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Windscreen insurance: is it worth it?

Woman driver sitting in yellow car, smiling as she looks through windscreen that's covered by insurance.

Imagine you're driving and suddenly, a pebble strikes your windscreen. The thought of paying a $1,000 excess for such a small incident is daunting, isn't it? That's exactly what windscreen insurance, also known as excess-free windscreen cover, is designed to prevent. 

It safeguards your wallet from these unexpected costs, making sure a minor inconvenience doesn’t turn into a major expense. Keep reading to learn how this coverage can be a game-changer for you.

What is windscreen insurance?

Windscreen insurance, also known as excess-free windscreen cover, is not a policy on its own but a feature within many comprehensive car insurance policies. This particular cover is designed to waive or significantly reduce your excess in the event that your vehicle's windscreen, windshield, or any other window glass suffers damage. So, when life (or the road) throws a pebble your way, you won’t have to worry about the financial impact.

The availability of windscreen cover varies between insurance providers and policies. While some insurers include this cover as a standard feature of their comprehensive policies, others offer it as an optional extra that you can choose to add to your policy for an additional fee.

How does windscreen excess cover work?

To benefit from windscreen insurance, first, ensure it's either included in your comprehensive car insurance policy or added as an additional feature. Here's the process and what you typically gain:

  1. Adding the cover. If not automatically included, you can add windscreen cover to your existing comprehensive car insurance. This might slightly increase your premium, but it’s a step that could save you more in the long run.
  2. Entitlements. Once you have windscreen cover as part of your policy, you're typically entitled to access to prompt repair or replacement services for your windscreen, windshield, sunroof or window glass without the usual financial burden. Depending on your policy, the excess for these services may be waived entirely or significantly reduced. This ensures that minor damages don’t lead to major out-of-pocket expenses.
  3. Making a claim. When the need arises, you simply make a claim through your insurer for the windscreen damage. The process is designed to be straightforward, allowing for quick resolution so you can get back on the road with minimal disruption.

Having windscreen insurance means that an errant pebble or unexpected damage won’t leave you stressed about finances.

Is windscreen excess cover worth it?

Excess-free windscreen cover is not mandatory. Even without it, your comprehensive car insurance will cover your windscreen just like any other part of your car. But without this special add-on, you’ll be required to pay your normal excess. To highlight the practical advantages, consider these scenarios where you lack windscreen excess cover, and your excess stands at $1,000:

  • Scenario 1. A large tree branch falls and smashes your windscreen, part of a larger claim including body damage. Your comprehensive cover kicks in, windscreen included, but you pay your standard excess.
  • Scenario 2. A medium-sized tree branch cracks your windscreen, with no other damage to your car, leading to a $1,200 windscreen replacement cost. You will need to pay the $1,000 excess, and you essentially save $200.
  • Scenario 3. A small stone from a passing truck cracks your windscreen. This time the repair cost is below your excess, say $600. Without windscreen excess cover, you'd cover the cost fully, as claiming would not be cost-effective.

In scenario 1, windscreen excess cover isn't really a factor since we’re dealing with bigger accidents that affect more than just the windscreen. However, Scenarios 2 and 3 really bring home how even small incidents can unexpectedly hit your wallet hard, unless of course you have excess-free windshield cover.

How to get free windscreen replacement insurance

Most comprehensive car insurance policies don’t automatically include excess-free windscreen cover. However, here are a few that do.

  • Australia Post Comprehensive Car Insurance. Automatically includes $0 windscreen excess for repairs only. Normal excess applies to replacements, but you can reduce this to $0 for an additional premium.
  • Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance. Automatically includes $0 windscreen excess for repairs only. Normal excess applies to replacements, but you can reduce this to $0 for an additional premium.
  • RAC Comprehensive Car Insurance. Automatically includes $0 windscreen excess for repairs and a reduced $100 excess for replacements.
  • ROLLiN’. Automatically includes $0 windscreen excess for repairs and replacements (1 per year).

There are also some insurance companies that have ‘comprehensive plus’ or ‘platinum’ policies that will automatically include windscreen excess cover, but these are typically more expensive as they bundle a variety of additional features, sometimes including windscreen cover, alongside the standard comprehensive insurance benefits. 

But even if your insurance policy doesn’t automatically include this feature, most comprehensive car insurance policies will allow you to add it at an additional cost. If you’re unsure, you can always check the details in the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or check out these top options recently crowned in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Car Insurance.

How much does windscreen insurance cost?

Adding windscreen excess cover to your policy won’t set you back much. For most policies, you’ll end up paying around $20 per year or less than $2 per month.

Bottom line

As you can see, windscreen excess cover is definitely worth considering. It can save you a significant amount in repairs or replacements, and it often comes at a very reasonable additional cost. Here are some excellent policies where you can find this beneficial cover:

Compare car insurance policies

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Last updated 16 July 2024Advertiser disclosure
Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Comprehensive Car Insurance

    Monthly premiums
    Calendar icon
    Yes Costs Extra
    Choice of repairer
    tools icon
    Optional Extra
    Choice of excess
    coins icon
    $400 - $2,500
    Agreed or market value
    Car coin icon
    Agreed Or Market

    Available discounts

    • Comprehensive Car Insurance

      Monthly premiums
      Calendar icon
      Yes
      Choice of repairer
      tools icon
      No
      Choice of excess
      coins icon
      $800 Flat Excess Fee
      Agreed or market value
      Car coin icon
      Agreed Or Market

      Available discounts

        Details
      • Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance

        Monthly premiums
        Calendar icon
        Yes Costs Extra
        Choice of repairer
        tools icon
        Optional Extra
        Choice of excess
        coins icon
        $550 - $1,900 (varies By State)
        Agreed or market value
        Car coin icon
        Agreed Or Market

        Available discounts

        • No Claim Discount
        • Online Discount Up To 15%
        Details
      • Comprehensive Car Insurance

        Monthly premiums
        Calendar icon
        Yes Costs Extra
        Choice of repairer
        tools icon
        Optional Extra
        Choice of excess
        coins icon
        $500 - $2,200
        Agreed or market value
        Car coin icon
        Agreed Or Market

        Available discounts

        • Online Discount $75
        Details
      • Seniors Car Insurance

        Monthly premiums
        Calendar icon
        No
        Choice of repairer
        tools icon
        No
        Choice of excess
        coins icon
        $500 - $2,500 (varies By State)
        Agreed or market value
        Car coin icon
        Agreed

        Available discounts

        • Price Beat Offer Available For Eligible Drivers Over 50 Years Old Switching From A Comparable Policy With The Code ‘SENIORS’. T&Cs Apply.

      Windscreen cover FAQs

      What happens if the damage to my car includes more than just the windshield?

      If your car gets damaged and it's more than just the windscreen, windscreen excess cover won't come into play. Instead, the whole situation is treated like any other collision claim, where you pay your standard excess for the claim. This means you can't split off the windscreen damage to try and reduce what you pay in excess for the rest of the damages.

      Is my sunroof covered?

      Yes, windscreen excess cover usually applies to your windscreen, rear windscreen, windows or sunroof. However, in some cases it’s limited to sunroofs of a particular size, such as those that make up 50% or less of the roof’s surface.

      Does making a windshield claim affect my no claims bonus?

      No, making a windscreen claim usually doesn't affect your no claims bonus with most insurers.

      How much will my excess be?

      Most insurers will bring your windscreen excess down to $0 when you have windshield insurance. However, some may reduce it to a nominal amount ($50-$100).

      Can I get windshield cover on third-party insurance?

      No, windscreen cover, whether included automatically or as an add-on, is only available on  comprehensive car insurance policies.

      Brad Buzzard
      Brad Buzzard
      RG146
      Senior Money Writer

      Brad brings over 25 years of experience in writing and consumer research to Mozo, using his RG146 certification for Generic Knowledge and Superannuation Brad has a knack for translating complex policies, to deliver practical guidance on financial matters. Brad has been featured in The Australian, B&T, Mumbrella, and Asia Insurance Review, and his insights have influenced the strategies of some of the world's biggest brands including McDonalds and Proctor & Gamble.

      * Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

      ^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Car Insurance Awards