A clean and clear windscreen is not only for better vision when we drive, it is also crucial to provide structural integrity of your car.
Your car’s windscreen needs to be fitted correctly so that the airbags can be deployed properly in the event of a crash. Day to day, the windscreen also shields you from the elements.
Wondering if you should save on getting insurance coverage for windscreen replacement? Let's understand more on windscreen damage to see if it is wise.
What can damage your windscreen?
Most of the newer cars today have windscreens that are made of laminated glass — two thin sheets of glass separated by a transparent plastic sheet. When struck by an object, the windscreen will not shatter, but the point of impact will look like a star with cracks emanating from the centre.
Your windscreen can also be made of toughened glass which has been processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength. This type of windscreen, usually installed in older or cheaper cars, is especially vulnerable when struck. The cracks can cause a spiderweb throughout the entire windscreen, which will immediately affect vision if you're on the road.
The most common causes of windscreen damage are anything hard or small on the road — rocks, stones, pebbles and gravel — thrown up by other cars’ tires or rolling off the back of a dump truck. When travelling at speed, these seemingly innocuous debris become projectiles that can easily hit your windscreen and cause it to chip or crack.
When a severe collision occurs in a car accident, the windscreen can shatter as well.
How much does it cost to replace your windscreen?
Generally, it is more economical to repair minor cracks and chips before they develop into larger cracks which may be more difficult and expensive to repair.
At a reputable repair shop in Singapore, repairs of cracks and chips can range from $40 to $60 while windscreen repair, replacements and installation services range from $150 to $280.
Windscreen replacement excess
Many comprehensive car insurance plans cover windscreen replacement. However, there is usually an excess of $100 you have to pay. Some insurance plans (the ones with higher premiums) may waive the excess if you choose to repair or replace at their authorised workshops. Others may repair your windscreen for free if no replacements are needed.
Under most comprehensive plans, your NCD will not be affected if you claim for windscreen repair or replacement. However, some insurance plans may limit the number of claims you can make for your windscreen. So it is best not to take this for granted and to check the fine print in your policy wording document.
If you opt for a cheaper Third Party Only or Third Party Fire and Theft policy, windscreen coverage is most likely not included and you will have to purchase it as an add-on. Otherwise, if anything happens to your windscreen, you will have to pay out of pocket.
Your windscreen is one of the most vulnerable aspects of your car, which will more likely than not require some repair or replacing in the near future. Hence, it pays to get a comprehensive car insurance plan that lets you enjoy windscreen coverage, along with other necessary inclusions.
However, not all comprehensive car insurance plans are created equal. Before inking the deal, do read through the policy wording document to see if windscreen coverage is included, the excess you have to pay and how many claims you can make. Then, depending on your needs, you may want to upgrade to a higher tier of comprehensive car insurance plan which offers better coverage, such as unlimited windscreen claims with no excess.