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Breaking it Down: Does Your Insurance Policy Cover Glass Damage?

By Darragh Timlin on March 7th, 2024

Glazing forms a prominent component of retail premises, office spaces, warehouses and other commercial buildings. From floor-to-ceiling shop front windows to skylights brightening top-floor creative studios, glazed assets offer an aesthetic architectural feature while unfortunately being prone to breakage risks from accidents, weather, attempted burglaries or wear and tear over decades of use.

When a glass damage incident arises, does your business insurance policy readily cover replacement and repairs? Or will unpleasant surprises leave you footing the bill unexpectedly? Understanding policy provisions proves critical.

What Policies Extend Glass Damage Cover?

Does insurance cover glass damage across commercial policies universally? While most business policies exclude standard wear and tear, coverage for accidental glass breakage damage represents a common additional protection. 

Exact policy coverage varies significantly however based on:


Providers take differing stances on glass damage clauses depending on risk appetite and prior claims experience in the commercial space.

Policy Type

Basic property coverage may exclude glass entirely unlike specialised products like Brisco Business’ glass insurance designed specifically to cover glass damage events.

Without the proper policy in place, glass damage often means major unforeseen costs at the worst possible time. Reviewing provisions before a crisis hits allows critical planning.

Typical Scenarios Covered

Insurance outcomes differ drastically based on what causes glass damage. Where basic policies may only cover specific scenarios like storms or theft, comprehensive glazing cover often includes:

  • Extreme weather – Windstorms, hail, lightning strikes.
  • Attempted theft/vandalism – Windows smashed by intruders.
  • Collisions – Vehicles accidentally striking buildings.
  • Falling debris – Nearby construction mishaps.
  • Equipment damage – Onsite cranes or lifts striking glazed walls.


Understanding exactly which damage causes your insurer defines as insured, excluded or requiring add-on riders prevents frustration when claims get denied after breakages. Ask questions upfront.

Limitations and Exclusions

While many insurers aim to provide extensive protection for glass damage eventualities, policies also outline important limitations on coverage including:

  • Gradual deterioration – Standard ageing like seal failure allowing moisture damage rarely qualifies for claims.
  • Pre-existing flaws – Damage traceable to flaws like improperly installed glazing exposed over time falls into the maintenance liability of building owners rather than insurers.
  • High-risk regions – Insurers often restrict cover in zones prone to repeat glass vandalism without preventative measures first being implemented like security patrols or protective shutters.

Review all fine print exclusions and restrictions to avoid expectations gaps on coverage scope if damage arises.

Key Differences in Commercial vs Personal Cover

Insuring commercial building glazing requires dedicated business policies to account for much larger glass expanses vulnerable at street level. Key differences from personal home coverage include: 

Higher risk exposures

Commercial premises typically feature expansive glass facades, doors, display windows and skylights facing high visibility to the public and exposed to busy pedestrian areas, increasing the risks of collisions, vandalism and break-ins.

In comparison, personal residences rarely feature ground level full glass walls, resulting in lower risk profiles overall.

Custom glazing needs

Business venues frequently incorporate ornate, aesthetically distinctive glazing featuring etched or textured designs, variable tinting and adjacent lighting installations. These come with significantly higher replacement costs compared to plain glass panes in personal residences if affected by damage.

Business disruption implications

Damaged commercial glass fronts not only rack up higher replacement costs but also commonly cause sales delays, work environment disruptions and overall loss of incomes until expert repairs conclude. 

Stricter security requirements

Compared to personal home policies, commercial policies often require much tighter precautions before approving glass damage claims – especially for venues in areas with high crime. 

Business owners may need intruder alarm systems, CCTV monitoring, security guards and other enforced risk reduction measures to qualify, given the high payouts associated with replacing shop front glass. 

Tailoring Your Glass Damage Cover

Rather than tolerating gaps in protection left by property policies, businesses relying heavily on glazed building features should consider specialist glass insurance. Key advantages include:

  • Accidental damage – Comprehensive plans cover more breakage causes without limitations only to specific risks.
  • Business disruption – Coverage for sales interruptions due to necessary glass repairs unavailable under basic policies.
  • High maximum limits – Sufficient coverage for extensive glass fronts common on commercial buildings much costlier to repair than standard residential windows.

For enterprises with heavy exposure via glass building features, specialist policies deliver essential assurance of prompt reinstatement if the worst happens.

Protect Your Business with Brisco

Here at Brisco Business, we appreciate the costs that commercial glass damage poses if basic business insurance leaves such key assets exposed. Our dedicated glass insurance plans deliver extensive protection tailored for exposures facing retailers, restaurants, offices and other ventures relying on glass facades, windows, doors or displays.

With over 10 years of experience protecting UK enterprises from risks like glass damage, rely on Brisco’s commitment to restoring crucial glazing assets and getting businesses back to normal fast after the unfortunate strikes. Don’t leave your business financially vulnerable. Contact Brisco today to protect against the threats posed by damaged or shattered glass installations across commercial premises. Our team makes securing comprehensive, affordable coverage simple.

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Brisco Business, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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