Does Homeowners Insurance Cover a Broken Sliding Glass Door?

Sliding glass doors are a popular way to connect a home’s interior to the outdoors. But these large panes of glass can also be prone to breakage from impacts, weather events and more. When an exterior door like this needs repair or replacement, homeowners naturally wonder if their insurance policies can help cover the cost.

The good news is that standard homeowners insurance will often cover the damage and replacement cost of a broken sliding glass patio door. But as with any claim, there are important details to understand regarding causes of damage, coverage limits and deductibles.

Below we’ll explore common reasons sliding doors break, what your homeowners insurance covers, potential limitations, and tips for getting your broken sliding glass door claim approved.

Why Do Sliding Glass Doors Break?

Sliding glass doors are constructed from large panes of tempered glass. This makes them vulnerable to cracking and shattering if impacted. Some common causes of broken sliding glass doors include:

  • Sports impacts – Baseballs, soccer balls, golf balls and other sports balls often crack or shatter glass doors when they strike the panes.

  • Blown objects – Strong winds can carry debris that slams into the glass and causes breakage. Tree branches are a common culprit.

  • Children – Kids running into the glass or hitting it with rocks or other objects.

  • Pet damage – Dogs running into the door at high speeds can fracture the glass.

  • Thermal stress – Temperature changes cause the glass to expand and contract, eventually weakening it over time.

  • Metal fatigue – The rollers, hinges and frame can loosen or weaken over many years of use, leading to breakage.

  • Settling – Home foundations shifting slightly over time can put stress on sliding door frames.

  • Vandalism and burglaries – Robberies or malicious mischief where someone intentionally breaks the glass.

  • Extreme weather – Hail, windstorms and hurricanes can all easily shatter glass sliding doors.

  • Manufacturer defects – Improper glass installation or material flaws can lead to unexpected breakage.

The repairs for sliding door glass damage range from a few hundred dollars for minor cracks to over $1,000 for a full replacement with installation. And since sliding glass doors tend to be large, even small cracks require replacement in most cases. That’s why homeowners insurance can be vital when your sliding door glass breaks unexpectedly.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Sliding Glass Doors?

The short answer is yes – a standard homeowners insurance policy will typically cover the damage and replacement cost if your sliding patio doors or other exterior glass doors are damaged.

Sliding glass doors fall under two common coverage categories:

  • Dwelling Coverage – This part of a homeowners policy covers structural damage to the home itself. It applies to the door frame, tracks, rollers and installation costs.

  • Personal Property Coverage – This covers belongings inside the home. It would cover a standalone glass door panel that broke if it was being stored inside.

For damage to sliding glass doors themselves attached to the home, dwelling coverage is generally used. The personal property portion would only apply to doors not installed.

Just like with window glass damage, common homeowners insurance policies do not differentiate between sliding glass doors and regular windows. Both are covered as glass components of the structure itself.

The typical causes of sliding door glass breakage listed above like sports impacts, storms, winds and vandalism are also standard covered perils on most homeowners insurance plans.

So unless there are exclusions or limitations spelled out (which we’ll cover next), your insurer will generally pay your sliding glass door claim just like any other standard window glass damage claim.

Are There Any Exclusions or Limits?

While sliding glass doors are treated like any other window glass, there can be exclusions, limitations and clauses that impact coverage. Common things to be aware of include:

  • Wind and hail deductibles – If broken by wind or hail, these claims often have higher deductibles, typically around 2% of the dwelling coverage limit.

  • Hurricane wind deductibles – In coastal regions, deductibles for wind damage may be 5% or even 10% of the dwelling limit for hurricane claims.

  • Named storm exclusions – Some insurers may not cover damage caused by a named storm like a hurricane. Read policies carefully.

  • Age and wear exclusions – Gradual deterioration or fatigue damage related to old age may not be covered.

  • Glass type limitations – Some insurers limit payouts for glass types other than standard double or triple pane glass.

  • Dollar limits – There may be maximum limits per loss or per year for glass coverage. Review this closely.

  • Cause of damage – Vandalism and intentional acts often aren’t covered. Glass breakage during a crime or illegal act may also be excluded.

  • Improper installation – Damage related to improper initial installation or previous repairs may not be covered.

Also watch out for limitations around delaying repairs or claim submission. Most insurers expect prompt damage reporting and want repairs completed within a set timeframe to avoid further deterioration or damage spread.

Consult closely with your agent and read all glass coverage clauses carefully to ensure you understand exclusions and limits that may apply to your sliding door claim.

Tips for Filing a Sliding Glass Door Claim

To make the claims process smooth in the event your sliding glass door shatters or cracks, keep these tips in mind:

  • Take detailed photos of the broken glass door showing the damage. Get wide shots and close ups.

  • Note the door size and number of panels broken. Measure the glass if possible.

  • Save all broken glass pieces in case the insurer needs to inspect them later.

  • Clean up any sharp fragments carefully to avoid injury.

  • If possible, cover the opening temporarily to prevent weather or pest damage.

  • Get a written repair estimate from a qualified glass company.

  • Provide photos showing the cause of damage like a tree branch if possible.

  • Include photos of any pet damage or previous cracks that may have weakened the glass.

  • Dig up any paperwork you have from the original door installation.

  • Act quickly so further damage does not occur. Most policies have prompt reporting requirements.

  • Ask your agent to provide a copy of your glass coverage terms so you understand any limitations.

Preventing Sliding Glass Door Breakage

Since sliding glass doors can rack up expensive claims, it’s smart to take proactive steps to prevent cracks and breaks:

  • Install windborne debris protective film, especially in hurricane-prone regions.

  • Consider impact-resistant laminated glass which is much more resistant to damage.

  • Check that sliding door frames are properly sealed and have not become loose or misaligned over time.

  • Make sure exterior drainage slopes away from the door frame to prevent water damage.

  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the door to avoid abrasion damage.

  • Put a stop sign on exterior glass doors kids may run into or throw objects at.

  • Mount plastic corner guards on any glass edges protruding into walkways.

  • Replace older sliding glass doors that may have metal fatigue or worn parts.

Taking preventative measures can help avoid the hassle of having to file a homeowners insurance claim for a broken sliding glass door in the future.

Outlook for Sliding Glass Door Coverage

Looking ahead, experts expect sliding glass doors to continue being covered similarly to other window glass damage under standard homeowners policies.

Despite some exclusions, the core protection remains intact. However, stricter requirements around timely repairs may be instituted to prevent further damage after breakage.

More emphasis may be placed on installation of impact-resistant glass in certain regions prone to hail, hurricane winds and debris damage as well.

Premiums and deductibles for glass damage in general are also likely to rise over time in step with the increasing frequency and severity of hailstorms, tornadoes and wildfires across many parts of the country.

But the basic protection homeowners insurance provides against an unexpected broken sliding glass door should remain largely unchanged. Keeping your dwelling coverage adequate and understanding any exclusions is the key to smooth repairs when the inevitable break does occur down the road.

Summary of Key Takeaways

  • Sliding glass doors crack or shatter from impacts, weather events, metal fatigue and more.

  • Dwelling coverage pays for frame and installation damages. Personal property covers uninstalled doors.

  • Like window glass, sliding glass doors are generally covered causes like storms and vandalism.

  • Watch for exclusions around wind/hail deductibles, named storms, delays in repair and wear and tear.

  • Take preventative measures like impact-resistant film and regular inspection to avoid breaks.

  • Sliding glass door coverage will largely remain unchanged, though premiums and deductibles may rise.

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Does homeowners insurance cover broken glass door?

This depends on what causes the break. For example, if the door warps or otherwise suffers damage from moisture, this may lack coverage. This generally falls under routine maintenance and upkeep. If the door’s glass cracks due to extreme temperatures, coverage depends on the condition of the door prior to the incident.

Does homeowners insurance cover leaky windows?

Storms are sudden and accidental, and wind is a covered event on most home insurance policies unless you live in a high-risk coastal area. However, if your 18-year-old roof starts leaking due to wear and tear over the years, your homeowners policy is unlikely to help. The same goes for leaky windows or pipes.

Does home owners insurance cover a cracked slab?

Generally, foundation cracks or settling aren’t covered by your homeowners policy. Your home’s foundation is protected under your policy’s dwelling coverage, but only for certain perils/events.

What type of insurance covers damage to property such as a home?

Homeowners insurance helps provide financial protection for your home and personal belongings.

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