roof from collapsing) and as a kind of “backboard” for the passenger side airbag.

Getting a chip fixed

For a simple repair, a glass technician can often come to your home or work, and will take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete the fix. A windscreen replacement has to be done at the repairer's workshop and can take around 3 - 4 hours - or more if the glass needed is not in stock.

Stats from Smith & Smith say that the waste from 40 windscreen repairs fits into the palm of your hand, while the waste from 40 windscreen replacements fits into a dump truck. Think about how many dump truck loads could be saved if damage is repaired as soon as it appears!

When is a chip no longer just a chip

As soon as a chip appears on your windscreen, it will begin to affect the windscreen’s structural integrity. If a chip or crack is larger than 25mm (the size of a $2 coin) or in the driver’s line of vision, your car will fail its WOF.

If a car has a crack in the windscreen and has an accident, the windscreen is more likely to fail – resulting in crushed roofs and less effective airbags. A windscreen also acts as a barrier to keep occupants or objects in a car if seatbelts fail.

Great News, if you have insurance

If you've already got Comprehensive Cover with State, you are covered for accidental loss or damage to windscreens - adding on excess protection means that if you need your windscreen replaced or repaired you won't have to pay an excess. Windscreen damage can be added to third party, fire and theft and third party only policies. When you add the windscreen extension cover to your policy, you can claim for any accidental damage to your windscreen, windows, sunroof, and driving lights without having to pay an excess.

How do I get my windscreen fixed?

If you've got a chip or crack that you need fixed, you can lodge a claim directly with one of our preferred supplier. Phone 0800 80 24 24 and follow the prompts to 'windscreen claim' - you will be connected directly with a preferred supplier. You can also say 'windscreen' to Sam our ChatBot and he can help lodge your claim for you.

Our phone lines are much busier than usual, so there may be a long wait.

Did you know you can pay, claim, cancel, and more online? View all online options.

Alternatively, talk to Sam, our Chatbot, who can help with simple insurance questions.