Household insurance (buildings and contents cover) only pays for the breakage of glass if this is caused by an insured peril, such as fire or hail. There is no indemnification for the cost of replacing a pane of glass in a window broken by a ball or the glass of a cupboard door that was accidentally smashed. To cover such things a separate glass insurance policy can be taken out, but more often the cover is included as an additional benefit in the household insurance, either in the buildings or contents policy or both. If hail damage is covered in the property policy and there is a separate glass insurance policy, a claim can be made under either policy, although the claim is usually made under the property policy.
As part of the buildings policy glass insurance covers all fixed panes of glass on the facade, such as windows, and within the building glass installations, such as glass doors. Also covered are glass elements in other constructions on the same plot of land as the insured building, such as garages, greenhouses and garden huts. For the house contents, such things as glass doors on cupboards and cabinets are covered, the indemnification being limited to plate glass [Flachglas], but on special agreement lamps may also be covered.
In the case of damage to windows and glass facades the insurer will pay for the disposal of any debris, the erection of scaffolding and boarding up expenses. The expenditure on improvement work is also included, such as the repair of awnings damaged by broken glass and the painting of building surrounds affected by the accident, such as window frames. However, there is only indemnification if glass is actually broken, scratches being excluded.
Insurers will indemnify destruction of glass due to all causes: that is, irrespective of the peril involved. Claims are settled on the basis of replacement in kind [Naturalersatz], the insurance company paying not only for the glass itself, but also for the delivery and the work needed to replace the glass in the original setting.
Glass insurance is important for shops and offices, which often have large display windows and glass facades. They are particularly exposed to vandalism and windstorm, when objects swirling around in the air can be blown against them. They can also crack if there are extreme variations in temperature. The insurance of greenhouses and nurseries (Gärtnereien) is a separate line of business and is not covered by glass insurance.