It's not often you get something for free, but after 16 years ICBC is bringing back its free windshield repair program. And after the cold, long winter we’ve had on the Lower Mainland it couldn’t have come at a better time.

A small chip in a windshield may not seem like much, but it amounts to big bucks to fix. ICBC says it costs an average of $820 to replace a windshield. But a repair costs just $70, which can mean big savings and extend the life a windshield. The corporation anticipates the new program will help reduce its material damage costs by approximately $8 million each year.

“Customers have been frequently asking for this program to come back," said Chris Hancock, ICBC spokesperson.

Customers who purchase ICBC’s optional comprehensive coverage will be able to take their vehicle directly to an ICBC-accredited Glass Express facility for repairs, without calling ICBC first or paying a deductible. Those repairs will also have no impact on your claims history or future deductible.

A maximum of three damaged areas can be repaired on an individual claim basis. There's no limit to the number of windshield repair claims per policy period.

A chip only takes about 40 minutes to repair, but some damage cannot be fixed. If the chip is in the driver’s line of sight or if it’s larger than a toonie, it won’t be able to be repaired.

Another added benefit to the program is the environmental impact.

"We're going to have about 8,000 or so less windshields in our B.C. landfills each year," explained Hancock.

Customers can visit for more information about the claims process and for a list of ICBC Glass Express facilities in their area.