Of all the elements on this earth, the weather is always the most unpredictable and, at times, unforgivable.
Even when you prepare for a beautiful, sunny weekend ahead, Mother Nature scoffs and changes her mind, sending ruthless storms your way.
She has taught us that you can’t always be ready for what’s to come. You can only know how to deal with the aftermath.
Maybe you’ve just experienced a rough hailstorm or intense winds that have knocked down tree branches. You walk around your home to inspect the damage and notice a window or two that’s been struck and damaged.
This can’t be good.
Luckily, you think, “This is what I have homeowners insurance for. They’ll cover the window replacement.”
So you call a window replacement company and inform them of your situation. But the contractor warns you that insurance won’t cover the full window replacement.
“Is this true?” you wonder, “What’s the point of having homeowners insurance, then?”
While it is true you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance for a window replacement, there are several things you need to know before you look to file a claim and contact a window replacement company.
Southwest Exteriors has been a window replacement contractor in San Antonio since 1989. We know how unpredictable and freakish Texas weather can be, and we’ve helped many homeowners who’ve experienced weather damage to their windows.
We get many calls after a large storm rolls around about homeowners insurance covering a window replacement. We’ve noticed some common things that most aren’t aware of.
We want you to have the right information about homeowners insurance for a window replacement before calling a contractor. This will help you avoid wasting time and effort in the long run.
This article will outline three things you need to know and three steps to follow before using homeowners insurance for a window replacement.
After reading, you’ll know exactly what to do if you have damage to your home’s windows and want to use homeowners insurance for a window replacement.
Before reading on, you want to determine if you have an ACV or RCV insurance policy. The type will determine the payout for every project from windows to siding and roofing.
What's the difference between an ACV and RCV homeowners insurance policy?
ACV and RCV are two different methods for calculating the value of an insured item or property under a homeowners insurance policy.
ACV stands for Actual Cash Value, which is the value of an item or property at the time it was damaged or lost. ACV takes into account the item's original purchase price, depreciation, and wear and tear over time. So, if an insured item, such as a window, is damaged in a storm, the insurance company will pay out the actual cash value of the window at the time of the damage, which may be less than the cost to replace the window with a new one.
RCV stands for Replacement Cost Value, which is the value of an item or property at the current cost to replace it with a new item of like kind and quality. So, if an insured item, such as a window, is damaged in a storm, the insurance company will pay out the replacement cost value of the window, which may cover the full cost of replacing the damaged window with a new one.
In general, an RCV policy will be more expensive than an ACV policy because it provides more comprehensive coverage. However, an RCV policy may provide better protection for homeowners who want to ensure that they can fully replace damaged or lost items without incurring additional out-of-pocket costs. It's important to review the details of your homeowners insurance policy to understand which valuation method is being used and to determine whether you have adequate coverage for your needs.
3 things you need to know about homeowners insurance coverage
If you’re reading this article, you must have just experienced severe weather storms or other accidents with your home’s windows.
You may think this situation is exactly why you have insurance - to cover damages from an accident.
We can’t argue that this is the purpose of having homeowners insurance. But, if you are looking to upgrade your damaged window using homeowners insurance, there are a few things you need to know.
Here, we will outline three crucial things you must know before contacting a window replacement contractor if you intend to use homeowners insurance for your broken window.
1. Insurance will most likely not cover the full window replacement
The most important thing to know if you want to use homeowners insurance for your window replacement is they will most likely not cover the full cost for a new window.
Most homeowner insurances will provide enough money to cover the least expensive replacement window, which may be around $200-$300.
A high-quality, full window replacement can start anywhere from $800. The cost of a window replacement depends on many factors, like the window type, quality of installation, and warranty.
If you want a replacement window that is more elaborate than a basic window, know that insurance will not cover the full amount for a fancier window.
2. The less expensive the window, the lower the quality
Because the money you get from your insurance is not enough to buy you a high-quality replacement window, it’s important to understand the quality of window you would get if you only used insurance coverage.
If you only get $300 from your homeowners insurance for a new window, think about the quality of window this will get you.
The least expensive replacement windows cost around $200-$300. These windows are not made to be durable or last long, so they may only stay in your home for 3-5 years before giving out.
Cost and quality go hand in hand for remodeling products, so you must think about the quality of the window you want and if you are willing to compromise quality and design to save money.
3. A full window replacement is not your only option
If you have a damaged window and want to use insurance coverage, the second thing to consider is to know that replacing the whole window isn’t the only option.
Because insurance will most likely not provide the full amount for you to replace your window with a high-quality, durable one, you may want to consider other options, like a glass-only replacement.
A glass replacement will be less expensive than a full window replacement, which means you can have most, if not all, of the cost covered by your insurance.
If only one window in your home is damaged, looking to replace the glass or just repair the existing window will save you money and ensure your damaged window will still match the rest of the windows in your home.
If you replace just one window, it will never look exactly like the other windows. This is an important thing to consider if you are thinking about replacing just one or a few windows.
3 steps to take if you plan to use homeowners insurance for a window replacement
Now that you know three crucial things about homeowners insurance for a window replacement, you need to know what steps to take next.
If you have a damaged window and want to use homeowners insurance for a replacement, follow these three steps:
Contact your insurance company first
Determine what coverages you have and what option is best for you
Find a window replacement contractor that will fit your needs
Let’s look into each of these steps further to best understand what to do with your insurance and window replacement.
1. Contact your insurance company first
The first step to take after noticing your window is damaged is to contact your insurance company before contacting a window replacement company.
If you go to a window replacement contractor first, you don’t quite know what coverage your insurance will provide and how much money they will allocate towards your new window.
Say you do schedule an appointment with a window replacement company without contacting your insurance first. You may get a quote for a replacement window for $800.
If you take this quote to your insurance company, chances are they are not going to provide the amount to cover the full window replacement.
This is why contacting your insurance company first and knowing what they will provide for your new window is crucial to determine before going to a window replacement company.
2. Determine the amount of coverage you have
After calling your insurance company, you should know what coverage you have to replace or repair your damaged window.
You want to know if your certain damages are warranted under the insurance and what the insurance company will provide, whether it’s monetary or other options.
You also want to know if you have any deductibles that must first be paid before insurance will provide monetary coverage.
Once you have all of this information, you will know what insurance will cover for your window replacement and can decide what your next steps are.
Will you replace the full window? Will you only replace the glass? Do you want a high-quality window you will need to pay more for?
These are just a few questions to consider to determine how you will handle your damaged window with an insurance claim.
3. Contact a window replacement contractor
You’ve contacted your insurance company and know what kind of coverage you’ll have for your damaged window.
Now, the final step for you to do is find the right contractor for your project.
It’s important to choose a contractor you know offers the right services that you need for your damaged window. Some companies only do window replacements. Others do only window glass replacements, and some do both.
You also want to consider your budget for your window replacement. If you want a higher quality window with a high-quality company, know it will cost more, and insurance will not cover it all.
So, you want to know the exact services and price point you’re looking for for your project to find the best contractor for you.
Should you use homeowners insurance for a damaged window?
Now you know three vital things about using homeowners insurance for a window replacement and what steps to take next.
If your window becomes damaged and you want to use insurance, remember that insurance most likely will not cover the entire window replacement, a less expensive window will be of lower quality, and a full window replacement is not your only option.
If you still want to move forward with using homeowners insurance for your damaged window, follow these steps:
Contact your insurance company first
Determine what coverage you will have
Contact the right window replacement contractor
At Southwest Exteriors, we will install your windows whether you are using insurance or not.
But, we know that our windows and services are not the least expensive option out there. We want you to be aware of what insurance will realistically cover so you don’t waste your own time and effort finding a window replacement contractor that doesn’t fit your needs.
This is why having realistic expectations for the cost of window replacement services is crucial to finding the right contractor that will meet your goals and needs.
So, how much does a window replacement cost exactly?