On average, windows can cost anywhere between $200 and $1200 to fix or repair and unfortunately it doesn’t have to take a whole lot of effort to break one. The expense of repairs and replacements for windows can quickly add up which is where homeowners insurance comes in.
While home insurance can seem complicated in specific events (the who, what, where, and how of the broken window), the rules of it are simple: you are eligible for coverage for your window if damages were caused by a covered event. To determine if you will receive compensation from your policy consider the following questions:
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- What caused the window to break?
- Where was the location of the window broken?
- Who broke your window?
- How much damage was done to your window?
How Did Your Window Break?
In a normal policy, home insurance covers damages caused by weather, theft or vandalism, and fire. If your window was broken during any of these events you are in luck and will receive coverage for the damages after you pay your deductible.
If your window was damaged because of mold or other maintenance issues, your damages will not be covered. Maintenance is considered to be a job of the homeowner, and so any damages that are caused because of a lack of routine maintenance will not be compensated for.
Where Was the Location of the Broken Window?
If the broken window was a part of your main house, dwelling coverage is the most common clause that will give you compensation. Dwelling coverage varies from policy to policy and is an extremely important clause for all things relating to damages in your home.
If the broken window you are looking to repair happened to a detached structure on your property, your coverage will come from the other structures portion of your policy. This clause is separate from your dwelling coverage. Examples of detached structures include gazebos, detached garages, and some types of pools.
Not Your Home
If the window you are trying to get coverage for is not your own (sorry neighbor) you might be able to get compensation under your liability coverage to help repair the costs.
Who Broke Your Window?
Unfortunately, your broken window may only be covered if the damage was caused by your neighbor or someone who broke into your house. In most cases, any damages to your window done by you or anyone living in your home will likely be considered your responsibility by insurance.
Neighbor or Someone Who Does Not Live in your Home
In the case of your neighbor or someone else who does not live in your house damaging your window, their liability coverage or cost of the repairs will be on them. If they do not pay for the window and there is evidence of it being their fault, you can press charges in small claims court.
Thief or Burglar
Thieves aren’t known for being honest or financially responsible, fortunately, if you did have the misfortune of your house being broken into, your homeowners insurance will cover the cost!
How Much Damage Was Done to Your Window?
While it is reassuring to know that you are eligible for a claim, that does not mean you should file a claim for your broken window. In reality, you may not want to make a claim or even be eligible to if your total damages are lower than your deductible. The cost of a single broken window will likely not exceed your deductible.
By not filing a claim you can save more money in the long term by not having increased insurance rates caused by filing a claim. Filing a claim often causes insurance rates to go up and at a minimum, every claim will stay on your personal record and the records of the home. This may make it harder to sell your house later on.
However, if there was excessive damage done to your window and it is costly go ahead and file a claim. You have insurance for a reason, and if your policy covers your damages it is good to use it.