Stone chip windshield – Which insurance pays? ✔

What is a rockfall anyway?

If stones, gravel or grit collide with your vehicle, damage can occur, for example to the windscreen develop. It’s called rockfall.

As a rule, the reason for the rockfall cannot be determined, which is why the Motor vehicle liability insurance not responsible for the damage.

But what kind of insurance pays for damage caused by a rockfall? Before we answer this question, let’s clarify when a stone chip can be repaired and when the window needs to be replaced.

When can a stone chip be repaired and when does the pane have to be replaced?

In the event of a rockfall on the windshield it is not always necessary to replace the entire pane. Minor damage can often be repaired by a specialist company. Due to safety reasons, there are clear rules here. A stone chip may only be repaired if the following conditions are met:

  • The stone chip must not be in the driver’s field of vision.
  • The stone chip must be about 10 cm from the edge.
  • The stone chip must not be larger than a 2 euro coin.

If these criteria are met, the rockfall can likely be repaired. This usually only takes about 30 minutes, but should be done as soon as possible after the damage has occurred. Otherwise, it is possible that further dirt and moisture will penetrate the damaged area, which will impair the repair result. In the worst case, even if the damage is initially minor, the entire pane has to be replaced. A quick repair is also recommended, because a small stone chip, for example due to vibrations while driving, can expand into a large crack.

However, there are also rockfalls, which too small to fix are. Then it is a matter of purely visual defects. In such a case, the pane must also be replaced if the optical defect bothers you.

Glass breakage is partially comprehensive damage

A stone chip is annoying – no question about it. However, for the repair comes the car insurance – more precisely the partially comprehensive insurance on. A rockfall is an everyday occurrence for insurers, because broken glass was by far the most common in 2020 with 1,907,000 cases most common damage.

Free of charge despite excess

And the cool thing is, if the damage can be repaired, you have to with most insurers don’t pay a cent yourself despite a deductible. Yes, you heard me right. The insurance covers the entire repair costs.

You can find information about this on the websites of car glass specialists, such as car glass.

The reason for this is probably that insurers are interested in the damage being settled as early as possible and at a lower cost than replacing the pane. As a customer, you are not faced with the question of whether you should have the small stone chip repaired or not, because no financial damage is to be expected.

Should one The disc cannot be repaired however, you must be the pay the agreed deductible. The cost of replacing a windshield depends on the manufacturer and the type of windshield. Heated windows and windows with a rain sensor are significantly more expensive than ordinary windows. A window from a Porsche also costs significantly more than a window from a Volkswagen.

In partially comprehensive insurance, a deductible of 150 euros is usual. With costs of up to 2,500 euros for the replacement of the windscreen, the 150 euros deductible are manageable.

No downgrading of the SF class

Unlike liability insurance and fully comprehensive insurance, there are no no-claims categories in partially comprehensive insurance.

The reason for this is that partially comprehensive damage is not self-inflicted damage. Accordingly, you can report the damage to the insurance company without hesitation and do not have to worry about increasing contributions due to a higher SF class.

There is no downgrading of the SF class.

How should you deal with a rock fall?

As already described, you should have every stone chip repaired as quickly as possible, even if it is small. But before you drive directly to the nearest workshop, you should first assess the damage report to your insurer – preferably by phone. Of course, only if you have taken out comprehensive insurance.

The reason for the prior notification of damage to the insurer is that in many tariffs a workshop binding is included. This means that the insurance company decides in which workshop the damage should be repaired. Don’t worry – the insurers don’t just work with one workshop here. In this way, you will surely find a partner workshop that is not far from where you live by talking to the insurance employee. Especially in the case of glass breakage, insurers work together with large companies that have branches in most (larger) cities.

If you visit another workshop on your own with a workshop connection, the insurer will increase the deductible by 300 euros, for example. If the windscreen is repaired, the insurance company will probably not pay anything at all. Absolutely unnecessary. Therefore, be sure to report the damage beforehand.

Is there a deadline for reporting a claim?

Basically, the claim should be reported to the insurer as early as possible. In some cases, the insurance conditions mention 3 days or an immediate notification. The time window here can be up to a week.

However, you should not wait too long so that there are no problems in settling the damage. In concrete terms, this means that as soon as you notice the stone chipping on the window, you should contact the insurer (e.g. on the same day or the next).

What about other rockfalls?

In addition to the windscreen, stone chips can also damage the bonnet, the rimsthe headlights or the sunroof.

There are clear rules in comprehensive insurance. That’s how she pays Partially comprehensive insurance for all glass damage, which were caused by falling rocks. Damage to the sunroof or panorama roof or the headlights is covered by the comprehensive insurance.

The situation is different, for example, with damage to the paintwork on the bonnet caused by a stone chip. Although this is from the comprehensive insurance adopted, but leads to a Downgrading of the no-claims class. Since the costs for the repair are probably not that high and a higher deductible (> 150 euros) is often agreed in the fully comprehensive insurance, it makes little sense to commission the insurance company to settle the damage.

It looks different if you have one discount protection included in your contract. Then damage to the paintwork on the bonnet can also be regulated without you being downgraded in the SF class.

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