Windscreen issues are very common in Australia and so are the related insurance claims. Drivers can rarely weigh the problem on their own and generally tend to have a load of questions about the damage and the ways to fix it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:
- How do I get the maximum amount for a claim?
Your insurer may pay out all the money for a repaired or replaced windscreen. To make sure you can claim the maximum amount, make sure you are using their approved repair service. Each insurer has its preferred repairer, with whom they negotiated an advantageous deal.
- Windscreen repair vs. replacement – how long does it take?
Although you shouldn’t be making any compromise and have the glass replaced if the situation calls for it, it’s understandable that, in less urgent situations, you may be in a hurry and need to know which service is faster. Repairs can be done in less than half an hour, while car window replacement can last between 2 to 4 hours, depending on how quick the glue sets.
- Will there be a warranty on the work?
Usually, repaired glass is much tougher than the rest. In any case, Australian repair shops can offer a lifetime warranty for their windscreen works, involving both the craftsmanship and the materials.
- Will a chipped windscreen last?
Small chips can pose no risk, but deeper, cracked or spreading ones can lead to further damage. Don’t attempt to diagnose it yourself, go to a specialist and they will do what needs to be done. If it calls for repairs, see above.
- Can windscreen damage become worse?
Even a minor chip can develop into something big. Wind, pressure, vibration, water, extreme or fluctuating temperatures are no good for the glass. Any crack can spread. The risk is real; it’s no scare strategy of repair shops.
- What is the cheapest glass repair option?
It’s not the price that matters when your own safety or even life may be at risk. Find good professionals and take their advice. Prioritise the structural integrity of your vehicle and your own safety. Anyway, it is very likely that your car insurance will cover at least part of the cost.
- Are DIY kits any good?
It depends on their quality, the severity of the issue and your level of skill. If the windscreen is only chipped a bit, it can work just fine. However, if it’s cracked, it may actually deepen or extend.
- When is it time to go to a repair shop?
Immediately, regardless of the problem. Even, small chips can expand or go deeper due to vibrations, weather, moisture etc. You never know when a sudden crack may develop. This can endanger the driver and the passengers. Also, note that in most cases only fresh damage is repairable.
- Should I patch the damaged area?
As long as you’re extra careful about it, you can protect the area until you can reach a repair shop. Use tape (as long as it’s not obstructing the view) or clear nail polish. Make sure to clean the place very well – no debris should get in.
The more specific questions on this topic should be addressed to your insurer or to the preferred (or closest) specialised service.