Just like your roofing replacement, your windows also need proper care and maintenance to stay in good condition. However, unexpected accidents can occur that cause unwanted damage. Depending on the level of damage, the affected window can still be repaired if most of it is still intact. But if the glass is broken, you may be thinking twice because of how much you’ll need to pay.
Windows can be damaged by causes such as severe storms, a fire in your home or any other unexpected natural disaster. However, not all types of insurance policies will fully cover the cost of such damages. Sometimes, damaged windows may not be covered at all! If this is the case, how will you cover the replacement costs if several of your windows are badly damaged?
To understand more about how your homeowners insurance covers window damage costs, here’s what our roofing replacement team at Window World of Boston recommends:
Understanding How Homeowners Insurance Works
If you have a newly-built home, it’s important to have homeowners insurance. Even if you don’t have a home, your landlord may require you to maintain renter’s insurance coverage. If you already have homeowners insurance but recently had extensive renovations done, you’ll still need to update your policy with the changes and upgrades made to your home. Either way, you’ll need protection in case something unexpected happens and your home gets damaged.
What Your Homeowners Insurance Provides
By definition, homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers losses and damages to the owner’s residence, along with furnishings and other assets in the home. Having insurance is necessary not just because it protects your home and possessions against damage or theft, but also provides liability coverage against accidents that affect the home or property.
Homeowners insurance is also a requirement by most mortgage companies if you’re planning to take out a loan or finance a residential real estate transaction. This means your insurance will serve as proof before the bank loans you any funds. You may still take out a loan or make a real estate transaction without having homeowners insurance, but it will usually cost you extra.
Understanding Your Policy
Normally, repair and replacement costs billed by a window and roofing contractor are covered by your insurance provider. But depending on how your windows were damaged, damages may or may not be covered by your insurance policy. Typically, a homeowners insurance policy covers four types of incidents: interior damage, exterior damage, loss or damage of personal assets/belongings and injury that occurs while on the property.
Making a Claim
Your homeowners insurance usually takes care of the replacement costs, but no matter how damaged your windows are, the cost for your insurance provider to process a claim is generally the same. This means that whether you’re claiming a major catastrophe such as a fire or a small incident such as a broken window, the administrative costs when processing a claim will usually be the same. Of course, your insurance provider will still process small claims if they fall under your policy. Your rate also won’t be immediately affected when you make a claim, but if you frequently make small claims, it can mean a rate increase!
What Happens When I Pay the Deductible?
When you file a claim on your damaged windows, you’ll always be required to pay a deductible. The higher the deductible on your insurance contract, the lower the monthly or annual premium on the homeowners insurance policy. And even if the cause of a damaged window falls under your policy, there’s still a chance your claim won’t be accepted by your provider.
If you have a high-deductible policy to lower your premiums and the cost of replacing the window is relatively low, then the amount of the replacement probably won’t exceed your deductible. They’ll question whether or not your policy covers the damage, which may lead your insurance provider to decide not to accept your claim. Consult with your insurance agent when you’re about to file a claim so you’ll know whether your homeowners insurance will cover the damages. You may also need to have your damaged windows inspected by a trusted window and roofing contractor for a more detailed assessment.
Are Damaged Windows Covered?
While policies may vary depending on the provider, you’ll choose between a named-peril or an open-peril policy for your homeowners insurance. A named-peril policy covers losses by perils that are listed, so your damaged window might not be covered, depending on what caused the damage. An open-peril policy covers any damage caused by different types of risks, which means your damaged windows are more likely to be covered.
There will be some instances where your window damage won’t be covered. For instance, if it broke when you knocked over a ladder that fell through the window, a named-risk policy likely won’t cover you if it doesn’t specifically cover accidents. But if it’s caused by a hail storm or other severe weather event, then your windows are typically covered by both policy types. This means they’ll shoulder the costs when you hire a window and roofing company for the replacement job.
Also, keep in mind that not all policies cover standard wear and tear. This is because the responsibility of maintaining the windows and the rest of your home falls solely on you as the homeowner. This can sometimes affect the way your insurer views your claim. For instance, if you want your insurance to cover the window replacement costs because a branch blew into it during a storm, you’ll be covered. But if it breaks because you haven’t maintained your windows properly and this causes water to go through the seals, they’ll cite it as wear and tear. They’ll see this as the cause of your broken window instead of the weather.
Window World of Boston is a locally-trusted window and roofing company that always gets the job done right. Call us at (781) 262-3925 if you’re from Woburn, (781) 343-7129 if you’re in Pembroke, or (508) 845-6676 if you live in Shrewsbury. You can also fill out our convenient online form!