While chips and cracks can look tiny at first, they can lead to big problems if left untreated. Windscreens are one of your first defences in a crash and your window to the road when you’re in the driving seat. It’s important you keep yours in prime condition to give you peace of mind and to help keep yourself and others safe. 

What is windscreen cover?

Windscreen cover is a form of insurance that allows you to make a claim in the event that your car windscreen becomes damaged. Some car insurance policies include windscreen cover as standard, while others will have it as an optional add-on.

If you want to make sure your windscreen is protected in the event of damage, it’s important that you understand whether your insurance includes windscreen cover, or if you need to purchase an add-on.

Is windscreen cover worth it?

Windscreen cover allows you to make a claim if your windscreen becomes damaged and needs to be mended or replaced. If your insurance does not include windscreen cover you will be faced with footing the bill yourself. The cost of repairs can vary depending on the size of the chip or crack, but the larger the damage, the more expensive the repair can be.

What does windscreen cover include?

Windscreen cover can vary between providers, so it’s important to check your policy document to understand what you’re covered for. Some policies include the repair and replacement of windscreens in the event of an accident, while others will cover all of the glass in your vehicle, including windows and sunroofs. 

With John Lewis Comprehensive Car Insurance, windscreen repair or replacement is included as standard. You will need to pay an excess which is shown in your policy schedule. Making a claim won't affect your no claims bonus.

During glass replacement, we will use parts or accessories which aren’t supplied by your car manufacturer. However, they will be of a similar type and quality to the parts and accessories we are replacing and will be approved by our trusted glass supplier.

What doesn’t windscreen cover include?

It is unlikely that windscreen cover will include repair or replacement if damage has been caused deliberately. If you’re not meeting other conditions as laid out in your insurance policy - it may also not be covered. For example, if an unnamed driver (someone who isn’t registered on your policy) is driving your vehicle at the time the windscreen damage occurs.

Does my car insurance include windscreen cover?

Your car insurance policy document will detail whether your cover includes windscreen replacement and repair. Some comprehensive car insurance policies include it as standard, whereas others require an add-on to be purchased for an additional fee. 

John Lewis Comprehensive Car Insurance includes the repair or replacement of windscreens, windows and sunroofs in the event of an accident or malicious act as standard. This includes the recalibration of any cameras or sensors that are associated with your windscreen. 

We also cover the cost of minor repairs to the paintwork when damage has been caused by broken glass from your windscreen or windows. In the event of significant damage to the bodywork, a separate claim for accidental damage would need to be made. For full details, please see your policy wording.

Looking for car insurance that includes windscreen cover?

Get a quote for John Lewis Car Insurance

What causes windscreen damage?

A common cause of windscreen chips and cracks is debris. Loose stones or gravel from the road can be thrown up by the wheels of vehicles driving over them or blown around in extreme weather. This loose debris can then hit and damage your windscreen. Another common cause of windscreen damage is uneven road surfaces or potholes. Driving over either can exacerbate any existing windscreen damage, turning small chips into larger fractures.

How can I protect my windscreen?

While it’s hard to predict what you’ll encounter on the road, there are a few things to avoid if you want to help protect your windscreen. 

Keep your distance


By keeping back from the vehicle in front of you while driving (especially at high speeds on the motorway or pebbled roads), you can prevent the likelihood of debris being churned up by the wheels in front of you and hitting your windscreen.

Check before you go


Just like you check your tyre pressure and your oil levels before a big drive, it can be helpful to get into the habit of inspecting your windscreen regularly. This way, you are more likely to spot small chips early to get them treated before they worsen and cause more damage.

Avoid drastic temperature changes


When your windscreen has frozen over, and you’re in a rush to leave, it can be tempting to pour hot water over the ice to defrost it faster. This actually puts your windscreen at a higher risk of cracking as the cold-to-hot temperature change can cause the glass to expand and potentially crack.

Using a de-icer or scraping your windscreen are safer ways to remove ice without exposing your windscreen to extreme temperatures. If you are worried about driving in the colder months, you can read our guide to learn more about how to prepare your car for winter.

 

Watch out for potholes


Uneven road surfaces and potholes can conceal road debris that can potentially fly into the air when driven over and damage your windscreen.

Equally, if you already have a chip in your windscreen, hitting a pothole can cause your car to vibrate, which may worsen the damage to your windscreen. By avoiding potholes or driving slower when they’re unavoidable, you can reduce the risk of damage to your windscreen.

Act quickly


If you do notice damage to your windscreen, even if it’s a small chip, it’s best to get it checked as soon as possible. In some cases, chips are small enough that they can be easily mended, but a professional will be able to tell you for certain whether your windscreen needs to be repaired or replaced. If you are covered by John Lewis Car Insurance, you can contact us to organise a repair.

Does windscreen replacement count as a claim?

If your windscreen becomes damaged and you want your insurance company to pay for a replacement, you will need to make a claim. Whether this claim affects your no claims bonus depends on the policy set by your insurer. If you are willing to pay for the repairs yourself without involving your insurance company, you won’t have to make a claim. 


With John Lewis Comprehensive Car Insurance making a claim under the windscreen and windows section of your policy will not affect your no claims bonus. You can make a claim, have your windscreen repaired or replaced, and retain your no claims bonus.

Frequently asked questions

It is not advisable to drive with a crack in your windscreen as any uneven road surface or braking could worsen the crack. If the crack in your windscreen is large enough to obscure your vision and you continue to drive, you may be at risk of receiving a motoring offence. For more information about the size of cracks that can be considered an obstruction, visit Gov.uk.

In some cases, cracked windscreens can be filled to be made safe; however, you should always consult a professional to know for sure whether your windscreen is safe for you to drive with.

Some car insurance policies will cover you for any glass damage, including broken windows. These policies are typically comprehensive.

Call us on 0330 024 0614 for more information on our car insurance policies, or get an online quote.

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John Lewis Finance, John Lewis Insurance and John Lewis & Partners are all trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc is an Appointed Representative (Financial Services Register Number 416011) of Covea Insurance plc which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register Number 202277). John Lewis Car Insurance is underwritten by Covea Insurance plc. Registered Office: A&B Mills, Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX. Registered in England and Wales No. 613259.

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