WINDSCREEN COVERAGE UNDER MOTOR POLICIES (by Tarran Dookie)
Typically a motor comprehensive policy excludes ‘breakage of windscreens or window glass (other than from burglary, housebreaking, theft or any attempt thereat, impact or malicious act)’. Notice the words in brackets; this is what is referred to as an exception to the exception. In other words, breakage of windscreens or window glass from burglary, housebreaking, theft or any attempt thereat, impact or malicious act is covered.
An example of a situation where the exclusion will apply is if a windscreen is damaged by repairers either while repairing the vehicle itself or whilst removing the windscreen in the process of doing bodywork on the vehicle. Since this incident does not fall within theft, impact or malicious damage it is not likely to be covered as the exception may apply.
WINDSCREEN DAMAGE ENDORSEMENT
The windscreen damage extension reads as follows:
It is hereby noted and agreed that where the only damage sustained is a broken windscreen or window glass the Insurer will indemnify the Insured for the cost of reinstating such glass provided there is no further damage to the vehicle up to an amount stated in the Schedule. The liability of the Insurer is restricted to one claim during any one period of insurance and any payment made under this Endorsement will be deemed not to be a claim for the purposes of the No Claim Discount. The Excess will not apply to any claim made under this Endorsement.
Notice that for this cover to apply there must be no further damage to the vehicle. In other words, the damage must be to the windscreen only. This may occur when the windscreen shatters because of atmospheric pressure or it is struck by a pebble (from a truck or someone operating a lawnmower).
The level of coverage is determined by the amount stated as the maximum in the schedule. The cost of some windscreens is relatively high and the onus is upon the owner of the vehicle to keep abreast of the replacement cost so that the amount insured is adequate to cover the cost of replacing the windscreen. The premium charged varies depending on the insured value of the windscreen.
The insurer is only liable to pay one claim per period of insurance. In the event of a claim, the insured can reinstate the cover but will have to pay the premium afresh since the premium originally charged has been offset against the total loss of the windscreen during the period of insurance.
Of significance is that a claim falling under the extension will not affect the no claim discount and no excess will apply. This aspect finds favour with many vehicle owners and the extension is generally included on most comprehensive policies.
Where newer vehicles have suffered windscreen damage care has to be exercised in replacing the windscreen as there is a possibility of voiding the warranty on such vehicles when the replacement of a windscreen is not undertaken by the dealer/agent.