How to Handle Glass Breakage at Your Store & Comprehensive & Plate Glass Insurance
Dealing with broken glass is a hassle, in your store and at home. Not only is it dangerous and a hazard, even after you thought it was all properly cleaned up, but it’s expensive and may cause your business to experience some serious downtime depending on the scale of the damages.
Theft is a common cause of glass breakage. Unfortunately, no thief pays mind to the ramifications to your store when they’re trying to steal items from display cases or valuables held behind glass barriers. In addition to the item that has just been stolen, now there’s significant (and potentially quite expensive!) property damage. Before you can return to running a business as per usual, you’ll likely have to deal with the broken glass first.
In this blog post, we go over glass breakage at your place of business, plate glass insurance for specially-designed glass display cases and windows, and what to do if you experience glass breakage in your store or at your office.
Property Insurance & Glass Breakage
Does your commercial property insurance typically cover you for glass breakage? Generally, the answer is a resounding yes, but not all businesses contain the same types of glass products. For some businesses with simple windows and display cases, the standard coverage that a commercial property policy provides would suffice. For example, the following may be covered by your typical property insurance:
Unfortunately, there are restrictions with your standard property insurance policy. Your coverage will likely help you pay for any cleanup following the event and pay for a replacement for the glass that was broken, as well as any damaged locks and/or frames. However, in some circumstances, it may be benefical to you and your business to have a comprehensive glass policy or plate glass insurance.
What is a Comprehensive Glass Policy?
Building glass insurance, plate glass insurance, or simply a comprehensive glass policy provides far broader coverage than your standard business property insurance may provide. Comprehensive glass policies go beyond the standard commercial offerings because they’ll cover more glass products and will cover damages – deliberate or accidental. Here’s the difference:
- Comprehensive glass policies cover all damages to glass, whether the damages are accidental or deliberate.
- Standard property insurance only covers plate glass. A comprehensive glass policy will cover all kinds of glass, including signs, displays, doors, and windows.
- For commercial vehicles, which may already have coverage for their windshields, a comprehensive glass policy goes a step further and can include door window glass damage, as well as damage to headlamps.
We too often underestimate how much our glass décor or materials can cost. Moreover, glass is dangerous! It can shatter into small fragments, posing a significant risk to our employees as well as to our customers and clients if we don’t give our property quick attention.
Who Needs a Comprehensive Glass Policy?
If your business would necessitate repairs due to glass damage in order to resume operations as per usual, it might benefit you to consider a comprehensive glass policy. Business glass insurance can assist you if you need repairs for windows or display cases that are specifically cut to fit a certain space, which you may not receive by doing repairs at a typical store. You might need specifically manufactured, special-ordered items.
In this case, it’s a good idea to have a comprehensive glass policy in your arsenal. A policyholder will identify what types of glass may be insured under your policy, such as only insuring you for externally facing windows but excluding signs. Whatever the case, be sure to familiarize yourself with what your policy includes so you aren’t left wondering when it comes time to make a claim.
For more information regarding business glass insurance or plate glass insurance, discuss with Hitchings Insurance.
How to Deal with Broken Glass
Broken glass is a serious issue. You’ll need to deal with it – carefully! – as the severed shards can cause serious injury. If you’re tasked with the cleanup following an accident, it’s a good idea to handle the disposal as quickly as possible – while being as careful as possible. Make sure you have these items handy to deal with broken glass:
- A vacuum
- Rubber gloves
- Cardboard box
- Damp paper towel
Your first course of action is to protect yourself. Make sure you’re wearing thick rubber gloves and a good pair of closed-toe shoes. Keep animals and children well away from the area until you’re one hundred percent certain that it’s safe. If anyone was in the room when the glass was broken, check them for injuries and assess if any shards were caught in hair/fur/clothing.
Use your cardboard box to hold the stray shards. Pick up the larger shards with your gloved hands. Make sure to check under doorways and note that broken glass can travel further than you’d think. Look beneath chairs, appliances, and furniture.
Vacuum the area for the smaller pieces and finish by wiping with a damp paper towel. When disposing of the glass, you’ll want to tape the lid of your cardboard box closed so that it doesn’t pierce through any bag. Put the box in another plastic bag (preferably a bin bag to avoid any small holes.)
Afterward, you can clean up any spills that may have been left behind due to the broken glass. Note that if the broken glass was a result of a break-in, you may not be able to touch the scene until police have arrived and done their investigations. In addition, you’ll want to notify your insurance company before doing any cleaning and get the “go ahead” before you start. Take pictures and document the damages before you clean it up. If it’s a small enough break that you can repair by yourself or it is an item that is unimportant to your place of business, you can clean it up right away. Ensure that you’ve completed the entire process before allowing anyone to enter the area again.
One of our insurance professionals at Hitchings Insurance Agency would be happy to provide recommendations on the proper glass coverage for your business. We cannot predict what is going to happen in the future, but we can be prepared for the unthinkable!