Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken Windows?

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  • Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken Windows?

Broken windows can cause a lot of chaos, and even more ensues when you’re trying to figure out who’s responsible for paying to repair it. In some cases, your renters insurance policy may have you covered. But the damage may be covered by another home insurance policy or, in many cases, you may be responsible for paying the out-of-pocket expenses yourself. Let’s take a deep dive.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken Windows?

Renters insurance won’t cover the cost to repair or replace a broken window in your own home if that damage was caused by you or someone else who lives in the home. But if someone else who’s not living in the home, such as your neighbor, breaks your window accidentally, their renters or home insurance policy could pay for the damage under the liability portion of the policy.

Also, since renters don’t own the property they live in, renters insurance doesn’t cover broken windows that were caused by things like hurricanes, earthquakes, other natural disasters or one of the common 16 covered perils. In those instances of damaged or broken windows, your landlord’s insurance policy would step in because it covers damage to their home.

The only other coverage you may have on your own policy is personal property coverage, which can help pay to repair or replace your personal belongings, like clothes and furniture, if the broken window was caused by a covered peril and damages your stuff. So your belongings would likely be covered if a tornado sends a tree through your window, allowing rain to pour through and cause water damage to your belongings. Let’s break down a few more scenarios.

Broken Window to Your Home

If you or someone who lives in your home breaks your window, your renters insurance policy wouldn’t provide any coverage for the broken window or damage to your belongings, if the window break caused damage. But if someone else who doesn’t live in your home, whether it’s the neighbor’s kid sending a baseball flying through your window or a rowdy guest who sends themselves through your window, you could be covered.

In the latter two scenarios, the neighbor or guest who broke your window would likely be held financially liable to repair or replace your broken window. If they have any type of home insurance policy, their policy’s liability coverage could step in and pay to repair or replace the window. They’d just need to file a claim with their insurer, pay the deductible and their insurer would step in to take care of the remaining cost.

Broken Window You Caused to Someone Else’s Home

In a similar scenario as above, you could also be held financially liable to pay for the damage you cause to someone else’s window. So if you were the one who accidentally sent a baseball through your neighbor’s window, your renters insurance’s personal liability coverage could help pay for the damage. All you’d need to do is file a claim with your insurer, pay the deductible and they’d cover the remaining costs.

But filing a claim may not always be in either party’s best interest. Sometimes it makes a lot more sense to pay for the damages yourself so you don’t have an insurance claim going on your record. Let’s take a deeper dive into when it may or may not make sense to file a claim.

Is Filing a Broken Window Insurance Claim Worth It?

Sometimes filing a renters insurance claim for a broken window just doesn’t make a lot of sense. When you file a claim, that claim goes on your insurance record and stays there for several years. The more claims you file, the riskier you become to insurers. They typically offset this risk by simply refusing to cover you or raising the cost of your renters insurance premiums.

Since replacing windows in a home can be relatively cheap, it usually makes more sense to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket rather than filing a claim against your insurance. When you file a claim, you must pay your deductible before your insurer steps in to cover any amount.

Deductibles for renters are typically anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per claim. You set your amounts, so you’ll want to check your policy before filing a claim to see what your cost would be. If the cost to repair the window is lower than your deductible, you shouldn’t file a claim because your insurer won’t fork over any money and you’ll have a claim on your record.

But even if you have a $250 deductible and the window costs $600 to repair, it still may not make a lot of sense to file a claim. In this instance, you’d theoretically pay $250 toward the broken window and your insurer would pay the rest ($350). In this scenario, you’d be better off paying the additional $350 to deter a claim from going on your record.

If you accidentally broke a custom window, such as a full-length door window with engravings or a stained-glass window, that’s where you may want to consider filing a claim. Those types of windows can easily cost thousands of dollars. If the broken window costs $4,000 to repair or replace and your deductible is $250 to $1,000 per claim, you’d save yourself a pretty penny by filing a claim and only being financially responsible for your deductible.

Protect Your Belongings With Renters Insurance

Averaging just $12 per month, renters insurance can protect your belongings for the cost of a few cups of coffee.

The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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