FAQ: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Windows?

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Are windows covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy?
When and how does homeowners insurance cover windows?
How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance doesn’t fully cover my windows?
If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my windows, what will?
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Are windows covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy?

As a new homeowner, I’m curious about what all is covered under my insurance. I know that many disasters could impact my windows and badly damage or destroy them. Damage to or destruction of my windows could also displace me from my home while I’m waiting for repairs or estimates. Are windows covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy?

In many cases, yes. Like with anything else covered by homeowners insurance, the cause of the damage or destruction itself will determine whether your policy covers it. There are many disasters considered to be covered perils under standard homeowners policies, but certain things just aren’t covered. Let’s take a closer look at exactly when standard homeowners policies provide coverage for your windows in the next section.

When and how does homeowners insurance cover windows?

Whether or not windows are covered under your homeowners policy depends entirely on what happens to them. For example, certain natural disasters are considered covered perils under standard policies while others aren’t. We’ll break down the most common covered scenarios concerning windows for a deeper understanding.

Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for windows in the following scenarios:

  • Falling objects: A stray object strikes your window and smashes it? You’re likely to be covered. This includes your trees or even your neighbor’s trees.
  • Aircraft damage: An airplane falls out of the sky or crashes directly into your house and shatters your windows? You’re likely to be covered.
  • Vandalism: Someone decides to pull a Halloween prank by breaking one or several of your windows by chucking toilet paper rolls at your house? You’re likely to be covered.
  • Water damage: As long as the cause of the water damage is due to a covered peril, such as the accumulation of snow/ice that fails to melt quickly, you’re often covered.
  • Fire and smoke: Windows are covered not only against the fire that may damage/destroy them, but also against any smoke damage the fire causes and any water damage accumulated while attempting to extinguish the flames.
  • Explosion: Explosions are covered perils under standard homeowners policies. If an explosion occurs within or around your home that wipes out your window(s), you’re likely to be covered.
  • Covered natural disasters: Commonly covered natural disasters under most homeowners policies include windstorms, hail, lightning, fire, and blizzards. If one of these damages/destroys your windows, you’re likely to be covered.

Notice that homeowners insurance does not protect you from flood damage or earthquakes. You would need special, separate insurance policies for those disasters.

Your homeowners insurance will also provide coverage for temporary living arrangements and additional living expenses if you’re temporarily displaced from your home while awaiting repairs on your windows.

How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance doesn’t fully cover my windows?

After paying your deductible, you’ll be responsible for paying any amount exceeding your homeowners policy’s limit for the dwelling category of coverage. This limit will be determined by your specific policy, but it’s often 10% of your home’s total value. So, if you’ve got a $300,000 home, coverage for your windows may be limited to $30,000. You may also purchase additional coverage to increase this limit.

A standard homeowners policy has a deductible that’s typically 1% of the home’s value—so if your home is worth $300,000, you might have to exceed $3,000 in damages to your windows and other areas of the home’s structure before your insurance will start paying. However, you can work with an experienced independent insurance agent to get a policy with a lower deductible.

If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my windows, what will?

As long as the cause of the damage to or destruction of your windows is due to a covered peril, your homeowners insurance policy will protect you. However, for natural disasters like floods and earthquakes that aren’t covered under homeowners insurance, you’d need special, separate policies to protect your windows. An independent insurance agent can help get you set up with flood insurance or earth movement insurance if you’d like coverage in those areas.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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