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Are windows covered by your home warranty?

Windows are a big part of your home’s condition and character. Since windows are so important to the appearance, function and value of a home, homeowners often want to make sure they are protected, just like other parts of their house.

Here is what you need to know about getting coverage from a warranty company or insurance company for the cost of window repair — whether you are brand-new homeowners or are simply assessing your current coverage needs. 

Does a home warranty cover windows?

Home warranty plans do not usually cover window repairs. As a structural component of your home, windows fall outside the scope of home warranty coverage.

Because home warranties apply to systems and appliances, structural problems aren’t usually covered. In rare cases, a warranty contract may allow for repair to windows that threaten the integrity of the rest of your home, but window and door issues usually fall under the homeowner’s insurance policy instead of a home warranty plan.

But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when your windows need repair. There are some options available for protecting yourself against the cost of damaged windows.

But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when your windows need repair. There are some options available for protecting yourself against the cost of damaged windows.

What types of insurance will cover windows?

There are several types of insurance that could possibly cover the cost to repair or replace a broken or damaged window pane, window sill or window sash. It all depends on the type of damage, the circumstances surrounding the damage, the type of warranty or insurance and the individual insurance company.

Homeowners insurance
Some homeowners insurance may cover window damage, but it depends on the type of damage and the cause of damage.

As a general rule, a homeowners insurance policy provides emergency protection — it typically covers major incidents that occur unpredictably. For example, if a tree branch blows down in a storm and breaks the window, it will likely be covered by homeowners insurance.

Insurance is not designed to cover day-to-day accidents or regular wear and tear. So, if a window breaks because you accidentally smash into it with a rake while you were doing yard work, it may not be covered by insurance. 

Insurance also doesn’t cover damage caused by maintenance failures. Water damage to the wood frame or glass panes from poorly maintained window seals, for example, probably won’t be covered.

That’s one of the biggest differences between homeowners insurance and home warranty plans: Warranty plans are designed to cover daily wear and tear, not major incidents, such as natural disasters. That’s why it’s always ideal to have both insurance and a home warranty plan.

Builders insurance
If your home is a new build, there are some circumstances when window damage might be covered by a builder's warranty.

A builder warranty on a newly built home is required in all states; though, the required length and details of coverage vary. Typically, a contractor is required to cover workmanship, such as wood finish or materials, for up to 1 year; systems, like plumbing and electrical, for up to 2 years; and structural defects for up to 10 years.

If residential window damage results from a structural defect, it may be covered under the builder warranty. For instance, if a large double-pane window is damaged due to structural shifting from a defective load-bearing wall, the glass repair might be covered by the builder’s warranty. 

Again, even if your home did come with a builder’s warranty, it’s smart to have a home warranty plan of your own too because most builder warranties don’t cover the daily wear and tear on your major appliances, and when they do, it is for a limited time frame.

Manufacturer’s Warranty
Damaged windows may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, depending on the type of warranty that came with the windows. Warranties vary from lifetime to limited, and most will not cover damage due to poor maintenance or incorrect installation.

The manufacturer’s warranty typically covers the glass panes and all accompanying components. Manufacturers’ warranties can also usually be transferred to a new homeowner for a period of time, so if you are purchasing a home that recently had replacement windows installed, you may be covered.
Keep in mind that home warranty plans are secondary to manufacturers’ warranty plans, so the manufacturer’s warranty may be a good option for covering windows even if you do have a home warranty plan that covers your major appliances.

When home insurance may cover window damage

Some warranty companies do offer warranty coverage on windows as additional coverage, but keep in mind that this kind of coverage is still far more common in builders home warranty plans and home insurance policies. If a warranty company does offer coverage for windows, it will be considered an add-on with additional costs. 

Home warranty plans are most valuable because they cover the cost to repair things that are different from what home insurance covers. A home warranty usually covers what is overlooked by a home insurance policy: things like your appliances, water heater and air conditioner. 

For a small monthly or annual fee, you can purchase peace of mind and access to qualified repair services. When one of the major appliances your family relies on every day has problems, your home warranty service contract provides coverage for the replacement cost, and you will only be responsible for a small service fee paid to the service provider or service technician up front.

How can you find out what kinds of repairs and replacements a home warranty covers?

Since many home warranty plans do offer add-ons to regular coverage, the best way to find out what your coverage options are with a particular warranty company is to speak to customer service and discuss your needs.

Home warranty plans are designed to protect you from the kind of damage that your home insurance policy doesn’t cover — the regular wear and tear on your most-used appliances and systems. Your windows simply don’t undergo the same daily wear as your major appliances or your sump pump, for example. 

If you keep up with regular home maintenance, including checking the condition of your windows, screens and window seals each spring, your windows should hold up for many years. If accidents or incidents do occur, your homeowners insurance policy will help ensure you are covered.