What is windscreen cover?

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image of a car windscreen

Some of the most common questions we get asked are: what’s windscreen cover, do I have it and why do I need it?

Windscreen damage is normally due to chips or cracks in the glass. They can occur from impacts with stones, usually kicked up in the air by other road users, or when there’s other airborne debris.

It’s always important to have any chips to your windscreen seen to by our approved glass repairer as soon as possible, as if they are left unrepaired, they can later turn into a crack, and they can distract you when you’re driving.

Why should I get my windscreen chip repaired?

A chip repair is quicker, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than a windscreen replacement.

We recommend getting your windscreen chip repaired as:

  • a repair takes around an hour, but replacements take much longer
  • it’s better for the environment, as a full replacement generates ten times more carbon dioxide compared to a repair
  • repairs are easy to do at home or work

Windscreen cracks can occur due to several different reasons, such as:

  • a sudden impact, like hitting a pothole or kerb
  • cold or hot weather putting stress on the glass due to temperature changes
  • an object impacting the windscreen

Does fully comprehensive car and van insurance cover windscreens?

Many motor insurance comprehensive policies include windscreen cover but check with yours to make sure.

Windscreen repair and replacement cover is included in our comprehensive policies (excluding Essential tier) as standard.

You can add it as an extra on our Third Party Only and Third Party Fire & Theft policies.

If you have windscreen cover included in your Admiral policy, the following excesses will apply:

  • £25 for a repair
  • £115 for a replacement

You should always check your policy schedule to confirm these excesses.

What do I do if I have a chipped or cracked windscreen?

If you have a comprehensive policy with us (excluding customers on Essential tier) and discover damage to your windscreen, take the following actions:

What’s an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)?

ADAS is a set of safety features and technologies designed to assist drivers in controlling their vehicles and avoiding collisions.

It includes features like lane departure warnings, automatic emergency braking and blind spot detection using sensors, cameras and radar to detect potential hazards.

Replacing a windscreen with ADAS features needs extra steps. For example, if an ADAS windscreen’s replaced, then the sensors and cameras will need recalibration. Most car manufacturers recommend or require recalibration after an ADAS windscreen replacement.

Your vehicle may have these features and, if so, they’ll need to be recalibrated following a windscreen replacement.

Despite the benefits of ADAS, it's important for drivers to remember that the technology is designed to assist them and not replace them. Always stay alert and ready to take control of your vehicle at any time.

Autoglass®, our approved repairer, has discussed the importance of windscreen recalibration.

Other things to consider when claiming for windscreen damage

  • if you don’t use our approved glass repairer, the maximum we can pay out is up to £25 for a repair and £50 for a replacement (after the relevant excess has been deducted)
  • a windscreen chip can develop into a crack at any time, so get the chip assessed by our approved glass repairer as soon as possible
  • driving with a damaged windscreen could be considered dangerous if your vision of the road ahead is significantly impaired, and your car could potentially fail its MOT

How to avoid damaging your windscreen

We asked our car windscreen supplier Autoglass® for their top tips on glass maintenance:

  • check the weather – if you expect overnight frost, use a windscreen cover
  • don’t be rash – pouring hot water or using sharp objects to defrost your windscreen could damage it and your vehicle
  • take it slow – defrost the vehicle slowly using de-icer or a suitable scraper
  • top up – remember to keep washer fluid and anti-freeze topped up
  • wipe away – you need to replace your wipers as soon as they show signs of wear and tear. Worn wipers can result in your windscreen becoming damaged, which may not be covered by your insurance policy
  • don’t leave your car unattended – people often leave their car running to defrost their windscreen, but this increases the chances it’ll get stolen. Read our article on how to prevent car theft.

Our claims page should have all the information you need.

The easy way to manage your policy on the go