Does Renters Insurance Cover a Broken Window

Q&A Renters: Does Renters Insurance Cover a Broken Window?

(Coverage rules for shattered windows)

Table of Contents

Does renters insurance cover a broken window?
Will renters insurance cover the cost if you break another person's window?
So, renters insurance won't cover the cost if you break your own window?
What if your window is broken due to a named peril in your renters insurance policy?

Does renters insurance cover a broken window?

As a new renter, I find my renters insurance policy confusing. The property coverage portion of the policy is what confuses me most. Am I covered if I accidentally cause property damage to my unit? What if I or someone else covered by my policy causes property damage to another individual's property? 

I'm glad this came up because property damage is a confusing part of renters insurance. The short answer is that you'll be covered if you or someone else covered under the policy causes property damage to another individual's property, but you aren't covered even if you accidentally damage your own property. 

I'll explain both of these scenarios in greater detail below. What's most important to remember is this key distinction so you know whether you're covered no matter what comes up.

Will renters insurance cover the cost if you break another person's window?

Yes, renters insurance will cover the cost of a broken window if that window belongs to another person. The way this works is under the liability portion of your renters policy. 

The liability portion pays for the costs and fees associated with claims for which you're found liable. If the insurance company determines you were liable for the damage, your policy will provide coverage up to the limits.

Here's an example to illustrate what I mean: Let's assume your daughter throws a ball that breaks your neighbor's window. Your neighbor would file a claim with your insurance company. 

When the insurance company determines that you're liable for the damage, your liability coverage will pay for the property damage. Or, if your insurance company determines you aren't liable, your renters insurance will pay for litigation costs if your neighbor decides to fight the coverage denial in court. 

Liability coverage under a standard renters insurance policy is generally about $100,000, which is  more than enough if the only issue is a broken window.

An independent agent can discuss liability coverage with you in greater detail if you'd  like to learn more.

So, renters insurance won't cover the cost if you break your own window?

Correct, you'll receive no coverage under your renters insurance policy if you break your own window, regardless of whether it was intentional or negligent (i.e., accidental). This excludes damage caused by anyone covered by the policy, no matter how accidental the damage or destruction is. 

Along similar lines, renters insurance doesn't pay for maintenance. If the window is drafty, renters insurance won't pay the replacement cost. An independent insurance agent can provide additional details about situations in which your renters insurance policy won't help.

What if your window is broken due to a named peril in your renters insurance policy?

If your window is broken due to a named peril in your renters insurance policy you'll have coverage. This is in contrast with the question above where you caused the damage to the window yourself. 

One of the most important things to always keep in mind is that when it comes to renters insurance, you're generally covered when a named peril is involved and there otherwise isn't a policy exclusion.

Named perils generally include things like wind damage, fires, and theft. Every policy can potentially differ in what's covered, so it's important to review each renters insurance policy carefully with an independent insurance agent

This means that if a window is broken during a tornado, your renters insurance will cover that. Again, if you're unclear about how this differs from damage you cause, your agent is a great resource for additional information.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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