Get wiser about: windscreen insurance claims 

Does claiming for windscreen damage count as a claim?

If you've never had to repair or replace your car's windscreen, we'd put money on the fact that you are in the minority.

Car windscreen chips and/or crack repairs are so common that most insurers include windscreen cover as standard in their comprehensive policies. 

But what exactly are the do's and don'ts of driving with a damaged windscreen? And how does claiming for a windscreen repair or replacement affect your premium?

We've done the digging around, so you don't have to.

Does claiming for windscreen damage count as a claim?
If you make a claim, will you have to pay an excess?
Does a windscreen claim effect your renewal premium?
Do you have to declare a windscreen claim to your insurer?
If you don't have windscreen cover, is it better to arrange a repair yourself?
How do repairers decide a windscreen needs replacing rather than fixing?
How much does it cost to repair a windscreen?
How much does it cost to replace a windscreen?
Is a heated windscreen more expensive to mend or replace than a non-heated windscreen?
Does a windscreen claim affect your no claims bonus?
Is it safe to drive with a chipped or cracked windscreen?
Is it legal to drive with a chipped or cracked windscreen?
Can a cracked windscreen fail your MOT?
Can a scratched windscreen fail your MOT?
Can you remove a scratch on a windscreen?

Does claiming for windscreen damage count as a claim?

This depends on the type of insurance policy you have. If you have fully comprehensive cover it probably includes windscreen cover. 

It can be included under the main umbrella of your policy or as a separate add-on. It's best to have it as an add-on, as the excess will be lower than if you were getting your windscreen fixed or replaced under your main policy.

Having separate windscreen cover also means that you won't lose your no claims bonus if you make a claim.

Fact alert! Did you know that windscreen cover also covers sunroofs and windows?

What if you don't have a comprehensive policy? Fear not, you can add windscreen cover to third party and fire and theft policies for around £30. Again, if you get this as a policy add-on, it shouldn't count as a claim.

If you make a claim will you have to pay an excess?

Yes. 99.9% of the time. Not all car insurance policies require you to pay an excess, but the majority do. It will vary from £20 - £150 depending on your insurer's policy and whether you need a windscreen fix or replacement. 

Compare the top insurer's excess fee for windscreen claims below*:

More Th>n
Windscreen replacement excess = £85
Windscreen repair excess = £20

Tesco
Windscreen replacement excess = £75
Windscreen repair excess = £10

Direct Line
Windscreen replacement excess = £75
Windscreen repair excess = £10

Aviva
Windscreen replacement excess = £75
Windscreen repair excess = £10

Saga
Windscreen replacement excess = £0
Windscreen repair excess = £0

Admiral
Windscreen replacement excess = £95
Windscreen repair excess = £25

*Prices correct at April 2019

If windscreen cover isn't included in your policy then you will have to claim on your insurance to get it fixed. 

Does a windscreen claim effect your renewal premium?

The majority of insurers won't increase your renewal premium if you make a claim for a windscreen repair or replacement. Just remember that there's always an exception to every rule and you might be the unlucky exception.

Do you have to declare a windscreen claim to your insurer?

Yes. If you've had a windscreen repaired or replaced within five years. However, it shouldn't effect your premium.

For more information on declaring minor accidents to your insurer, read our 'Should you confess a minor car accident to your insurer? ' guide.

If you don't have windscreen cover, is it better to arrange a repair yourself?

Yes. If it's just a small chip or crack, it will usually work out cheaper to arrange the repair yourself.

However, if you need a new windscreen, you may be better off going through your insurer unless you fancy a repair bill around £200.

How do repairers decide a windscreen needs replacing rather than fixing?

Two factors will be considered.

  1. Where the chip is
  2. How big the chip is

There are four zones on a windscreen, ranging from Zone A - D. If you have a chip in Zone A, which is directly in front of the driver, then only a chip up to 10mm in diameter can be repaired.

If you have a chip in Zone D, which is the outside edge of a windscreen, chips up to 45mm in diameter can be repaired.

How much does it cost to repair a windscreen?

A single chip repair with Autoglass will cost you £162.58 incl. VAT.
A single chip repair from Halfords starts at £25

How much will it cost to replace a windscreen?

Windscreen replacement costs vary from £150-£200 depending on the type of glass.

Is a heated windscreen more expensive to mend or replace than a non-heated windscreen?

No. Heated windscreens are commonplace these days and no trickier to fix than non-heated windscreens.

Does a windscreen claim affect your no claims bonus?

If your insurance includes windscreen cover then making a claim for a repair most likely won't effect your no claims bonus.

You might lose it if you don't have windscreen cover.

Is it safe to drive with a chipped or cracked windscreen?

No matter how small the damage to your windscreen may seem, you should always see an expert immediately. It could worsen at any time. Especially of it's in your eye line, or the middle of the windscreen. 

Is it legal to drive with a cracked or chipped windscreen?

No. Driving with a damaged windscreen means you're failing to comply with Section 40 of the road traffic act relating to driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

The Highway Code also states that a driver should have a full and clear view of the road and traffic ahead at all times.

Can a cracked windscreen fail your MOT?

Yes. A cracked (or chipped) windscreen will fail your MOT if it's 40mm or bigger, wherever it is on your windscreen. If the damage is 10mm in size, you'll fail your MOT if it's directly in front of the driver's eye line.

Can a scratched windscreen fail your MOT?

Opinion on this is varied so to be on the safe side. We recommend you visit your garage and ask the MOT tester before your inspection.

Can you remove a scratch on a windscreen?

Rumour has it that your humble toothpaste will remove minor scratches from a windscreen. Simpy apply it with a dry, soft cloth, then buff it off with different, clean cloth. Adding a bit of baking soda makes it work even better.

Alternatively, you can pay a professional to do it for you.


We hope you've found these FAQs useful and that you feel reassured that if you damage your windscreen (as many of us do, through no fault of our own), getting it fixed should be straightforward, low cost and it probably won't effect your insurance renewal. All-in-all, that's a pretty good result.


Read next: Should you tell your insurer about a minor accident


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