What Is a Comprehensive Glass Policy?

A comprehensive glass policy is an insurance policy that covers different kinds of glass products that can be broken or damaged. A comprehensive glass policy covers a broader range of manufactured glass products than a standard glass policy, which typically only covers plate glass. It also provides coverage whether the glass was damaged or destroyed accidentally or deliberately. The policy can cover decorative glass displays and signs as well as windows and doors.

Fast Facts

  • A comprehensive glass policy covers a broader range of glass products than a standard policy, which usually covers plate glass.
  • A comprehensive policy provides coverage whether the glass was damaged accidentally or deliberately.
  • The policy covers windows, doors, decorative glass displays, and signs.
  • While coverage for the windshield is standard in auto insurance, adding a comprehensive glass policy can save out-of-pocket costs in the event of damage to headlamps and door window glass.

Need for a Comprehensive Glass Policy

Homeowners and businesses often underestimate the cost of replacing broken or damaged glass windows and doors. Unlike some types of cosmetic building repairs that can wait until a later time, repairing a window that separates the outside elements from the inside of the building needs quick attention.

Many windows are specially cut and made to fit a specific space and are unlikely to be found at a local store. Some items, like display cases and curved or colored glass, are special ordered items and require manufacturing time. Any specialization can add to the expense of replacing a broken piece of glass.

Comprehensive glass policies cover both intentional or accidental damaged or broken glass coverings. For example, a glass door may shatter when a heavy object accidentally bumps it, or a glass display window may break when a robber intentionally smashes to reach the contents inside. Because the policy is all-inclusive, it covers the replacement costs in both instances mentioned. A comprehensive policy will include a variety of glass types, not just the plate glass covered in the typical standard property insurance policy.

As with other types of insurance, the policyholder has to identify the different pieces of glass that will have coverage under the policy. The policyholder, for example, may only wish to cover externally facing windows and display cases, but not lamps or glass signs. In some cases, businesses that lease building space may be asked to share the cost of a comprehensive glass policy with the building owner.

Most insurance policies do not automatically cover against every peril, though comprehensive glass policies come close. They may contain exclusions for specific causes of damage, such as damage deliberately caused by the policyholder.

Real World Example

Most comprehensive auto insurance policies also include coverage for auto windshield glass replacement. There is usually no deductible for windshield repair or replacement because insurers see the windshield as necessary for vehicle operation. Drivers who do not have a comprehensive coverage policy may need to pay a deductible in addition to their premium. Also, in some cases, the glass may be safely repaired, rather than replaced.

Insurance providers see damage to the windshield as typical and therefore anticipated. But the damage to other auto glass may not have the same coverage. Items like headlamps and door window glass and the rear window will probably be subject to the full policy deductible amount. Adding full glass coverage to a comprehensive auto insurance policy will usually avoid the out-of-pocket payment costs in the event of damage.