Your car’s windshield can crack due to several unpredictable scenarios, for example – getting hit by a tree’s branch, damage due to debris, etc. Driving with a cracked windscreen is dangerous, and with the constant vibration of a car in motion, even the smallest of the damage will eventually grow and obstruct your road vision.
Whether it’s a small crack or a completely damaged windscreen, you need to get it fixed immediately. Before rushing to a garage, you should find out if your car insurance policy covers a damaged windshield. Read on to find if vehicle insurance covers this damage and if you can file a claim for it.
Comprehensive Insurance Covers Windshield Damage:
Windscreen damage in your vehicle would be considered a comprehensive claim. If you’ve purchased comprehensive car insurance, it’ll cover the damage to the windscreen; however, if you have opted for the third-party liability coverage, it will not cover damages to your car.
That said, if the damage was due to an accident caused by another vehicle driver and they are at fault, then you can get your windshield repaired when you file a claim through the other person’s third-party liability insurance policy.
Deductibles While Filing a Damaged Windshield Claim:
A deductible is an amount that you pay from your pocket towards a repair before your insurance company covers the rest. Compare the cost of repair or replacement with the amount that you’ll have to pay as deductibles. If the estimated cost to repair the windscreen is higher than the deductible amount, then it’s not ideal to raise a claim.
Types of Windshield Damages Covered Under a Comprehensive Policy:
The windshield of your car could be damaged due to a collision or non-collision. The damages could be due to man-made circumstances such as accident, fire, vandalism, etc. or natural calamities such as hailstorm, floods, storm, etc.
What’s covered and the process to raise a claim in case of windshield damage is usually case-specific. For example, in case your windshield is damaged due to vandalism, you’ll have to call the police and register an FIR, then raise a claim with your insurance company.
However, it’s important to go through the insurance policy terms and conditions to understand the coverage in detail.
Filing the Claim for Damaged Windshield:
Contact your insurance company immediately to begin the claims process. Online insurance companies have made it simpler and hassle-free to file a claim. You can begin the process of raising a claim through their website or mobile app.
Once the company determines that the claim is valid, you can take your car to a cashless garage (a garage with which your insurance company has a tie-up) to avail a Cashless Claim. If you do not want to repair it with a network garage, you may choose to repair it at another garage. In this case, you will have to pay from your pocket first and then submit all required documents for a Reimbursement Claim.
Don’t Procrastinate Filing Windshield Damage Claim:
In case the damage to the windshield is minor crack, do not delay to get it repaired. A small chip can grow into a crack and eventually dangerous to drive your car. Also, if your policy covers the repair of a small chip and not a replacement, then you’ll be in trouble when the chip has grown to a big crack and you have to replace the windscreen. The sooner you have the chip repaired, the less likely it’ll grow into a bigger crack.
If you have opted for a comprehensive insurance policy, then the damages should be covered.
As third-party liability insurance policy covers damages to third parties, windshield damages to your vehicle are not covered under the third-party insurance.
When the repair cost of the broken windscreen is lower than your No Claim Bonus (if applicable), you should avoid raising a claim to repair the windshield.
Yes, you’ll not be able to take advantage of the NCB when you renew the policy if you raise a claim during the previous policy period. However, if you have opted for NCB Protection as an Add-on, you’ll not lose out on the NCB.
While it’s not necessary that the premium rates will increase upon filing a claim, bad claim history is one of the factors which can cause the premium rate to increase. Also, if the insurance company finds that the insured has made fraudulent claims, the insurer may deny renewal of the policy.
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