Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hot Water Heaters?

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Popular Questions:

Are hot water heaters covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?
When and how does homeowners insurance cover hot water heaters?
How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance does cover my hot water heater?
If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my hot water heater, what will?
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Are hot water heaters 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 hot water heaters covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?

Well, that one’s a little tricky to answer, unfortunately. Homeowners policies can vary in this coverage aspect. Policies that do provide coverage for hot water heaters will do so for certain scenarios only, and won’t cover for everything. Generally, when homeowners insurance policies do provide coverage for hot water heaters, it’s for any water damage caused by them, but not for the replacement of the appliance itself if it breaks down.

When and how does homeowners insurance cover hot water heaters?

It’s very important to review your specific homeowners insurance policy first to be sure it includes coverage for hot water heaters 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 hot water heaters are covered under most homeowners policies.

Many homeowners policies provide coverage for hot water heaters in the following ways:

  • Water damage: Busted hot water heaters spew tons of water, leading to all kinds of potential damage. Valves might burst over time, fittings may loosen, or the unit may become rusty. Whatever the cause of the unit breaking down, homeowners insurance provides coverage for the water damage aspect.
  • Furniture and carpet cleanup: After a busted hot water heater leaves its 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 water heater that it must be torn up and replaced will be covered under your homeowners insurance.

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 your hot water heater.

How much do I have to pay if homeowners insurance does cover my hot water heater?

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 in the personal property category if things like your furniture get damaged by the water. 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.

If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my hot water heater, what will?

If you have a home equipment warranty for your hot water heater, 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 water heater. 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 your hot water heater’s routine maintenance 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. If you want to increase your coverage, get in touch with your independent insurance agent.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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