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Shattered Myths: Is Glass Replacement Really Covered by Your Insurance?

By Darragh Timlin on March 7th, 2024

For commercial property owners, glazed architectural features create engaging spaces for customers while fulfilling sustainability goals around natural daylight. Yet with expansive visibility comes substantial financial risks when inevitable breakage occurs.

Beyond immediate glass replacement costs, overcoming business disruptions from temporary location closures during urgent glass repairs proves essential.

When glass damage strikes, can businesses truly count on insurance coverage to promptly fund full glass replacements as needed? Understanding common insurance policy limitations around glass damage claims prevents unexpected shortfalls.

What Do Standard Business Policies Cover?

Do standard property or business asset policies extend reliable coverage for glass replacement when windows, doors or partitions shatter? In truth, many primary commercial plans severely restrict or fully exclude coverage for glass components, classifying glazing as specialty assets better covered under add-on policies. 

Where basic coverage exists, restricted causes like storms may be the only trigger acknowledging glass replacement needs. Common limitations include:

  • Restricted damage causes – Only approving claims tied to specific incidents like weather events, theft or vandalism. Accidental damage is often excluded.
  • Capped claim values – Applying token replacement coverage maximums insufficient for extensive commercial glazing.
  • Depreciated asset valuation – Age and existing wear degrade covered value, leaving shortfalls on true replacement costs.
  • Numerous exempted assets – Speciality glass like curved, etched or multi-layer types may be excluded as non-standard.

Without complete understanding of gaps in standard policy protections, glass damage spells financial disaster for commercial businesses. 

Key Scenarios Covering Replacement

While universal coverage proves rare on basic plans, what common glass damage causes could still qualify for replacement cost coverage? Three scenarios often included in general policies include:

  • Extreme weather events – Storms with high winds, hail or lightning strikes shattering exterior windows.
  • Burglary attempts/vandalism – Criminals smashing doors or showroom glass to attempt break-ins.
  • Collisions – Vehicle accidents where cars veer off roads into shop fronts.

In straightforward situations where external threats like severe weather or criminal activity clearly caused the glass damage, justifying replacement cost claims to insurers tends to face fewer challenges related to proving a covered loss cause.

Overcoming Exclusions

Even when insurers agree substantial glass replacement qualifies for claims based on a covered trigger like break-ins, additional fine print often restricts full payouts. Two key exclusions to highlight are: 

Pre-existing condition exemptions

Insurers regularly deny coverage for replacement costs linked to delayed effects of earlier wear like failed seals or improper original installations. 

High Excess

Many properties elect high deductible rates to reduce overall premiums, but then must self-fund damages before insurance contributions kick in following glass breakage.

Reviewing exclusions upfront identifies potential out-of-pocket costs on glass replacement even when making a claim. Enhanced specialty policies like Brisco’s glass insurance help circumvent such common restrictions.

Claim Filing Process

When facing sizable glass damage requiring replacement, follow key steps making approvals more likely:

  • Document damage – Photograph the destroyed glass scene to highlight severity and probable cause.
  • File timely reports – Alert authorities around any theft or vandalism. Insurers want proof of due diligence.
  • Obtain repair quotes – Have certified vendors formally quote replacement needs and costs for claims submission.
  • Secure the premises – Take reasonable actions to protect against weather or crime risks through the glassless opening.

Submitting urgent glass claims requires fast coordinated efforts between policyholders and insurers. 

Get Covered With Brisco Business

Unlike the significant coverage gaps that can come with basic business plans, Brisco Business specialty glass insurance covers glass replacement costs across retail stores, restaurants, offices and more. 

Don’t leave your business financially vulnerable. Contact us 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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