Starting this spring, anyone who buys optional comprehensive coverage from ICBC can get a chip in their windshield repaired free of charge.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone made the announcement on Wednesday and says windshield replacement costs in BC went through the roof.

“In 2016, the average total cost of a windshield replacement was $820 when replacing that rock chip is about $70. When you consider this new program will benefit over 2.5 million British Columbian’s across the province this adds up to significant savings.”

Stone says the new initiative will be environmentally friendly. “This program will result in 8,000 fewer windshields making their way to BC’s landfills each and every year so this initiative is good for motorists, it’s good for ICBC and is good for the environment at the same time.”

Thew new program will reduce windshield costs by eight million dollars per year.

In 2016, ICBC handled just under 110,000 windshield replacement claims.

That’s a 17% jump in frequency followed by a 28% hike in average replacement costs since 2010.