Does home insurance cover my broken appliances?

05 Nov

While homeowners insurance offers protection for your home in the event of an accident or catastrophic loss it also protects the contents of your home, but does that include appliances?

The answer to that question will depend on what happened to your appliance. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about homeowners insurance and appliances. 

Does homeowners insurance cover appliances?

It really depends on the circumstances. A homeowners insurance policy is not a home warranty, it will absolutely replace your appliances if they are damaged or destroyed by a covered peril but if your 10-year old (or even one year old) stove suddenly stops working for no apparent reason or has just hit the end of its useful life, you will be on the hook to repair or replace it. 

Most standard homeowner policies cover the following perils, but the list of covered perils can vary from insurer to insurer so always check your policy for details.

Fire, Lightning and smoke damage: If your home burns to the ground or a kitchen fire does some major damage to the interior of your home that damages or destroys your appliances, your insurer should step up and cover the bill for new ones. This can include all major appliances, mechanicals of the house and even window air conditioning units. 

Weather Damage: Weather damage is almost always covered by a homeowners insurance policy and can include a wide variety of weather issues. While hurricanes, tornados and hailstorms are the most common cause of damage, roofs can also collapse due to the weight of snow or ice on your roof. If your appliances are destroyed due to a weather event, your insurer should cover the cost of replacements. 

It should be noted that almost all standard homeowner policies exclude flood damage so if your appliances are damaged by flooding, you will need a separate flood policy to cover the damage or you will be replacing them on your own.

Explosions: While explosions are not the most common cause of damage, they do happen, and they can be devasting. Natural gas leaks can lead to a damaged appliance and if it does, your insurance should cover it.

Riots or civil commotion, vandalism, malicious mischief or theft: If you home is damaged or destroyed by rioters or a burglar breaks in and boosts your fridge, your homeowners policy will pay for a new one. This also includes electronics such as TVs, computers and other electronics that may be stolen or vandalized. 

Sudden steam or water discharge

A water leak or a discharge of steam that damages your home or appliances has to be sudden and accidental. Homeowners insurance will always cover this type of damage, but you must maintain your home so if an insurer determines that the leak had been going on for a lengthy period of time or was caused by a lack of maintenance on the home, the claim may be denied. 

Freeze damage: Frozen pipes can quickly lead to water damage which can absolutely damage or destroy an appliance. In most cases you would definitely be covered. 

Power surges: Power surges can severely damage electronics and that includes appliances. Power surges are usually covered by a homeowners policy but some policies carry exclusions so make sure you check the wording of your policy. 

Insurance doesn’t cover appliance damage in these situations

There are situations where your homeowner policy doesn’t cover appliance damage: 

  • Age and maintenance: As we stated above, homeowners insurance is not an extended warranty and does not pay to replace or repair appliances that simply break down due to age or any other reason that is not a named peril. 

When it comes to maintenance, your insurer expects you to maintain your home and if damage occurs due to a lack of maintenance, they have the legal right to decline your claim, leaving you on the hook for repairs. 

  • Flood damage: As mentioned above, flood damage is almost never covered by a standard homeowners policy. In order to fully protect your home, you will need to have a flood insurance policy in place. Flood insurance can be purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or from insurers in the private market. Depending on where your home is located, your mortgage lender may require you carry flood insurance. 
  • Earthquake damage: Just like flood damage, earthquake damage is almost always excluded from coverage. If you live in an area where earthquakes are frequent, you should carry earthquake insurance. This can be a separate policy or a rider to your existing policy. It should be noted that earthquake insurance usually comes with a percentage deductible that can range between 5 and 20 percent of your total coverage.


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