Does Renters Insurance Cover Appliances?

Q&A: Does Renters Insurance Cover Appliances?

(Because having a working dishwasher is non-negotiable)

Table of Contents

Does renters insurance cover appliances?
Is there special renters insurance coverage for short circuits?
Are damages related to appliance failure covered by my renters insurance policy?
How do I file a renters insurance claim for appliance-related issues?

Does renters insurance cover appliances?

I know that my renters insurance policy covers personal property, and I'm also aware that more expensive items can be limited in terms of what's covered. 

This got me thinking beyond my personal property to appliances which can be quite costly to replace. That being said, I'm curious whether renters insurance covers appliances, and if so, what's the extent of the coverage?

Appliances are treated similarly to your other personal property. As the general rule goes for renters insurance coverage, this means that if a specified peril occurs and destroys an appliance, you can file a claim to have it replaced.

While your renters insurance policy could distinguish any number of perils, the following are the most common:

  • Fire
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Theft
  • Weather-related damage (i.e. wind)
  • Vandalism

There may be other perils in your policy, or there may be fewer. Also keep in mind that the appliance must be located at your residence or in a storage unit in order to be covered. If you brought a small appliance, like a toaster, to a different location, it won't be covered by your renters insurance policy any longer. 

Note that if an appliance is located off your premises, it won't be covered to the full policy limit, either. The general rule of thumb is that you'll receive 10% of the limit specified in the policy for each type of property. 

Hence, if your personal property limit is $25,000, you'll receive $2,500 for an item kept in the storage unit, even if it would've been fully covered had you kept it on your property.

Is there a special renters insurance policy for short circuits?

Yes, there's a special policy provision for appliance short circuits. However, its inclusion as a policy provision may depend on your insurer, and there's often a lower limit for coverage too.

For example, you may only receive $1,000 for any damage due to short circuiting even if the damage is greater than that limit. If you're confused about this special coverage, talk to your independent insurance agent.

Are damages related to appliance failure covered by my renters insurance policy?

Some damages related to appliance failure may be covered by your renters insurance policy. The big concern here is with spoiled food in case your refrigerator suffers some sort of damage. Luckily, if your refrigerator is damaged or destroyed due to a named peril, you can collect for spoiled food under your policy too. 

Another issue is water leaks. Washing machines and dishwashers could leak, and if they do, they can damage your floor or other property around the appliances. 

An interesting catch with this coverage is that the appliance isn't covered if it simply breaks unrelated to a named peril, but the damage caused by the appliance would be. 

On the other hand, if the appliance is damaged or destroyed because of a named peril, and property surrounding the appliance is also destroyed, both sources of damage would be covered in that scenario.

If you're unsure whether any of these additional damages are covered under a renters insurance policy you're considering, talk to your independent insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you need and want.

How do I file a renters insurance claim for appliance-related issues?

Filing a renters insurance claim for appliance-related issues is the same as filing a claim for any other issue under your renters insurance policy. It's always good practice to take photos of the damage to submit with your claim as well.

As always, an independent insurance agent can assist with any questions you have regarding the claims process under your renters insurance policy.

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