Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover My Major Appliances?
The loud pop of a lightning strike or power surge can fill any homeowner with dread. Equally terrible is finding a refrigerator full of spoiled food or a washing machine pouring water onto the floor. Unexpected breakdowns can leave you trying to decide whether you should repair or replace essential home appliances.
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So, does home insurance cover appliances? Ultimately, it depends on the details of your policy and the reason your appliance stopped working. Standard home insurance doesn't cover mechanical failures. However, many policies will cover an appliance damaged by a covered peril, such as a fire or lightning strike.
Home Insurance Won't Cover Most Appliance Failures
Standard homeowners insurance generally doesn't pay to repair or replace home appliances that malfunction due to:
- Normal wear and tear
- Mechanical failures
- Manufacturing defects
- Unexplained problems
This rule applies even to essential appliances, such as water heaters and stoves. Since insurance coverage doesn't include most appliance problems, homeowners are usually stuck with the cost of repairs.
Are Appliances Covered Under Home Insurance If Damaged by a Named Hazard?
Homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of appliances and other items damaged by named hazards, which are also called named perils. These hazards are listed in your written policy and often include:
- Lightning strikes
You can review your policy or speak with your agent to determine what your insurance plan covers.
Can You Claim Kitchen Appliances on Home Insurance?
As with other appliances, homeowners insurance only covers kitchen appliances that are damaged by a named peril. Named hazard insurance applies to small kitchen appliances, too. Toasters, blenders and microwaves are all considered personal property.
However, if only one or two small items are damaged, it may not be worthwhile for homeowners to make an insurance claim. The insurance deductible is often more than the cost to replace the items.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Refrigerators?
Refrigerators are covered if they are lost or damaged due to a hazard named by your policy, but not if they break down due to general maintenance issues. That means if your refrigerator stops working due to a mechanical failure, insurance won't pay for the repair. But if a fire or storm caused the damage, coverage may be available to help you purchase a new refrigerator.
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What Type of Insurance Covers Appliances That Need Repairs?
If you're searching for home insurance that covers appliance repairs, you'll probably need to supplement your standard policy. Available options include equipment breakdown insurance or a home warranty.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance
Some home insurance companies offer supplemental appliance insurance, known as equipment breakdown insurance. This insurance can help you pay for unexpected appliance repairs, but there are some downsides.
Repairs needed due to age or normal wear and tear still may not be covered, and getting repairs completed under these policies isn't always quick. Additionally, you may want to consider the cost of the premium and deductible to determine if the plan is worth purchasing.
Home warranties may help pay for repairs on a variety of equipment in your home, including:
- HVAC systems
- Septic and sewage systems
- Swimming pools
Unlike home insurance, home warranties offer no protection for the dwelling itself. Home warranties are sold by third-party vendors, not your insurance company.
Homeowners considering one of these plans should carefully review any warranty contract. Home warranties have cons, too. For one, they may not cover as much as you expect. And, depending on your policy, you may still be required to pay some amount out-of-pocket for repairs.
However, unlike most insurance, home warranties often do cover repairs required due to normal wear and tear.
What Is Covered in a Basic Home Insurance Policy?
Nearly all homeowners insurance includes coverage for:
- The dwelling
- Personal property
- Liability if a visitor is injured in the home
Dwelling coverage covers the structure of the home and built-in appliances if they're damaged by a covered hazard. Personal property coverage pays for the contents of the home if they're lost due to a covered reason, such as a fire or burglary.
Most policies also include liability coverage that can help protect you in the event that someone is injured on your property. This coverage may pay medical bills and other expenses if you're legally responsible for someone's injury.