A ball went threw my window: will my homeowners insurance cover it?

A cracked window.

A warm summer day means that people are most likely going to be outside enjoying the sun and engaging in recreational activities. That peaceful scene can be disrupted in an instant by the sound of shattering glass when an errant ball meets a window.

If your neighbor has a budding pitcher practicing a curveball, a broken window can be an unexpected cost — but is it one that is covered by your homeowners insurance policy?

Check your deductible

Depending on your deductible and the cost of replacing the window, there is a possibility it wouldn’t be advisable to even consider making a claim. For example, if you’ve opted for a high deductible of $1,000 to lower your annual premium cost, and a replacement window costs $650, the cost of replacing it is well within the deductible anyway — you’ll pay for the replacement even if your policy does cover accidents. Determine what your deductible is and what a replacement window will cost before you consider making a claim.

Check your homeowners insurance policy

Some policies will cover accidental damage to windows, and if a large, expensive picture window in your living room shatters, this would be welcome news. What the damage is and how it was caused will be important factors in determining if a broken window is covered in some policies. For example, if a storm blows a branch into your home, breaking that picture window, it will most likely be covered under your policy, as it is storm damage — after your deductible, of course.

On the other hand, some policies might exclude damage that is caused by homeowner negligence. If you decide to shimmy up the trellis to get a frisbee off of the roof, lose your balance on the way down and put your foot through the window, that would be considered damage caused by negligence and might not be covered.

Understand your liability coverage

If the future ballplayer is your child, and hits a line drive that not only breaks through a neighbor’s window, but also smashes your neighbor’s great-grandmother’s antique Wedgewood collection, your homeowners policy personal liability coverage is what you will need to review. Liability insurance will likely cover the property damage caused by your family member, less your deductible, and up to the policy limits of the liability coverage.

To see how other carriers handle claims, check out the top-rated homeowners insurance companies on Clearsurance.

The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

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