Free windshield repairs coming for many ICBC drivers

By Vanessa Ybarra
February 8, 2017 - 11:41am Updated: February 8, 2017 - 5:45pm

If you drive on Interior roads, you can expect rock chips on your windshield.

Rock chips may appear small and insignificant, but they can quickly morph into full-spread cracks on your windshield, with replacement costs increasing 28% since 2010. 

On Wednesday, ICBC and the Ministry of Transportation announced that as of this spring, rock chip repairs will be covered by comprehensive insurance that's currently carried by 80% of drivers.

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"We will now be covering 100% of the cost to repair a rock chip so the entire windshield doesn't have to be replaced," said Transportation Minister Todd Stone. "There will be no deductible , this will be a free service for motorists."

ICBC saw a 17%  increase in windshield replacement claims in 2016, the average price of those claims - just over $800.

"In the last year, we had more than 100-thousand windshield claims adding up to about $90-million in costs overall," said Mark Blucher, Ceo and President of ICBC. " That led us in feedback sessions saying 'is there a better way to offer services?"

As part of that 'better way', ICBC says it will now be focusing more on windshield repairs than complete replacements. 

In doing so, the insurance carrier expects to save $8 million per year.

"Technologies come out with windscreens and repair technology and we believe it's in a position now where this repair technology is going to fulfill that safety and integrity part that's so important for us," said Blucher.

According to ICBC, the average rock chip repair will now take as little as ten to 15 minutes. 

"A lot of people don't repair their rock chips, and their chips end up becoming big cracks that span the entire windshield," said Stone. "That is very unsafe and can be a contributing factor to collisions. Along with added safety, the free service is going to keep 8,000 windshields out of the landfill."

The details of the plan still has some gaps. 

"What about multiple chips on windscreens, do we fix those?" said Blucher. "What about a crack? Which one should we or shouldn't we fix? These are details we still have to work out." 

For now officials main focus is getting rid of the eyesores and quick and easy as possible.

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