You have home insurance and a broken window in your home. Now what? Home insurance protects your belongings against damage or theft, but it’s unlikely to cover damage done by you or on purpose by someone who lives in your home–like throwing a rock through the kitchen window in anger at your spouse. Here’s how to navigate the system of filing an insurance claim after you experience a broken window in your home.
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Table of Contents
I was just notified of a broken window at my home. What are the steps I need to take?
- Where the broken window is located
- Who broke the window
- How it happened
- When it happened
- Why it happened
- Any other details that may be helpful?
If your provider needs any additional documentation, they will notify you. Your claim should be resolved within 24 hours after this initial phone call.
We look forward to assisting you further with this claim!
I would like to have the glass replaced or repaired on my window as soon as possible.
I understand if there’s anything else needed from me to get this going ASAP.
Know what’s covered
The broken window is not included in the typical list of things covered by home insurance. However, you may be able to get coverage if you purchase an endorsement from your insurance company. An endorsement provides additional coverage such as windshield, another glass breakage, or loss of use of living space. If there are several windows at your property and they are all fully insured, then you will have adequate coverage and can file a claim with your insurer.
If there are only one or two windows and they are not fully insured, consider getting an endorsement to have adequate coverage if any windows happen to be broken in the future.
Document everything (pictures, receipts, etc.)
If you have an unexpected and unexplainable insurance claim, it’s essential to document everything to make the process go more smoothly:
- Gather all your documents, including receipts, invoices, repair estimates, police reports (if there is one), photos of the damage, and a description of what happened.
- Call your insurance company with the claim, and be prepared to answer questions about the event. Please provide them with any documentation they may need to continue processing the claim, and also keep in mind that your deductible will likely apply depending on the situation.
- Remember to file any claims as soon as possible to avoid missing deadlines.
Accurately describe the damage on your claim form
An essential step in filing a home insurance claim is accurately describing the damage on your claim form. including water and any damages from flooding, as soon as possible. Make sure you have evidence that shows what caused the accident.
It’s also helpful to know how much it will cost to repair or replace each item before reporting it lost or stolen. For example, if you had an antique vase worth $500 and it was broken during the incident, this would be classified as a $500 loss. If you filed an auto insurance claim for theft but later found out that someone accidentally broke your vase when moving furniture, this would be classified as a $0 loss since no actual robbery was involved.
Complete all follow-ups required by your provider
Filing a homes insurance claim can be difficult. Sometimes, it’s apparent that you need to file one, but many other times, it’s not so clear. To make things easier, here are some things you should know before submitting an insurance claim:
- Some broken windows may not require a claim because the amount needed for repairs will cost less than the deductible or out-of-pocket maximum and could be paid from pocket.
- Determine if your home insurance policy cover your broken window.
- Your policy must cover the expense of repairing the broken window.
- Read your contract to find out what constitutes vandalism under your policy and whether there are any exclusions on this coverage.
Remember that you will be compensated for what you lose, not what you replace.
Acting fast when you file an insurance claim is in your best interest. One of the most important considerations is whether or not you were there when the damage occurred. You are eligible for compensation from your home insurance company only if you were away from home when something happened and somebody else, who does not live with you and does not work for you, broke something or caused some other damage.
If you were at home when the incident occurred, this doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated, but it might affect how much money you get. In general, insurers will calculate your settlement based on what was broken and how much it would cost to replace that item.
Tips to reduce repair costs after filing a claim (i.e., shop around, do DIY repairs, etc.)
- Conduct an online search for home repair near me and see what contractors are available in your area.
- Hire a contractor and estimate how much it will cost to fix the broken window before filing your claim with the insurance company.
- Shop around for contractors as prices can vary from one company to another;
- Have the contractor do all or most of the work, if possible.
- Do DIY repairs such as minor cracks and scratches on the glass by purchasing a can of paint at any hardware store (paint is inexpensive).
- Once you file your claim, request reimbursement for any non-emergency work completed after the event that caused damage to your property.
If you have broken windows in your house, follow these steps:
- Make sure you fix the window within the recommended time or risk losing your coverage.
- Understand what deductible applies to this type of claim and whether there are limits on how much you can be reimbursed for the broken windows.