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Private liability
Household contents

Who pays for glass breakage?

Whether it’s a drinking glass, aquarium, stove or window: glass can break faster than one might think. Some believe that broken glass is lucky, but in most cases it results in costs. But how is glass breakage insured?

2. july 2019, author: Eleonora Scardanzan, photo: Getty Images

Kids play football.
Glass can break faster than one might think. But how is glass breakage insured?

A shot, a shout and the window is out: The children kicked the ball too high while playing football and now the window pane is shattered into a thousand fragments. The potential causes of damage are just as numerous as the glass objects in and around a home. This has an impact on the insurance.

Various types of glass breakage

In insurance terms a distinction is made between building glazing and furniture glass. The first category includes glass that is part of the building, such as windows, glass fronts and sinks, a ceramic glass cooktop or a toilet bowl. Glass breakage is covered by buildings insurance, provided it was caused by fire, natural forces (e.g. storm), liquids or gas. If a tenant causes a breakage to building glazing, for instance by damaging a window in a rented apartment with a football, this is covered by private liability insurance.

And within your own four walls?

Furniture glass includes glass “in the home”, i.e. furnishings such as table tops, display cabinets or mirrors. Glass breakage to one’s own furniture is covered by household contents insurance, provided it was caused by one of the above-mentioned factors.
Furniture glass does not include objects such as spectacles, dishes, glass decorations, lamps or monitors. Special rules apply to mobile phones.

How to insure your aquarium

If an aquarium is broken, different types of insurance apply. The water damage may be considerable. With tenants, private liability insurance covers damage to the building, and homeowners are covered by buildings insurance. Household contents insurance bears the cost of damage to carpets and furniture. If you purchase an aquarium it’s a good idea to call your insurance company to make sure that all potential damage is covered.