Does homeowners insurance cover broken windows?
Last updated: January 1
A typical homeowners insurance policy includes several coverages that may help pay to replace a broken window. Dwelling coverage, other structures coverage or liability coverage may come into play, depending on what caused the window to break. Here's a look at some scenarios in which homeowners insurance may help cover a broken window claim.
What if something breaks my window?
Standard homeowners insurance helps cover certain risks — often referred to as perils — that are outlined in your policy. Home insurance typically helps pay to repair damage from vandalism, hail, fire, theft and wind. So, if one of your window panes is broken by hail, for instance, you may be able to file a homeowners insurance claim on your dwelling coverage.
If the broken window is on a detached structure, such as a shed or detached garage, your other structures coverage may help pay for repairs.
Home insurance deductibles and limits
Keep in mind that you'll likely need to pay your deductible toward a broken window claim. Your deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in to help cover the claim. You can usually choose your deductible when you purchase homeowners insurance.
If the cost of repairing a broken window is less than your deductible, you will have to pay for repairs yourself (likely without reimbursement from your insurer). But if your deductible is lower than the cost of the window repair, your homeowners insurance will likely help pay the difference, up to your coverage limit. A coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay toward a covered claim.
Say your window is damaged during a break-in, and repairs will cost $700. But, your dwelling coverage deductible is $1,000. You would have to pay for repairs entirely out of your own pocket. Now, suppose you had a $500 deductible. You would pay $500 toward the window repair, and your insurer would reimburse you for the additional $200.
What if I break someone else's window?
Suppose you or your child accidentally throws a ball through a neighbor's window. If you accidentally damage another person's property, the liability coverage in your homeowners policy may help pay for repairs. You'll typically find that you do not have to pay a deductible on homeowners liability coverage.
What if I break my own window?
Homeowners insurance typically does not cover accidental breakage you cause to your own house. If your child throws a ball through your home's window or you accidentally crack a window pane, you'll likely need to pay out of pocket for the repair.
Also, keep in mind that homeowners insurance does not cover window maintenance issues or wear and tear. If your window needs repair or replacement because it's drafty, for instance, homeowners insurance will not cover the cost.
Broken window seals also may not be covered by home insurance. According to This Old House, fog or moisture between double-glazed windows can indicate a broken seal. Window seals fail over time, with manufacturers offering warranties up to 20 years, This Old House says. Remember, unless the damage is caused by a sudden or accidental peril — hail, fire or theft, for example — it's likely not covered by homeowners insurance.
It's a good idea to understand when homeowners insurance covers broken windows and to make sure your deductibles and coverage limits fit your needs.