Motor insurers will be hit by an extra £18m in glass costs over the next three years, experts have warned.

According to a new report by Autoglass, insurers will be forced to cover the replacement costs of increasingly complex windscreens.

Features of even relatively basic models now include temperature and solar control and information display. The average screen surface area has also increased from 3.7sq m in 1990 to 4.6sq m today.

Nigel Doggett, Autoglass managing director, said: "Yesterday's humble windscreen has changed from a piece of rudimentary 'wind-stopping' glass to today's large multi-functional screen.

"The knock-on effect for insurers is that vehicle glass costs more to replace."

A Royal & SunAlliance spokeswoman said: "We are seeing claims costs for glass rising very quickly."