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Having your windscreen shatter is a frightening experience. In many cases it’s often preceded by a small chip or crack appearing, so even this small flaw can get car owners thinking about repairing the damage. Many policyholders have heard about windscreen protection but might be unsure about what it is, and what impact a claim will have on their no-claims bonus. Here we explain exactly what it is, how to use it, and offer a few tips to (hopefully) prevent you needing to make a claim in the first place.

As a part of everyday driving, your car windscreen is exposed to a number of common, and also unexpected, risks. Windscreen protection covers your vehicle in the event of damage and breakage that may occur. This type of cover sometimes comes as an additional benefit on a fully Comprehensive policy and as an optional extra on Third Party and Third Party, Fire & Theft cover. It usually covers any scratches, scrapes, chips, cracks or breakage of glass on the car.

Making a claim for any of these defects shouldn’t affect your no-claims bonus, but always confirm this with your insurer when you are making the initial contact about the claim. It’s also worth confirming this when you first enquire about your car insurance cover or are renewing – your insurer or broker will be able to inform you.

Protection is better than cure and – while damage to your windscreen is unpredictable – there are some simple tips and good habits that will keep your windscreen in the best shape.

✔ De-icing is essential but can cause damage. Don’t use boiling water from a kettle to remove ice from the windscreen, as this rapid temperature change is bad for your windscreen. Use a de-icer instead or a good-quality ice scraper – don’t improvise with credit cards or other plastic items as they could damage the surface.

✔ Change wiper blades twice a year, as worn blades can damage the windscreen. Keeping them clean also minimises the possibility for damage.

✔ Don’t drive too close to other vehicles, to avoid loose chippings that may get thrown up from the road. Be aware of trucks and lorries with open loads, as it’s more likely to send stones or debris towards you.

✔ Keep an eye on the road surface and take extra care on gravel roads and around roadworks. Driving slowly and carefully means it’s less likely a loose stone will fly up and possibly damage your windscreen.

✔ Avoid potholes, as not only is it more likely to contain loose material, the jolt caused by hitting a hole in the road could cause a small pre-existing crack to worsen.

If your car insurance is up for renewal and you’d like to talk through windscreen protection insurance, get in touch with Britton Insurance. When it comes to car insurance in Ireland, we do not take a “one size fits all approach”. We compare quotes from several leading insurance companies to help you choose one that best suits your requirements. From key replacement and windscreen protection to protected no claims bonus discount and breakdown assistance, we offer policies with a number of useful features. So, no matter your individual needs, we are here to help you find a car insurance policy that’s right for you.