Don't let a chip in your windscreen stop you from smashingthe silly season

Driving | December 2019

We know this time of year can be busy. It's all about the Christmas rush. Getting the right gifts. Making sure cupboards are stocked for visiting whanau. Christmas parties. Pick-ups. Drop-offs. Lots of driving. Too busy.

No time for a smashed windscreen, that's for sure. Especially when it could cost you the use of your car for a few days.

How to avoid chips or cracks

To keep you on the road, it's best to avoid any damage altogether. Sometimes it's not possible, but there are some things you can do to minimise your risk:

  • Keep a safe driving distance - Driving closely behind other cars and trucks on the road can increase the risk of small rocks and other debris flicking up and hitting your windscreen. Using the 2-second rule (or 4 seconds in adverse weather conditions) can help minimise the risk.
  • Avoid gravel roads or take them slowly - Gravel is a windscreen's enemy. The small rocks used on gravel roads have a tendency to slip out from under wheels and slam into the glass. The faster you go, the more stones become airborne, and the harder they hit. To prevent cracks and chips from gravel roads, slow right down using the speed signs as an indication of speed or avoid gravel roads entirely if possible. The faster you go, the more likely it is that any rock or object that hits your windshield will cause a greater impact.
  • Take less busy roads - The more cars there are on the road, the higher the chance of something flicking into your windscreen. If you have the choice, take the road less travelled.

So, you've got a chip. What now?

Many people will wait until a chip turns into a crack before fixing their windscreen. However, the best thing you can do is get it fixed straight away. It's quicker and more sustainable. This is because when chips are left unrepaired, they often turn into cracks which can be harder to fix and sometimes necessitate a full windscreen replacement. This can take a full day or two, depending on how busy the repair shop is whereas a chip can be repaired in a matter of minutes. When a windscreen is replaced, the old one is sent to landfill and can take up to 1 million years to degrade. Getting a chip fixed will save you time, and is a win for the planet too.

How to make a windscreen claim

If you are insured against windscreen damage with us, to get your windscreen claim underway, call State on 0800 80 24 24 and select 'personal insurance', then 'claim' options. You'll reach the 'windscreen claims' option, and from there you'll be connected straight to Novus or Smith and Smith, our windscreen repair specialists. They're the glass experts and will take it from there.

If you don't already have Comprehensive Car insurance with us, you might want to check it out. We recommend you consider adding the ’windscreens and windows’ optional cover, which means any windscreen repairs you may need will be excess free at the time of the repair.

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.