Does Homeowners Insurance Cover My Appliances?

(Get all your answers from an expert and find the coverage you need.)

Navigation

Are appliances covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?
When and how does homeowners insurance cover appliances?
How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance does cover my appliances?
If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my appliance, what will?
Expert(s) Found on this Page

Are appliances covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?

As a new homeowner, I’m curious about what all is covered under my insurance. I’m especially curious about the bigger appliances in my home that have the potential to break down and cause a lot of expensive damage, or require pricey repairs or replacement. Are appliances covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?

Unfortunately there’s not a simple answer. Homeowners policies can vary in this coverage aspect. Policies that do provide coverage for appliances usually will do so only for certain scenarios and won’t cover everything. Generally, when homeowners insurance policies do provide coverage for bigger appliances, it’s for any water damage caused by them, but not for the replacement of the equipment itself if it breaks down.

When and how does homeowners insurance cover appliances?

It’s very important to review your specific homeowners insurance policy to first be sure it includes coverage for appliances at all—and there’s a good chance it does. However, we’ll go ahead and assume we’re looking at a policy that offers coverage for them. There are a few common ways appliances are covered under most homeowners policies.

Many homeowners policies provide coverage for appliances in the following ways:

  • Water damage: Certain appliances leak water when they break down, leading to all kinds of potential damage. This may happen for several reasons. Valves might burst over time, fittings may loosen, or the unit may become rusty. Whatever the cause of the appliance breaking down, homeowners insurance provides coverage for the water damage aspect.
  • Furniture and carpet cleanup: If a busted appliance leaks water and leaves wet trails behind, you may end up with some furniture and carpeting that gets soaked and potentially covered in mildew. Coverage will pay for the cleanup of furniture and carpeting, but it will not pay the full replacement value for your carpet. Carpet’s value depreciates over time, so insurance will only cover what it’s currently worth.
  • Wood flooring: Wood flooring that ends up so badly damaged by water from a broken appliance that it must be torn up and replaced will be covered under your homeowners insurance.
  • Theft: If someone breaks into your home and steals an appliance, you’ll be covered under the personal property section of your homeowners policy. For certain appliances built into the home, such as a furnace, you may have coverage under the dwelling category.  
  • Damage or destruction due to covered perils: Your homeowners policy may provide coverage for an appliance that is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril. Certain natural disasters, such as lightning, windstorms, hail, and fires, are covered by most standard policies. This includes damage done to your personal property, including your appliances, by these storms. Explosions are another covered peril, so if your appliance explodes, your policy may cover its replacement as well as the surrounding damage.

Make sure to reach out to your independent insurance agent to review your specific homeowners policy with you. They’ll be able to help you understand exactly what kind of coverage you have regarding any appliance you’re curious about.

How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance does cover my appliance?

After paying your deductible, you’ll be responsible for paying any amount exceeding your homeowners policy’s limits in the category of the dwelling itself for structural water damage or built-in appliances, or in the personal property category if you end up with property damaged by water, or one of your “loose” appliances is stolen. Coverage limits for each category will vary by policy.

A standard homeowners policy has a deductible that’s typically 1% of the home’s value, so if your home is worth $300,000, you might have to exceed $3,000 in stolen or damaged personal property before your insurance will start paying. If you have several appliances stolen, those values may add up quickly and easily exceed your policy’s deductible. However, this won’t always be the case.

If you’re concerned about not having enough coverage, you can work with an experienced independent insurance agent to get a policy with a lower deductible, or to increase your coverage limits. Talk with your agent about your specific coverage concerns. They’ll be able to help you decide the right course of action to take to increase coverage if necessary.

If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my appliance, what will?

If you have a home equipment warranty for your appliance, that will generally cover the cost of the unit’s replacement in the event that it breaks down. These warranties can also help with damage to the appliance. General wear and tear on an appliance is not covered under standard homeowners policies, since the upkeep is considered to be the homeowner’s job.

Keep up with the routine maintenance on every appliance you own for your best bet at preventing a catastrophe. Also be sure to become familiar with the deductible amount on your homeowners insurance policy, as well as its limits in both the dwelling and personal property categories. It’s best to understand your coverage fully before you ever run into a problem.

Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn

TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

©2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.

https://www.iii.org/article/homeowners-insurance-basics