Does Renters Insurance Cover A Broken Window?
Insurance policies can be very confusing, especially if you’re a new renter. While the policies usually have everything in the fine print, they can be difficult to understand. What’s covered? What’s not? How about windows; will your renter’s insurance cover a broken window?
Renters Insurance will cover your broken window if it was damaged by the wind, fire, residential theft, or another listed peril in your contract. They will also cover if you broke someone else’s window, as well as any lawyer fees and the settlement amount if that person sues you. However, they will not cover if you break your own window.
In this article, we will go over scenarios in which your renter’s insurance will cover a broken window. Also, we will let you know if it’s worthwhile to even file the claim! Let’s get started.
When Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken Windows?
Broken windows are generally not covered by renters insurance. Although renters insurance covers personal belongings, it does not cover the walls, flooring, or windows of the building in which you live. This is because, as a tenant, your home or apartment is your landlord’s property.
However, renters insurance may cover expenses linked to shattered windows in the following circumstances:
- When you damage someone else’s window, and they file a lawsuit against you.
- When your home has a broken window, that makes the apartment uninhabitable.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these scenarios:
You Get Sued for Breaking Someone’s Window
Personal liability coverage is included in renters insurance, and it covers your legal costs if you damage someone’s property and they sue you.
This means that if you (or your child) break someone else’s window, such as by throwing a baseball through it, your insurance company will pay for their attorney fees if they sue you. They’ll also compensate for any damages awarded to the victim.
If you shatter your own window and your landlord sues you, your renter’s insurance will cover your legal bills. However, such circumstances are uncommon, as most landlords would deduct the money from your security deposit.
A Broken Window Renders Your Unit Uninhabitable
loss-of-use coverage is another feature of renters insurance. This is a sort of coverage that kicks in and pays for your expenses (such as a hotel stay) if a disaster destroys your house to the point that you have to leave for an extended period of time.
A broken window may be severe enough to qualify for loss-of-use coverage depending on your situation if you can prove that it renders your home hazardous rather than merely an annoyance.
For example, if the broken window makes it easy for robbers to break in or exposes you to inclement weather, you might be able to persuade your insurer to cover the cost of a hotel while it’s replaced. The caveat is that your loss-of-use coverage will only apply if your window was shattered by a covered risk, which is defined as damage that is included in your policy.
Will Renters Insurance Cover You if You Break Another Person’s Window?
If the shattered window belongs to someone else, renters insurance will cover the expense. This is done through the liability section of your renter’s insurance.
The liability element of your policy covers the costs and fees incurred as a result of claims for which you are proven liable. If the insurance provider concludes that you are responsible for the damage, your policy will cover you up to the limits of your policy.
Are You Covered if Something Else Breaks Your Window?
You’ll be covered if your window is shattered owing to a stated risk in your renter’s insurance policy. This is in contrast to the last question, in which you were the one who broke the window.
One of the most important things to remember is that when it comes to renters insurance, you’re normally protected as long as a listed risk is present and there isn’t a policy exclusion.
Wind damage, fires, and burglary are all examples of named dangers. Because each policy’s coverage varies, it’s critical to evaluate each renter’s insurance policy thoroughly with an independent insurance agent.
This implies that if a window in your apartment is shattered during a tornado, your renter’s insurance will cover it. If you have any questions about how this differs from the damage you do, your agent is a fantastic source of information.
Is Filing a Broken Window Insurance Claim Worth It?
It doesn’t always make sense to file a renters insurance claim for a broken window. When you file a claim, it is recorded in your insurance file and remains there for several years. The more claims you file, the riskier you become to insurance companies. They usually mitigate this risk by either refusing to insure you or increasing your renter’s insurance fees.
Because repairing windows in a home is very inexpensive, it usually is more cost-effective to pay for the repairs yourself than submitting an insurance claim. You must first pay your deductible before your insurer pays anything when you file a claim.
Renters’ deductibles usually range from $250 to $1,000 per claim. You set your own limits, so check your policy before filing a claim to see how much it will cost you. If the cost of replacing the window is less than your deductible, you shouldn’t make a claim since your insurance will refuse to pay, and you’ll end up with a claim on your record.
Even if you have a $250 deductible and the window costs $600 to replace, filing a claim may not be worthwhile. In this case, you’d pay $250 toward the damaged window, and your insurance company would cover the balance ($350). In this case, it would be better to pay the extra $350 to avoid a claim appearing on your record.
You may want to file a claim if you accidentally broke a custom window, such as a full-length entrance window with engravings or a stained-glass window. Those windows can easily run into thousands of dollars. If a broken window costs $4,000 to repair or replace and your deductible is $250 to $1,000 per claim, filing a claim and simply being responsible for your deductible will save you money.
When Are Landlords Responsible for Paying for Broken Windows?
As long as you did not cause the damage, your landlord is responsible for paying for the shattered window.
For example, if your window was smashed by a falling tree branch, a gale, or a rock thrown through it by your neighbor’s kid, your landlord is expected to pay for the damage.
Your landlord is also responsible for normal wear and tear, as well as any damage they create, whether directly or indirectly. Your landlord is responsible if the property is not correctly maintained and a window is broken as a result.
When Are Tenants Responsible for Paying for Broken Windows?
You are accountable for the damage to your window if you break it. As previously stated, your landlord would most likely deduct the money from your security deposit.
If your deposit isn’t enough to fully cover the repairs, they may ask for more; however, you should request invoices from the repair company or vendor before paying.
How Do You File a Renters Insurance Claim for a Broken Window?
You can’t file a claim for a damaged window under your renter’s insurance policy’s personal property coverage. You can, however, file a claim under your personal responsibility or loss-of-use coverage. Follow the pointers below to do so:
Notify Authorities and Landlord
You should notify your landlord right away if one of your windows has been shattered so that they can hire someone to fix it. If it wasn’t your fault, make it clear how it happened, so they don’t try to blame you.
If there was criminal activity involved, such as a burglar or vandal breaking the window, you should also submit a police report. Obtain a copy of the police report, which you can subsequently submit to your insurer.
Take photos from both sides of the damaged window. Save these photos somewhere safe; when you make a claim, your insurer will want to examine the extent of the damage to ensure that your property is indeed uninhabitable.
Contact Your Insurance Company
To file a claim, go to your insurer’s website and follow the instructions there. Most companies now enable you to file claims online, though if your insurer is old-school, they may prefer that you phone them instead.
Do this as quickly as possible; many insurers impose a 48-72-hour waiting period following an occurrence before allowing you to file a claim. Prepare to offer your policy number as well as any supporting documents, such as the images you took and the police report, if one was filed.
List Your Expenses
Fill out a list of your regular living expenses, including how much you spend on rent and how much your groceries cost on a weekly basis, as directed by your insurer. You’ll submit receipts later to show your expenses while you were unable to stay in your house, and your insurer will reimburse you for the difference.
Find Alternate Accommodations
It’s now time to look for a hotel to stay in while your window is being fixed. Look for one that fits into your budget.
Your renter’s insurance loss-of-use coverage is designed to help you maintain your usual quality of living. If you choose to stay in the nicest hotel in town (unless that’s how you regularly live), your insurer may not pay all of your expenses.
Track Your Additional Living Expenses
Keep all of your receipts, particularly the ones for your hotel bill and groceries. Your insurer will require you to submit them on a regular basis (usually weekly) so that they may reimburse you for any additional costs you incur.
Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.
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