Does Home Insurance Cover Window Replacement? The Ultimate Guide

Around five to six percent of homeowners experience property damage significant enough to file an insurance claim yearly. This includes destruction from weather, vandalism, and theft, among other causes.

Homeowners insurance covers most types of damage done to the property, but not all. You may be wondering, “Does home insurance cover window replacement?”

The answer is complicated. That is because it depends on your insurance policy and the circumstances surrounding the damage.

This article lays out some home insurance coverage basics and explains scenarios where window replacement will be covered. It also goes over some variables that might impact coverage. Keep reading to learn how this information might apply to your situation.

What Is Homeowners Insurance?

About 88 percent of people who own homes have homeowners insurance. It generally covers your dwelling (the building itself) and other structures on your property. It also can protect personal property and belongings.

Unlike vehicle liability insurance, homeowners insurance is optional. However, mortgage lenders often require it if you are financing your home. Even if your home is completely paid for, it is a valuable asset that needs protection.

Does Home Insurance Cover Window Replacement?

When attempting to answer “Does home insurance cover window replacement?” the main thing to examine is not the windows themselves but how they were damaged. These scenarios–also called a “covered peril–are spelled out in your insurance policy.

Almost all home insurance policies cover weather disasters. This includes lightning strikes and fires.

It includes hurricanes, tornadoes, or windstorms. It also covers hail, water damage, or other weather-related events.

Homeowners insurance plans also usually cover vandalism. This would include windows destroyed by other individuals or groups. This could be intentional (resulting from a break-in) or accidental (a neighbor damaging your windows).

Similarly, homeowners insurance gives you protection against theft. Again, this could be damage resulting in a burglary, but it would also extend to situations where windows were stolen from a home.

One of the most important (albeit atypical) aspects of homeowners insurance protection involves liability. This means it covers you or someone in your family if they damage someone else’s property.

A good example is your child throwing a ball through a neighbor’s window. This is important because if a person (for instance, a neighbor) damages your windows, their homeowners insurance policy may cover it.

Common Scenarios Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Some everyday situations where typical homeowners insurance plans may not cover window replacement. Like other aspects of your home, general wear and tear is the main one. For instance, if part of your window has deteriorated or breaks due to everyday use, your policy would likely not cover that.

Another area where insurance coverage may not kick in is when a manufacturer or installation defect is associated with the window. For instance, this is where there is a flaw in the quality or design of the product or where it was installed incorrectly, led to damage. The good news is that, in these scenarios, product warranties usually kick in.

If you accidentally break the window alone, this may also not be covered. Some insurance plans may exclude damage from things like mold or termites. It is important to review your policy thoroughly to know what it covers and does not.

Types of Home Insurance Compensation

Another thing to consider when determining if homeowners insurance will cover window replacement is how your policies calculate an insured item. There are two main approaches.

The first is “actual cash value” (ACV). This is the worth of an item or piece of property when it was damaged. To calculate this, you would start with the original price and then subtract the value lost based on depreciation and normal wear and tear over time.

The other method is “replacement cost value” (RCV). This is the value of the item or piece of property at the current cost to replace it.

This distinction is important because if your insurance company uses ACV, what they pay out may be much less than the cost to replace the window or windows with comparable ones. An RCV policy is more expensive and would cover the actual cost of replacing them with similar types of windows, regardless of their original value and cost.

Weigh Your Deductible

The final thing to consider before filing an insurance claim for window replacement is your deductible. Typical ones range between $500 and $2,000 or more. If replacing windows is less than this, the most cost-effective option is to forgo an insurance claim.

What Does the Claims Process Entail?

If you have considered all the variables above and believe a claim is the right way to proceed, the rest is pretty straightforward. After filing a claim, your insurance company will send out an adjuster to survey the damaged windows. This is also a chance for you to explain the cause of the damages and how they occurred.

In the next phase, your insurance company may recommend pre-approved vendors, but they cannot require you to use them in most locations. There can still be an advantage in going with them, though, since the insurance company has previously worked with these contractors. This could make approval of any adjustments to the original damage estimate more seamless.

Next, you can make payment arrangements with the insurance company. Often, they can cut a check directly to the agreed-upon vendor minus your deductible.

Learn More About Home Insurance Coverage

Now that you have an answer to “Does home insurance cover window replacement?” you can proceed with repairs. Remember that the best thing you can do is consult with an insurance agent to ensure you have adequate coverage and use it when necessary.

At Central Jersey Insurance Associates, we believe that insurance is a commodity and a tool to protect you and your family, and we’d love to assist you today.