So you’ve got a broken window in your house.
Are you covered?
Let’s dive in.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Windows…? It Depends
While it’s not the answer you might want to hear, the truth is that its hard to tell exactly based on your state and the insurance company you have.
What is more important to ask is:
“What caused the window to break?”
You see, a homeowners insurance policy does cover your home; however, coverage largely depends on the cause of the damage.
For example, if someone breaks into your home and breaks the window, the question would be: Is your home covered for break-ins?
So, it’s less about the specific part of your home, and more about what is causing damage.
Rules of Thumb for Whether your Homeowners Insurance Policy Covers a Broken Window
We can use general rules of thumb as a starting point to figure out if your window is covered.
Generally speaking, if something happens to your window from outside of the home environment itself, the window will be covered. These can be events like a fire, weather or wind, burglary, vandalism, falling trees, or tornados.
However, if the window breaks because of something from inside your environment, or because of an intentional act its NOT covered. These can include things like your window breaking from wear and tear, neglect, or intentional actions to get the window paid for.
Wear and Tear
This is defined by a part of your home that breaks down over time through the general use of it day to day. This is a natural process, and not an accident of any kind. Therefore, insurance will not cover it as insurance is meant to protect against the unexpected. Wear and tear is unexpected, and therefore it is not covered.
As the insured, you have a responsibility to maintain your home to prevent damage. If the insured fails to maintain their home, and damage occurs, it is rarely covered. For example, if your window has a crack, and you don’t repair it if that window breaks later due to weather it may not be covered. Another example is your window being jammed, and then breaks as you’re trying to open it. Because the track wasn’t properly maintained, it wouldn’t be covered.
Its important to note that while nature events that lead to broken windows are often covered, Flooding and Earthquakes are an exception. Those require specialty policies such as Flood Insurance and Earthquake insurance.
Homeowners insurance rarely covers flooding, and that means your windows won’t be covered by it either. If rising water in your home causes windows to break, your homeowners insurance policy likely will not cover the damage. Typically, you need a stand-alone Flood Insurance policy underwritten by FEMA to cover anything flood related.
While it should be obvious, we often get questions if windows are covered if they were broken intentionally. The answer is and likely always will be no – They are not covered.
In Conclusion: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Windows?
Every state has different rules and laws, and each company insures homes in a slightly different manner. The best thing you can do is ask your insurance agent if it is covered BEFORE filing a claim. This is because any damage will be subject to a deductible, and it might not make sense to file a claim on your insurance.