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Windscreen repairs. Are you covered?

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If you have ever broken a finger or a toe, you will know that small things can create a bigger than expected hassle. Take windscreen repairs, a small stone on a fast highway can mean your car is out of action while you figure out how to pay for the damage.

The trusty Car team at Budget Direct Insurance is here to answer your questions about windscreens, repairs and insurance.

Are all windscreens the same?

Windscreens are installed using a strong adhesive and their strength, like everything else in your vehicle, will depend upon the quality of glass and the manufacturing process.

The kind of safety glass your windscreen is made of will determine how it reacts.

  • Laminated glass; this is made of two thin sheets of glass separated by a transparent plastic sheet. When struck by a sharp object it will not shatter the whole thing, it will look like a “star”, with cracks emanating from the centre. These cracks will get bigger with time so you need to repair it as soon as you can. Most newer cars will have this type of windscreen.
  • Toughened glass; this has been made using a special heat treatment and when struck it spreads into a crazy pattern all over. This can reduce visibility and you will need to pull over as soon as you can. Sometimes the area directly in front of the driver is made so it shatters into larger sections so you can maintain some visibility. Either way you need to get off the road as soon as possible.

Most cars have laminated glass in their windscreen but less expensive cars may be fitted with toughened glass. Check with your dealer or manufacturer to find out which type of windscreen you have.

What you should do if your windscreen cracks or shatters?

When a windscreen breaks there may be quite a bang so keep calm and don’t slam on the breaks. Slow down gently and look for somewhere to pull over and stop safely, then you can take a breather and assess what to do.

If you immediately can’t see you will have to push through the glass with the flat of your hand. This should only be done in extreme circumstances.

When it is safe to do so call our claims team on 6221 2199 or +65 6540 2199 (if overseas); we will arrange for our repairer to assess the damage and recommend a replacement or repair of your windscreen or window.

If you really have no alternative but to drive on, you will need to remove what’s left of the windscreen. If you have a newspaper or a cloth, place it on the dashboard and seats to catch any glass. Push out the shattered glass using an implement or, if you have no other alternative, your hand. You should always protect your hand with some kind of cloth to avoid injuiries. Try to remove all the glass, you should also wear either glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes. 

When you are done, make sure the road is clear, signal and drive away slowly and carefully as it will feel very strange at first driving without a screen.

Windscreen repairs versus replacement

One common issue many drivers face is windscreen damage, and the decision between repair and replacement can be crucial.

Understanding windscreen repairs

Windscreen repairs are a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for certain types of damage. According to the National Windshield Repair Association's Standards, repairable windscreen damage must meet specific criteria:

  • Size: The crack should be smaller than 7.5 cm.
  • Pit Size: The pit or an indentation should not be bigger than 5 mm.
  • Location: The crack should not be in the driver's acute area of vision or at the very edge of the windscreen.

Windscreen repair 

Types of cracks that can be repaired: 

Why opt for windscreen repair?

  • Time for Repair: Repair typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, ensuring minimal disruption to your schedule.
  • Cost: Repairs are often covered under your insurance policy, making them a cost-free solution.
  • Vehicle Condition: Preserves your original windscreen and factory sealant.
  • Further Precautions: No specific precautions generally needed after a repair.
  • Environmental Impact: Minimizes waste, contributing to a more sustainable approach.
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty for windscreen repairs.

Understanding windscreen replacement

While repairs are suitable for certain types of damage, there are situations where replacement becomes necessary.

  • Time for Replacement: Replacement typically takes half a day to a full day.
  • Cost: Replacement can involve additional costs such as the windscreen policy excess, applying new solar film, and alternative transport.
  • Vehicle Condition: The original windscreen and factory sealant are no longer intact.
  • Further Precautions: After replacement, it's essential to watch out for potential leakages and rust. For instance, jet washing is not advisable.
  • Environmental Impact: Disposed windscreens are not recyclable.
  • Warranty: Replacement comes with a warranty for 12 months on workmanship.

Understanding the nuances between windscreen repairs and replacements empowers you to make informed decisions.

Windscreen repairs – are you covered?

Windscreen repairs due to shattering or cracks are far more common than you might think and you will need to be covered.

There are three types of Budget Direct Insurance Car insurance policies to choose from:

  • Comprehensive - you’re covered! Unlimited windscreen cracks or breakages are covered so rest easy
  • Third Party Fire and Theft and Third Party Only – you can take optional cover for windscreen breakages. Your policy will generously cover you for two claims on your windscreen or windows per policy period.
  • For your convenience, our glass repairer provides on-site assistance. Subject to availability.
  • Windscreen excess will not be applicable if the windscreen can be repaired by our appointed glass repairer.
  • Note that sunroof damage does not come under windscreen cover. With Budget Direct Insurance sunroof comes under car (body) claims. This means that your excess is applicable and your NCD might be affected.

More than just your windscreen damaged? Visit our Car Theft and Repair FAQ to find out if you are covered and what you should do when this happens.

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Expert glass repairers, Glass-fix Pte Ltd, perform a live windscreen repair demonstration for the team at Budget Direct Insurance.

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