Every road user knows the terrible experience of an object crashing into the windscreen. Sometimes this might result in significant damage caused by a bird or sizable stone, and sometimes it might be merely an irritating little crack on the windscreen.
We then have to ask the question – is it better to repair or to replace the windscreen – and should this be done sooner or later?
On the Arrive Alive website we have emphasized the importance of windscreen safety in a section titled “Road Safety and Your Windscreen”.
I would like to quote from this section:
“Modern cars fitted with airbags use the windscreen as a support surface against which the passenger airbag inflates. The windscreen helps ensure that the airbag is properly positioned to protect the occupants when it deploys. A badly fitted windscreen may pop out when subjected to the airbag pressure, thus rendering both airbag and windscreen useless.
While windscreen repair is less expensive than replacement, if you wait too long, and the damage has time to spread, windscreen repair will no longer be an option. Remember that just because a windscreen is chipped doesn’t mean that it needs to be totally replaced. Thirty percent of the time a windscreen can be easily and effectively repaired before the damage worsens. The important thing is that, once a motorist notices a chip or a crack, it must be repaired as soon as possible, to prevent further damage that might impair visibility.”
The above quoted information confirms that not all damaged windscreens need to be replaced – they can often be repaired. This should however only be considered when performed by an expert in the field of windscreen repair – so as not to present additional safety concerns!
Will car insurance cover the cost of repairing or replacing my windscreen?
Assuming that you are covered for glass damage, your car insurance policy will cover the repair or replacement of your windscreen. You will however be liable to pay an excess amount if the windscreen is replaced, probably in the region of R500. Most car insurance companies will repair your windscreen for free if it is repairable.
How to decide whether to repair or replace a windscreen? How Does Windscreen Repair Work?
We have decided to share information provided by Glasfit, a leader in the repair of windscreens. Glasfit uses a technology that forces the air out of the glass blemish. It is then replaced it with a special resin that matches your windscreen’s strength, tint and light refraction.
The most significant factor to decide this question is the location of the damage. Glasfit has divided the windscreen into 2 Zones:
This is the most critical zone for the driver’s line of vision. No matter how small the damage, for your safety, NO repairs are permitted in this area
Damage in this zone can be repaired if:
- Cracks do not exceed 150mm in length; extend through more than the outer layer of glass or run from the edge of the windscreen
- Chip damage does not exceed 25mm in diameter and crater damage is under 5mm in diameter
How many times has your windscreen been repaired?
If your windscreen has been previously repaired eight or more times, NO further repairs are permitted
We would like to urge all vehicle owners to pay close attention to their windscreens – A repaired windscreen will save money – and possibly save your life!