Whether the damage was caused by a burglar or a windstorm, you’ll want to fix a broken window in your home ASAP. Fortunately, your homeowners insurance will generally cover window damage as long as it didn’t result from general wear and tear or a lack of proper maintenance.
Of course, it all depends on whether repairing the window costs more than your deductible, the amount you select that’s deducted from any claims payouts.
For more detailed answers, let’s have a deep dive into how your homeowners insurance relates to broken windows.
- As part of your dwelling coverage (Coverage A), windows are “open peril,” meaning you’re generally covered for damage unless the cause is explicitly excluded in your policy.
- Broken windows typically aren’t covered if they are the result of gradual events, like rot, wear-and-tear, or a general lack of maintenance.
- If your kid hits a baseball through your window, you’re typically covered due to window damage being open peril (but try to make sure they don’t do this!).
- You’re also covered under personal liability if you or someone else on your policy accidentally damage someone else’s window.
- Filing an insurance claim for a broken window only makes sense if the repair costs exceed your insurance deductible.
These are the topics we’ll cover in depth:
- When does homeowners insurance cover broken windows?
- Does a home warranty cover broken windows?
- How much does your homeowners insurance pay in case your window gets damaged?
- When your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover broken windows
- What to do if your window is broken
When does homeowners insurance cover broken windows?
Damages to the structure of your home, including windows, fall under the category of your homeowners insurance policy called “dwelling coverage,” or Coverage A. Along with the coverage for other structures on your property (things like detached garages, fences, and sheds—aka Coverage B), your dwelling coverage is open peril.
So whether the window that got damaged was part of your house itself or a detached garage, you’d be generally be covered for anything not specifically excluded in your homeowners policy.
Your homeowners insurance can even help pay for the damage you caused to others’ windows, thanks to your personal liability coverage.
That baseball your kid accidentally hit straight through your backyard neighbor’s kitchen window? Your liability coverage can help cover the costs (and hopefully help mend fences with you and your neighbors).
Now that we’ve covered some incidents during which broken windows would be covered by your homeowners policy, let’s take a look at how much of a reimbursement you can actually expect from your insurance provider.
Does a home warranty cover broken windows?
Home warranties generally won’t provide coverage for broken windows, since windows are part of the structure of your home (which, as we mentioned, your homeowners insurance covers.)
Warranties are meant to cover systems and appliances in your home, not your home’s structure.
How much does your homeowners insurance actually pay in case your window gets damaged?
The first thing you should consider before filing an insurance claim is your deductible. In case the window damage is minor and the repair costs are lower than your deductible, you’d have to pay them out-of-pocket. Think of it this way: If you’ve chosen a deductible of $1,000, and replacing your damaged window pane is only $500, your insurer won’t chip in at all.
But what if multiple windows are broken, and the total repair cost ends up being $3,000, or more?
In this case, if the damage happened to your house’s main structure, your dwelling coverage would kick in, and your insurer may compensate you up to your coverage limit. (They’d have to be some pretty extravagant windows if you ran up against that limit.) You’d still be responsible for the amount of your deductible, of course.
Good to know: If you’ve damaged someone else’s window, which would activate the personal liability portion of your homeowners’ policy, you usually don’t have to pay any deductible at all.
When your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover broken windows
Generally, homeowners policy exclude coverage for broken windows if they were damaged due to gradual events, rot, or lack of maintenance.
- Wear and tear: If your windows simply broke because they’re old, you usually won’t be covered.
- Broken window seals: If your window seal is broken due to a lack of maintenance or general wear and tear, it won’t be covered. It’s a different story if the seal gets damaged during a break-in or a case of vandalism. Such events would in fact be covered by homeowners insurance.
Some general advice: Even if it sounds like a drag, make sure to inspect your windows regularly to see if any damage or signs of wear and tear are developing over time, which can be tackled with a simple maintenance job so later on you won’t have to replace the whole thing.
What to do in a case of a broken window
Here are some immediate action items for when you’re facing a broken window.
- Document the window damage in detail (for your insurance provider, not your private scrapbook. That’d be weird.). Don’t forget to take pictures and videos plus include evidence of any personal property that has been affected.
- Clean up the mess, especially any pieces of broken glass. Carefully collect the bigger pieces (with gloves) and vacuum the smaller shards.
- Close the window opening. We recommend using something like sturdy plastic bags to keep any potential rain and wind out. For cracks, simple masking or packing tape will do.
- Get in touch with your home insurance provider. They will likely send over a claims adjuster to survey the damage and help you contact the right people to repair the damage.
Before we leave…
Now that you’ve mastered the art of distinguishing when your homeowners policy would cover a broken window, why not take a few minutes to visit Lemonade and get a homeowners quote?
A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage may not be available in all states.