Replacing a window is always an expensive endeavor. The larger the window, the more expensive it is to repair and the last thing you want to do is pay for it yourself. But does your homeowners insurance cover the cost to pay for a window?
As we see with most questions about coverage, it all depends on a broad range of factors. What caused the damage? Who is responsible for the damage? Is this a mentioned peril within your policy plan? How much will the repair cost?
In homeowners insurance, we see varying policies and plans that cover different cases. Where your neighbor’s plan may cover damage caused by a stray baseball through the window, yours may not. To know for sure what you’re covered for, check your insurance policy.
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Named peril policy versus an All-risk policy
Within homeowners insurance, you will find two broad categories of coverage policies: Named-peril and All-risk policies. Knowing what each policy covers along with what coverage you have is important.
- Named-peril policy – These policies are more restricted in comparison to All-risk policies. In a named peril policy you will only be covered for instances written in the company’s policy. For cases such as fire, lightning, or wind you will be covered. If the damage occurs to your window outside of the listed cases, your insurance will not cover the cost.
- All-risk policy – This open-peril form of coverage is more extensive and covers any form of risk to your windows unless exclusively listed as not covered.
Say you come home and find that your window has been broken by a stray ball requiring it to be replaced. With an all-risk policy, you’re covered by the insurance. With a named peril policy, you may not be so lucky.
Knowing which policy you insurance covers is important and will help you know if your broken window will be insured.
What does your insurance cover?
Knowing which form of coverage you have is important, but so is learning which instances will be covered. Depending on what caused the damage to your window, you may find that your insurance will not pay for repairs.
What are some instances where your insurance will cover the cost?
No matter which form of coverage you have, you will probably be covered in the event of a naturally occurring damage. This means fire damage, flood damage, storm damage. As long as the event occurs outside of the home and is not discovered to have been purposeful, your insurance should cover the window.
Moments of vandalism or accidental damage from someone else will typically also be covered by your insurance. It’s important to remember that an all-risk policy will cover your windows under more potential risks whereas the named peril policies typically only cover the above listed risks.
What won’t your insurance cover?
If you yourself are responsible for damages to your window, it’s likely you will be held responsible to pay for repairs. Your insurance company may not cover your own negligence.
Maintenance issues will also not be covered by your insurance. This means that if a window has experienced wear and tear over the years leaving it broken or in need of replacement, your insurance will not cover the costs.
If you have a named peril policy and the damage occurs by a risk unlisted on your policy, you may find yourself responsible for covering the repairs. It’s also important to check your deductible amount as this will be a factor in whether your insurance will pay for repairs or not.
Make note of how much you put down for your deductible as this will decide if you’re covered by your insurance. If the amount it will cost to repair the window is greater than the amount you have put down for your deductible, you will be covered. However, if you have put down a $1000 deductible and the repairs are only $500, you will still be expected to pay.
The most important advice to help you know if you’re covered is to check your policy. Know what you’re covered for and how much you have put down. Check with your insurance to see what risks your window is protected against.