It is worth checking the terms of your insurance policy. Some do not cover windscreen damage, others may offer compensation if the work is carried out by an approved company, while others allow owners to make their own arrangements and recompense them afterwards.
If the motor trade policy doesn’t have the windscreen extension this doesn’t mean you can’t claim for the windscreen to be repaired or replaced but will find they are subject to the standard policy excess.
Windscreens, with their glass construction and large area, are one of the most vulnerable parts of a car or van, and can be expensive to repair or replace. As well as accidents, windscreens can be chipped by a stone kicked up by another vehicle, or scratched by inappropriate cleaning materials. A damaged windscreen can have legal and safety repercussions, and decrease the value of the vehicle. Yet not all car and van insurance policies for the motor trade cover windscreen repair and replacement.
The modern windscreen is a complicated piece of technology, refined and developed by the motor trade over the last century. The first, simple glass screens were replaced by laminated safety glass, designed to shatter into small pieces on impact, rather than potentially lethal shards. Today’s windscreens may be heated, for quicker and more thorough demisting and de-icing in cold weather, tinted, to reduce glare from low sun, or even rain sensitive, switching on windscreen wipers and adjusting the rate as necessary. The future is likely to bring head up displays, like those used in military aircraft, to provide information on speed, journey time, traffic, weather, and route, thus keeping eyes on the road rather than the dashboard or sat nav.
All these factors mean that repair or replacement can be costly, and it may be tempting to ignore a crack or chip. However, a damaged windscreen can be both dangerous and illegal.
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Most modern car and van screens are an integral part of the vehicle’s structure, designed to keep the roof from collapsing if the car is crushed or rolled in an accident. Even a small chip can spread to form a crack, weakening the structure. Chips and scratches also reduce the driver’s vision, and can cause glare in sunlight. Road users caught driving with an unsafe windscreen could face a fine, points on their licence, or even a court summons. In the motor trade, an undriveable or unsellable machine can cost time and money.
A broken or damaged windscreen can seriously affect your business, so any problems should be dealt with as soon as they arise.