Does Home Insurance Cover Broken Windows?
Caeva O'Callaghan | May 6th, 2022
A broken window is a hassle no matter how it happens – but does your home insurance cover it?
Yes. Your home insurance will cover window breakage, subject to certain conditions. For example, you need to not have caused the damage yourself on purpose.
Also, your home needs to not have been left unoccupied for 40 consecutive days or more in the case of Axa, or 60 days or more in the case of Aviva. In the case of Allianz, they give you 35 days.
In this article, we’ll cover questions like:
- I broke my window by accident, can I make a claim?
- Can I make a home insurance claim for vandalism?
- Does my home insurance cover an unoccupied property?
Accidents happen, but a broken window can pose a big problem to your home’s security, as well as your energy bills. Here’s all you need to know about broken windows and insurance.
I broke my window by accident, can I make a claim?
Yes. Your windows are covered by your home’s building insurance against accidental damage and smashing.
Modern windows are remarkably tough, but it’s still possible to smash a window by accident while you’re going about your daily business. There have been many documented cases of lawnmowers and motorcycles causing stones to go flying, shattering windows or causing existing chips and cracks to compromise the entire pane.
If your window is suddenly broken, before you do anything else, make the scene safe for yourself and others. Keep children and animals out of the room, and put on shoes if you haven’t already. Also, don’t start clearing up until you know what went on and that the danger is over.
Can I make a home insurance claim for vandalism?
Almost all standard home insurance policies cover you for damage caused by vandalism, riots, strikes or civil unrest. Of course, all policies are different in their own ways, so the best idea is to have a broker check your policy before you commit.
Even if you do have this cover, you will need to make sure if someone deliberately meant harm to your property. This is so you can inform the Gardai and stop it happening to you or someone else again.
If you file a report for vandalism, this will of course mean that crime statistics in your area will increase. This means that you may end up paying more for your premium.
If you live in an area where vandalism occurs regularly, this will most likely make your policy more expensive. It’s all about risk: if your property is at higher risk of vandalism or reoccurring damage, even if accidental, this may affect how much you pay.
Does my home insurance cover an unoccupied property?
If your home is unoccupied for on average 30 days or more, you will not have cover from normal house insurance.
This is because in that case, your house will then be technically vacant – even if you’re on an extended holiday or moving out during a renovation – and vacant properties have a higher risk of vandalism.
It also means that a smashed window may go unnoticed for a longer amount of time, which may lead to bigger problems down the road. If the window is not boarded up quickly, wildlife and water may enter the property and cause damage. A broken window may also attract criminals who then know the house is vacant, or more of the window may collapse. Plants may even enter the property, given long enough.
If you know that a property of yours will be vacant for 30 days or more, contact us and we can arrange special insurance to make sure it’s covered for any eventuality. In order to give you an accurate quote, we will ask questions like whether the house is totally unoccupied or only partially, if the water has been turned off at the mains, and how often you plan on visiting.