Will my homeowner’s insurance pay to replace a sliding glass door?
UPDATED: Apr 21, 2015
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Asked April 21, 2015
The key to whether something is covered under your home insurance is how the damages happened. If a windstorm blew a tree limb through your sliding glass door, the replacement would be covered under most policies, but if the door was damaged because your child slammed it, for example, then the repairs or replacement would be an out of pocket expense.
In general a sliding glass door is covered as part of the home, but it also has the same conditional treatment as, say, the roof. Your roof is covered against named perils, but you are responsible for keeping it in good condition, such as removing debris or making minor repairs due to time or age. If you do not keep up your end of the contract, then the entire policy can be canceled by the insurer.
If the glass door was damaged by someone else, such as the neighbor's child knocking a baseball through it, then the claim should be filed against that person's insurance. So you would file a claim with your neighbor's homeowner’s insurance provider, and they would settle the claim based on the concept of liability where your neighbor is responsible for the behavior of her dependents.
If the sliding glass door needs to be replaced because of normal wear and tear, then it is not an insurance claim. In this case, the replacement falls under the heading of home maintenance, and is your responsibility. Worse, if you do not replace the door and water leaks into the home damaging carpets, floors or walls, the claim for those damages can be denied as well because you did not take the steps necessary to prevent the damages from happening.
If the damages were caused by accidental behavior, such as your daughter accidentally throwing a baton through it while practicing for the cheer team, then the door replacement would be covered under most homeowner’s policies. Since the damages were caused by the accidental behavior of your child, it is covered, but if the same child threw the baton through the glass in a fit of anger, the damages would not be covered because they were intentional.
Answered April 22, 2015 by Anonymous