If you own a home, there’s a pretty good chance that each month, when you sit down to pay your bills, you write out a check to an insurance company. You hope that you’ll never have to cash in on your homeowners policy but you probably feel better just knowing it’s there. Then one day, little Johnny down the street throws a baseball through your window. Now what? Does your homeowners insurance cover broken windows?
Broken windows are more common then you think, so don’t worry, you’re not the only one wondering if homeowners insurance covers broken windows! The truth of the matter is it depends.
Whether or not your insurance policy will pay for your broken window depends largely on how the window was damaged. Most insurance policies cover events that fall under “acts of God.” This would be stuff like hail, wind, or storm damage. Many homeowners insurance policies also cover damage that is caused by humans (other than yourself). For example, if little Johnny from down the street throws a baseball through your window the damage would probably be covered.
On the other hand, if the damage was caused by your negligence you most likely would not be able to collect on a homeowners insurance policy claim. Keep in mind, that often what insurance companies call “negligence” is merely just an accident. For example, let’s say while cleaning the gutters you knock a ladder through your dining room window… your insurance policy would most likely not cover that. Another type of damage that would not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy is wear and tear. For example, if you don’t keep your windows in good shape and water seeps in through the seals, freezes, and then expands enough to crack the window pane, your insurance company would most likely deny your claim.
Figuring out if your homeowners insurance covers broken windows also depends on your policy’s deductible. Sure, the cost of replacing a broken window and repairing any damage to the frame or surrounding structure can run up into the hundreds of dollars, but if you have a $1,000 deductible you’d still have to pay that bill out of pocket. When you have a broken window, try to get an estimate from a professional before filing an insurance claim. If the estimate indicates you won’t meet your deductible, you’re probably better off not filling a claim at all. The professionals at Jack’s Glass would be happy to give you a free quote.
Even if the estimate to replace your broken window is higher than your deductible, you may want to think twice about filing a homeowners insurance claim. If the price is quite a bit over your deductible, filing a claim probably makes sense but if it’s just $100 or so over, you’d probably be better off taking care of it yourself.
Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com says, “Don’t make claims on small losses. If it will only cost you several hundred dollars out of pocket, it’s probably better to pay for the repair yourself instead of filing a formal claim with your insurance company,” (Today.com, 2013). That’s because filing a claim will likely make your insurance premiums increase down the road. According to Today.com, the average premium rate increase for filing a claim is about 9% (or $150) a year, but in some cases even a single claim can result in a significantly higher increase.
In closing, if you find yourself dealing with a broken window, don’t panic! As already mentioned, broken windows are fairly common; after all, we’re talking about a piece of glass that has to stand up to all kind of onslaughts from Mother Nature not to mention human beings. If the broken window was caused by an “act of God” or human error your homeowners insurance will likely cover the cost. However, before rushing out to file that claim, get a quote for a glass pro like those at Jack’s Glass. If the estimate falls within or right above your deductible, you’ll probably want to foot the bill yourself to avoid future premium hikes.
Have more questions about replacing or repairing your windows? Contact Jack’s Glass today.